The Abusive Brothers



The Abusive Brothers :



What Buddha said… : He who without anger endures abuse, beating and punishment, and whose power of patience is like the strength of an army, him do I call a holy man.

ONCE THERE WAS A BRAHMIN whose wife loved to praise and speak kindly of the Buddha. He did not mind it at first, but soon his wife’s increased fondness for the Buddha caused him to become jealous.

One day he went to where the Buddha was staying, armed with a question he thought would leave the Buddha baffled and humiliated. In that way, he thought his wife would realize how misplaced her admiration for the Buddha was.

The husband asked the Buddha, “What do we have to kill to be able to live happily and peacefully?" The Buddha’s reply was simple but one that left the angry man appeased and inspired. “To be able to live happily and peacefully," the Buddha replied, “one has to kill anger, for anger itself kills happiness and peace." The man reflected on the Buddha’s answer and decided to become a bhikkhu himself. Finally he became an arahat.

When the younger brother heard that his elder brother had become a monk, he in turn became very angry. He went and confronted the Buddha, abusing him badly. When he had finished his string of abusive words, the Buddha asked him, “If you offered some food to a guest who came to your house, and the guest left without eating any of it, who would the food belong to?" The brahmin conceded that the food would belong to him. The Buddha then said, “In the same way, I do not wish to accept your abuse, so the abuse belongs to you." The man realized his mistake and felt great respect for the Buddha because of the lesson he had taught him. He, too, became a bhikkhu and later also attained arahatship.

The bhikkhus remarked how wonderful it was that the Buddha could make those who came to abuse him realize the Dhamma and take refuge in him. The Buddha replied, “Because I do not answer wrong with wrong, many have come to take refuge in me."

What Buddha said… : He who without anger endures abuse, beating and punishment, and whose power of patience is like the strength of an army, him do I call a holy man.

These are the selected verses from the Dhammapāda and the stories behind them.


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The Abusive Brothers :





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