By Nhat Quan
Before you find out where anger comes from, you should know that anger is one of the three poisons. Of the three poisons: greed, hatred, and delusion, anger is the easiest emotion to explode, and therefore, the most difficult to control. When angry, it is difficult for anyone to control themselves.
In Chinese, the word anger is a hieroglyphic word that is combined with two elements, on the left is the word item or eye, and on the right is the word true, meaning the image. These two words combine to describe a state of looking at others without blinking, eyes widening indignant, angry, expressing a look that wants to eat people alive. Therefore, anger is a state of pushing others into a corner, expressing an attitude of wanting to destroy the object, or a way of expressing repression, making the object of hatred unhappy and suffering from physical suffering. dominant psychology.
In Pali, anger means an emotional attitude that wants to incinerate the object, burn the object, and shred the object to pieces.
When you are consumed by anger, you have a tendency to vent that anger or burning anger on someone else, but unexpectedly venting it out will only increase your anger. The concept of anger is defined as the flow of emotions, the object is that you are expressed through harsh words, words back and forth in communication as well as work, bringing frustration, and dislike.
Anger manifests itself in many different ways. For example, from a voice perspective, anger is expressed through shouting, profane curses, threats, or sweet words but containing knives, shards of bottles, or thorns inside that the angry person gives to the opponent. Expression of unkindness about the voice as a value, the meaning of relationships and communication is damaged, leaving internal imprints, and creating an increasingly widening gap.
If anger is expressed in the form of gestures, then the skin of the face is pale, eyes are red, lips twitch and blood rushes to the brain or mumbles, bangs tables, and chairs knocks over objects, smashes what is going on have on hand, or manifest by stomping, spitting or rough expressions, attacking, even wanting to destroy others. The manifestations of anger are afflictive behavior, karma, and suffering.
Anger is also expressed in terms of temperament, attitude, and behavior can be enmity, frustration, silence, or ignoring the suffering of others, even if loved ones have shared joy, and suffering in life. When anger appears, you can become calloused, indifferent to the sufferings and needs of others, while just opening your hand can support and help people get material. happiness and lasting happiness.
Buddhist scriptures often liken anger to madness. Crazy people can't control their consciousness, so their actions, gestures, and actions hurt themselves and others. The longer you stay angry with this attitude, the more you will split the ground of your mind. Indeed, anger is the madness that kills friendships and distorts attitudes, words, and deeds, turning close friends into enemies, good into bad. When anger is not controlled, there may be actions that violate the law. For example, in a fit of jealousy, one can throw acid, stab someone, instigate a riot, or terrorize the other party.
The Buddha likened anger to underground coal. If there was coal at that time, I'm sure he would have likened it to a lump of coal. Coal burns for a long time, but the burning power can be kept from hour to hour. People who are good at controlling anger are hard to see through their expressions of words, deeds, gestures, behavior, and problem-solving, but they have inhibitions, long-term pain, hatred, and opportunities. retaliate.
Anger is like underground coal, to show the sinister character of a person who has not yet conquered anger in his heart. There is a case where the Buddha compared anger to a cloud. It can cover the sky with the light of human intelligence, perception, and action. In Buddhism, the sun is likened to a path, its appearance brings light and life to all human activities and things. When anger covers the sun of perception, there are eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear, and the senses are inhibited. Therefore, angry people react easily to rebellion, conflict, or do anything to satisfy anger. However, the more you satisfy your anger, the more suffering increases, and ego satisfaction in anger is not the solution.
Anger is also likened to resistance, paralyzes consciousness, awareness, and enthusiasm to commit and serve, freezes conscience, and hardens love. As a result, the subject loses all love for others, even for those close to him who once had good memories. Anger becomes destructive energy, annihilating and pushing the object to a dead end. At that point, the subject's resistance can be a one-on-one choice, the victim of anger placed on a scale that no one wants to tolerate. Therefore, anger is the fire itself.
The fire of anger is very simple, seemingly harmless, but burns all the merits planted, charitable deeds, commitment in life, shared love, and community service and society, burning all human relationships. Anger is also a bomb that blows up all the bridges of human-to-human relations, nations to nations.
Anger can be expressed by specific actions such as slapping, pulling hair, hitting, torturing, kicking, shoving, or all kinds of obscene, gruff words; lack of construction, lack of solidarity, and no compassion. Or criticism, defamation intended to make the other person suffer pain, frustration, slander, misrepresentation, or rebellious attitude.
The case of latent anger is very subtle. Can be expressed in the form of non-collaboration, or non-participation. Not against but absolutely not friendly, never participate and accept any responsibility. In this case, your attitude may appear neutral on the surface, but in reality, it is acting uncooperative. Buddhist psychology holds that it is a latent act of anger, capable of creating internal bonds like an inflated balloon. If the container is 90cc and filled with a 120cc volume of air, the balloon will explode. The bubble of anger is the same, when the amount of resentment collected is too much to bear, it will explode, then the emotion of anger will make your heart, liver, intestines, and lungs severely damaged and make you a victim cause of suffering!
Based on the current state of society, many people liken anger to Agent Orange in human-to-human relations. This poison is difficult to remove because it involves cognitive, psychological, personal, community, and national feelings. Agent Orange of anger, when infiltrated into the body, will change people's mentality to negative, make friendship difficult to stay together for long, leading to a more tragic situation than not being able to accept each other. So, it becomes very inhibiting and dangerous!
So, you know the form and manifestation of anger, now the question arises where does anger come from?
 Anger arising from a very small cause, such as greed, is like a forest burning fiercely from a single spark. That's why the Buddha taught you not to let a small spark do no harm. So what is the point of anger arising from a small point? Here I would like to point out the causes of anger, first of all:
1- Dissatisfied.
Discontent is the cause of anger, primarily in dislike, i.e., dissatisfaction, as well as greed due to liking. This discontent arises out of the desire to please you, but when it is not to your liking or unsatisfactory, discontent arises. When dissatisfaction arises in your mind it is not called harm, it only makes your mind unsatisfied. If you don't get rid of it from then on, it will gradually come to an angry state.
2- Angry.
The mind will go to anger. When anger has arisen, your mind is no longer clear, then the mind is only inclined to think that you are right. Anger mind makes you uncomfortable, this is the cause of anger.
3- Anger.
Anger makes your mind very hot, lose your composure, your face changes color, your hands and feet tremble, and when speaking, your voice changes. Anger causes a lot of harm because when anger has arisen, the mind only knows how to be aggressive, anger brings enough harm to you. Once the mind is filled with anger, it no longer distinguishes between right and wrong, the mind becomes dark and can do three harms:
- Anger makes the mind dark.
- Anger makes the mind not work well, especially the loss of virtue.
- Anger often makes things go wrong.
Anger is the act of harming others by all possible means. This belongs to the main part of the Three Poisons of greed, anger, and delusion. Because of anger and delusion, create hatred.
4- The knot of Resentment.
The knot of hatred means that when you are angry but you can't do anything about it, you try to save it in your mind, wait for a convenient opportunity, and you will do it, no matter how many years it takes.
Furthermore, anger can have many other causes. That is, how many problems in life, anger accordingly appears, exists, and develops in the corresponding direction, such as:
The root of anger comes from the attitude of fear. Fear stems from ignorance leading to delusion. When you are angry you don't know how the situation of the matter is going, are not sure what the outcome of the matter will be, and you don't know whether the partner is good or evil, positive or negative, which leads to anger worried.
Worry leads to fear. Fear causes the person to develop a series of problems, starting with the why, how, and how to deal with it? The question is based on skepticism. Doubt becomes the catalyst that causes fear to flare up. In a panic, skepticism has to deal with an unknown object, forcing you to destroy it first by thinking:
- Whoever strikes first becomes the winner.
Another root of anger is the attitude of ignorance. Ignorance is defined as an unintelligent perception, not seeing the nature of cause and effect, dependent origination, impermanence, and not-self, so it persists. Hence anger and suffering.
Another root of anger is the attitude of exclusion. Arrogance leads to exclusion. You have an authoritarian attitude that will put you on the scale above everyone else. You think of yourself as number one, and others as number two, number ten. A unique attitude makes your ego bigger. If you have a unique attitude and success, you are very arrogant. At that time you have a tendency to conquer, expand, and dominate those who are not like you, then that person is the enemy. You will try at all costs to destroy mercilessly.
Another root of anger is related to the clash of cultural traditions, customs, or histories of peoples. When cultural traditions collide and clash, the impulse of hatred will be spread on a larger and more serious scale. So if you have the opportunity to interact with another culture, consider yourself an element born from that culture. With this concept of tolerance, cultural conflicts do not arise in the mind. Thus, all conflicts, including cultural conflicts, are also avoided. Such behavior not only does not remove oneself from the original culture but also gives the opportunity to cool off in another culture. As a result, there is material peace, happiness, harmony, mutual friendship, and companionship in cultural identities, customs, and habits in places different from the native ones.
Fear is also a clue to anger. Anger is the clue of exclusion. If there is no solution, it is easy to become direct or indirect victims of each other, related to the wrong perception of people.
Therefore, when observing that an attitude of anger leads to angry actions and unkind behaviors, the Buddha's son must rise above those trivial reactions. Otherwise, those directly or indirectly involved and yourself will become a victim of anger. In the end, take on huge harm that you don't know in advance. Therefore, in Vietnamese literature there is a saying:
- When you're full, you lose your appetite, when you're angry, you lose your wisdom.
Nhan Hoi, a great but short-lived disciple of Confucius, was praised by Confucius, and called a second-class saint because of the virtue of not being angry like: Anger at fish should cut a chopping board. When you are angry but know how to control it, there must be the practice of calming down. Buddhism uses patience as a method to combat anger, but even for those who are highly wise or who think they are enlightened, anger sometimes arises, but it's very subtle.
Zen Buddhism in Japan also passed on to posterity a very interesting story. Yamaoka Tesshu who lived in the years 1836 to 1888 was a prominent Japanese swordsman. When he was young, he went to visit one teacher after another to learn meditation. And he thought that he had grasped the essential meaning of Buddhism. So one day, he went to Shikoku to visit Zen master Dokuon of the Lin-Chi lineage who lived in the years 1819 - 1895. Wanting to present his attainment, Yamaoka said:
Mind, Buddha, and all sentient beings ultimately do not exist. The true nature of all phenomena is emptiness. Not enlightened, not deluded, not holy, not ordinary. Three wheels of Emptiness: That is, there is no giver, no receiver, and no object given.
Zen master Dokuon sat quietly smoking a cigarette, saying nothing. Suddenly, the Zen master took a bamboo pipe and hit Yamaoka, causing him to get angry.
Zen Master Dokuon then asked:
- If all is absent, where does your anger come from?
With a garland of preaching, all is nothing, just a blow of a bamboo cigarette is enough to turn no into yes! It is a kind of wake-up call like Zen master Te-Shan (Duc Son) or Zen master Lin-Chi (Lam Te), which you often see in meditation halls. If after that sentence, the other anger is still anger, then Yamaoka deserves to eat another thirty sticks of Zen master Te San or a few hundred lashes of Zen master Lin-Chi, so that those who read the scriptures in an understanding way deceive people no more talking. But if that statement causes Yamaoka to suddenly become enlightened, the anger will turn to joy.
But the above anecdote is still not as interesting as the anecdote about Su-Tung-Po (To Dong Pha), also circulated in the Chinese Zen forest. This anecdote is all too familiar, but I would like to record it here.
- It is said that, once, Su-Tung-Po (To Dong Pha) composed a poem praising the Buddha's liberation. He was very pleased, so he asked the servant to bring the poem across the river to give to the Zen master Buddha-seal, who was at the Golden Mountain temple at that time. Poems like this:
- Bowing to the Dharma King,
The ten directions shine bright.
The eight winds blow, the mind does not move,
Sit strictly on a golden lotus.
In the scriptures, there are eight things in the world that make people's minds go crazy and unsettled. These are four pairs of opposites:
- Prosperity and decline;
defamation and honor;
Praise and denigrate;
Suffering and happiness.
These eight things make people lean over, and fall back, so they are called the eight winds. Only those with high concentration and virtuous conduct can keep their mind immobile in front of the eight winds so that they can:
Su Tong Po's intention was to show Zen Master Buddha-Seal the poem to confirm how high and deep the poet's meditation was. Unexpectedly, Zen master Buddha Seal looked at it and immediately wrote down the word "fart" next to the poem, then asked the servant to bring it back to Su Tong Po. Su Tong Po finished watching, got angry, immediately crossed the river, and went to the Golden Mountain Temple to meet Zen Master Buddha Seal to ask the truth. When he arrived, he saw that the door of Zen Master Buddha Seal's room was closed, and two verses were pasted outside:
- Eight rushing winds, mind not moving,
A fart pushed across the river.
Su Tong Po was startled awake and suddenly understood that his cultivation practice was still too shallow. However, he thought that the mind was completely still, even if the other eight winds were rushing, the mind would still be as steady as a stone table. But he did not expect that a single fart from the Zen master Buddha-Seal would be enough to propel him, body and mind, across the river. Two verses of Zen master Buddha -Seal are like enlightening verses for Su Tong Po.
The above story is obviously just anecdotal. I believe it is impossible that a great poet like Su Tong Po would write a mediocre poem like a novice poet to praise the Buddha's liberation, and then present that mediocre poem to Zen master Buddha Seal, who is also a master in the literary village.
As a child of Buddha, there must be mindfulness and vigilance to recognize the workings of anger. It has harmful effects on the moral life, conscience, especially health, longevity, and human values! It is easy to control when you see the face, the breath of anger, especially when you see its operation in action towards others. As long as you have the right attitude to see the harmful effects of anger on your life, you can stop the act of anger. With the support of the right view, when observing, while breathing, it is possible to recognize the face of anger and successful cessation.
Dissolving anger by tracing the source of hatred. First of all, it is necessary to practice the attitude of awareness. Understand, that everything in life has a cause. The chain of cause can be entirely present or related to the past and can extend into the future. When you understand the chain of wrongdoing with a cause and effect, you will develop an attitude of ending anger in the present. As a result, retaliatory hatred towards the enemy will be reduced. Some way must be accepted so as not to increase hatred. Or when anger is present, try not to let it develop.
As a disciple of the Buddha, you must clearly see the nature of anger and internal attachment. Introspection can be expressed through direct and silent postures. In the case of silent expression, it can be said that it is the secret anger, which is being concealed, lurking inside the mind of a malicious person whose surface is a smiling mouth, happy eyes, and sweet words like honey. As a result, the fake friendly eyes, the sweet words that kill the flies, the sinister smile that is like a blade, a bullet, or a poisonous weapon that makes the opponent die instantly, die without knowing their enemy...
Seeing the harmful effects of anger makes the person possessing it the first victim, so the person with the habit of anger should release it as soon as possible. Letting go of hatred towards others is saving oneself. Don't make yourself the victim and enemy of your own anger!
As long as you have not let go of anger, you are still called a patient of afflictions, karma, antagonism, and mutual annihilation. Thus, suffering continues to appear to the angry person in various forms. If all live with anger, life becomes a very big hospital and there will not be enough room to store and not enough medicine to heal the patients. If you don't let go of hatred, even if there are hundreds of religions appearing in this life, there is no value.
The Buddha always taught us to find a solution, remove internal links, to open the knot between deadlocked relationships. In the spirit of the bodhisattva way, it is about accepting your fault to let go of the suffering created by people intentionally. To eliminate hatred, the Buddha taught, that everyone, should contemplate that whoever is a man was once his grandfather, father, uncle, brother, younger brother, son, or grandson. All women have been their mothers, wives, aunts, uncles, sisters, and nieces. Contemplating and living like that, you no longer intentionally torture and slaughter your loved ones in the name of any ideology.
To neutralize anger, you must first have a bodhisattva heart and compassion for those who have brought you unhappiness or suffering. Find ways to create opportunities for them to rise. Give them the boat of Prajna so they can reach the shore of happiness, the lifebuoy of forgiveness to let them wade through the sea of pain and hatred. Give them the sail of compassion to help them reach their safe place. Do not put others in a situation where there is no way out. It is the wise attitude of the Buddha to neutralize hatred and make it no longer take root, and no longer reproduce suffering in the world.
Open your compassion to love those who hate you, because they are a person who has created karma! Open your arms of kindness to save those who hate you, because they are blood brothers! Letting go of anger is like cutting off a painful scab because anger is a venomous snake that can kill a person!
Finally, always look at life with joy! Because after all, everything that happens in life is just a change of conditions. When looking at life with a joyful mind, anger has no place to appear
According to Buddhism, anger is like a red flame that can burn everything. If you harbor anger in your heart, you are volunteering to bring fire into your body to burn your mind to ashes. Therefore, you should give up destructive actions to become a relationship between humanity, to dissolve internal bonds with all loved ones. Because in any situation, if you unintentionally or intentionally nurture anger in your heart, you are giving up happiness and peace between yourself and others.
Angry and anger are two objects that Buddhists need to practice to transform. Conquering to overcome anger brings lasting happiness in mind, action, and human relationships!
Buddhist disciples need to identify the manifestation of anger from gross to subtle. Do not let anger creep into the breath, life, even in thoughts and deeds, especially for those who are walking on the upward path, seeking long-term or permanent well-being.
Because anger and hatred do not let go, many people say that it is better to have bad karma as long as they get revenge on the person who caused the suffering. Because of the veil of hatred, many people accept pain and bleed as long as they take revenge and cause pain to their opponents! But they don't know that stubbornness only makes them suffer more.
In short, hatred is like holding a knife in your heart or holding a double-edged sword in the palm of your hand. Each time the knife was tightened, the blood would ooze out in endless pain. To end suffering, there is no other way but to let go of hatred, like putting down a knife. Taking hatred to retaliate against hatred is like taking a double-edged saw into each of your skin, muscles, tendons, and bones. With each sawing movement, the blood of suffering will flow, when it is no more, the person will pass out. Just stopping the sawing stops the bleeding. Those who use the saw of anger to saw off others never successfully practice on the path of peace and happiness. In other words, if you want to be happy, you have to give up the saw of anger, the attitude of retaliation, establish love, and live at peace with suffering! Every thought of anger will create a weapon in the heart. Anger is a dangerous weapon that can create destruction and death. Meanwhile, compassion creates life, peace, joy, and happiness!
What was taught by the Buddha in his teaching system, but especially the Buddha used the impressive image of the saw, creating fear and suffering for emotions and social relationships to advise that, must stop the saw blade of suffering. You must deal wisely with compassion and forgiveness. Letting go of anger and forgiving others is actually stopping the saw of suffering created by your own mind.
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