Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part II, by Ven, Mahasi Sayadaw

(23) The manner of reflection according to the Ten Verses

(1) In the case of an enemy wishing to cause misery and suffering, injury can only be inflicted by him on your physical body. No harm can be done against the mind. In spite of this why do you want to do things to the liking of the enemy and cause mental distress, which the enemy himself is incapable of doing?

(2) Why can’t you discard or reject the anger which is likely to bring disastrous effects and no beneficial results, despite the fact that you have donned the yellow robes and have become a Bhikkhu after abandoning all your friends capable of giving you a lot of advantages?

(3) Why do you entertain and caress the spiteful anger which is capable of wiping or chucking out fear and shame, patience, loving-kindness and compassion, which are the basic fundamentals of morality (sila), which you have personally observed? Where can such a fool as you are, be found? It means to say that you are the most silly person since you have entertained the anger which can destroy and root out your own morality.

(4) You are angry against another for having done wrong to you. Is it not true then, that you who have so become angry, is plotting to offend him in the same manner as has been done to you, in retaliation?

(5) it is most likely that any disagreeable act done to you by another is to stir up your anger, or rather, to make you angry. Such being the case, is it not true that by yielding to your anger, it would amount to fulfilling the desire of another person?

(6) It is not quite sure that you who are angry, will definitely make your enemy miserable. Hence, is it not true that even now, at present, you are ill-treating yourself by stirring up anger and causing misery to yourself?

(7) As the enemies are foolishly following the path of vice which is unprofitable, as provoked by anger, will there be any justification for you to commit wrongful acts out of anger following the footsteps of your enemies?

(8) If any detestable and disagreeable deed is done to you by your enemy based upon anger, you should dispel or overcome this anger. As a matter of fact, why do you unnecessarily cause strain to yourself with an angry feeling towards an individual human being who is not deserving of spite and hatred. (It means that you have done something wrong only at the dictates of “anger” to whom you have become a slave.) Hence, this anger itself needs to be rejected”.

(9) Rupa and nama, matter and mind, are transient by nature and are occurring only for a moment, followed by dissolution instantaneously. Such rupa and nama which are seemingly thought as having done wrong to you, have already dissolved into thin air in an instant. These rupa and nama are no longer there. They have disappeared altogether. Thus, at the present could you pinpoint that ‘matter and mind’ in the person of the enemy with which you are angry? New rupas and namas which have subsequently occurred are not doing any wrongful act or harm to you. Those which are considered as having done harm to you have vanished. Hence, there is no meaning in being angry with rupa and nama. (It means to say that rupa and nama with which you are quarrelling no longer exist).

(10) If one is causing misery to the other, both the doer himself and the one who suffers are the prime factors, which bring about or produce the effect of misery. In other words, both of them are responsible for the causation of misery. If that is so, since you yourself are not free from blame for the cause of misery, why are you angry with the ‘doer’ only

The above is the summarised statement of the ten verses – gathers, translated in plain language, as mentioned in the Visuddhimagga. The manner of reflection laid down therein is extremely profound. Reflection may therefore be made as stated to extinguish the flame of anger.