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Retaliation Does Not Lead to Peace *

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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2012
      Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara
      Buddhist Vihara Victoria Inc (ABN: 35 437 197 725)


      29 MARCH 2012

      YAMAKA VAGGA1 - The Twin Verses

      Taken from The Dhammapada
      Translated by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda


      Akkocchi nam avadhi nam       -----
                                           ajini mam ahâsi me
      Ye tam upanayhanti                    -----
                                           veram tesam na sammati
      Akkocchi mam avadhi mam     -----
                                           ajini mam ahâsi me
      Ye tam na upanayhanti              -----
                                           veram tesûpasammati.

      'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me,
      he robbed me', in those who harbour such thoughts
      hatred is not appeased.

      'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me,
      he robbed me', in those who do not harbour such thoughts
      hatred is appeased2.

      Dhammapada3, Verse: 3

      I:3 The old man who retaliated (Tissa)

      Tissa, a cousin of the Buddha, had become a bhikkhu only in his old age. He liked to pose as a senior bhikkhu4 and was very pleased when visiting bhikkhus asked his permission to do some service for him. On the other hand, he failed to pay due respect to the senior bhikkhus. Besides, he often quarrelled with the younger bhikkhus. Should anyone rebuke him on account of his behaviour he would go complaining to the Buddha, weeping, very much dissatisfied and very upset. The Buddha who understood the position advised Tissa to change his behaviour and not to harbour thoughts of hatred against anyone for hatred could only be eradicated by not harbouring hatred.

      The Buddha said it was not the first time Tissa had been obstinate; he had also been obstinate in a previous life. The Buddha then revealed that in one of his past existences Tissa had been an obstinate ascetic by the name of Devala. As a result of a misunderstanding, he cursed a very holy religious teacher. In spite of the intervention and persuasion of the king to seek the pardon of the religious teacher, Devala refused to do so. Finally, the king had to physically force him to seek the pardon of the religious teacher.


      1. Yamaka means a pair. This chapter is so named because it consists of ten pairs of parallel verses.

      2. The Buddha's constant advice to His followers is not to retaliate but to practise patience at all times, at all places, even under provocation. The Buddha extols those who bear and forbear all the wrongs of others though they have the power to retaliate. In the Dhammapada, there are many instances to show how the Buddha practiced patience even when He was severely criticised, abused, and attacked. Patience is not a sign of weakness or defeatism but the unfailing strength of great men and women.

      3. Dhammapada verses and stories are especially suitable for children. See online version [http://www.geocities.com/ekchew.geo/dhammapada.htm].

      4. Seniority of monks is calculated from the time of Higher Ordination (Upasampada), and not by chronological age.

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