Monday, July 6, 2009

How not to get angry

I heard of a Buddhist story about a young sami who had broken the chief monk's favourite flower vase in his absence. He was so scared that he did not know what to do. Then he told another sami of his predicament. This sami is very clever and knowledgeable in the teachings of the Buddha. He promised to help the younger sami.

When the chief monk came back to the temple, the clever sami told the chief monk that he had been contemplating on many things. He asked the chief monk whether human beings could avoid dying. Upon hearing this, the chief monk explained that all things are impermanent, including human beings and hence death is unavoidable for them. The clever sami then asked again whether things are permanent and the reply from the chief monk was all things are not permanent as they can get spoilt as time goes on. Now came the chance for the clever monk to put forward his case. He asked the chief monk whether one should feel angry or sad because one has broken one's favourite porcelain piece. Without hesitation, the chief monk said that we should not be sad or angry should this happen because impermanence is the nature of things and all beings on this earth. At this moment, the clever monk said that he had broken the chief monk's favourite vase. Of course, the chief monk just said that it was all right because such things tend to happen. He did not get angry!

The moral of this story is that when we can see the true nature of things, anger will not arise in ourselves.

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