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The greater the anger and desire... - Dhamma Wheel

The greater the anger and desire...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Dan74
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The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:09 pm

...the greater is the wisdom and compassion, when they are "conquered"?

I recall a sutta which spoke of how anger becomes wisdom and desire become compassion, when their true nature is seen through insight (my recollection - perhaps someone has a ready reference?).

I also recall Ajahn Chah when asked how it happened that he was such an enlightened monk, replied "Because I had such great defilements." Turns out he was an extremely lustful young monk. And apparently once after an extended retreat to tackle just this problem, when a young and fully clothed village girl brought him some dana, he got aroused from just seeing her feet (again my recollection may be dodgy, but the point stands, I think).

So those of us who are prone to anger and desire (anyone? :? ) we can rejoice in that we have great fuel for wisdom and compassion. I also recall a Rinzai Zen teacher Myokyo-Ni (of Zen Centre in London) write that the Buddha-nature is passions and passions are the Buddha-nature (when seen for what they truly are).

I see all this not as a license to indulge anger and desire of course (both Ajahn Chah and Myokyo-Ni are explicit about that) but to redeem them as misunderstanding or a misdirected energy, rather than thoroughly bad and rejoice in the energy that fuels them, especially as we begin to see the source of this misdirection.

Any thoughts?

_/|\_

PS If the mods feel it more appropriate, please move this topic to the Dhammic Free-for-all forum.
_/|\_

Sanghamitta
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:28 am

Interesting topic but I dont see how refernces to " Buddha Nature" shed any light in a discussion in the " General Theravada" forum.
Sometimes I get the feeling that a game is being played to test limits.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

kayy
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby kayy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:40 am

That's interesting.

I've not read anything about this idea, but I've often sensed that in moments of the most intense suffering, there is the greatest opportunity for happiness. To re-iterate, this is not a call to indulge your anger, desire and suffer more...

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Cittasanto
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:02 am

Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Cittasanto
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:16 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:18 pm


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Dan74
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Dan74 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:45 pm

_/|\_

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tiltbillings
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:51 pm


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Dan74
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Dan74 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:00 pm

It was the humble Buddhist Scriptures, selected and translated by Edward Conze and printed by Penguin which I had evidently picked up for $2.50 many moons ago (p.116: The Six Types of persons).

_/|\_
_/|\_

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mikenz66
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:00 pm

Hi Dan,

Thanks, I recall that passage, but perhaps you can give us the exact reference (at least the chapter) so we can find it and read around it.

I still don't quite see how you get "anger becomes wisdom and desire become compassion , when their true nature is seen through insight" from the Buddhagosa quote.

He does have hate (anger) related to wisdom but desire related to faith, not compassion... And I can't see where your phrase about "true nature seen through insight" comes from. As far as I can remember, he's talking about the tendencies of various types of individuals.

Metta
Mike

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Dan74
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:32 am

You are quite right, Mike. As it turns out what I said above is more my take than Buddhaghosa's. But I think it is still basically in line with what he is saying and with basic Dhamma, since "acting in a wholesome way" is what happens when we have insight into their true nature, i.e. recognizing that anger and greed cause unhappiness to ourselves and others and stem from a basic delusion. In a sense the energy is then liberated, since these unskillful expressions are seen for what they are.

As regards the exact reference, I don't think I can give more than I gave above since it is a collection of excerpts. In this passage he talks more about what kinds of meditation are suitable for individuals of different types. I don't have the book in front of me now and will have another look if the exact reference is listed at the back when I am back home later on today.

Also "faith" is what he related to moral virtue and compassion is the foremost of them, is it not?

(Yes my recollection of material is not exactly photographic, is it?)

_/|\_
_/|\_

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mikenz66
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:13 am


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Dan74
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:06 am

_/|\_

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mikenz66
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:20 am

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the explanation. It makes some sense but I'll have think about it some more...

Mike

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fig tree
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Re: The greater the anger and desire...

Postby fig tree » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:19 am



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