Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part II

by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(30) Extinguishing anger by reflecting on the elements after analysing them

It is stated that if anger cannot be subdued as yet by employing the methods cited above, it should be reflected after examining the elements analytically.

The manner of reflection to be made is:

0, Yogi, you, who are developing metta through meditation – what are you angry with in the other person? Are you getting angry with his hair on the head, or against his urine? Putting it in another way, since the hair is made up of four constituents viz: the elements of earth, water, fire and air, are you angry with pathavidhatu, or apodhatu, or tejodhatu, or vayodhatu? In other words, who is your enemy? Inasmuch as he is dependent upon the five khandhas and the twelve ayatanas (the six organs of sense and the six objects of sense – the internal and external senses or properties) and the eighteen dhatus?

Are you angry with the rupa, matter, from among the khandhas, etc.? Or, with vedana, Or, sanna? Or, sankharas? Or, mind-consciousness, the vinnana? Or, cakkhayatana (the eye), Or, rupayatana (sight), Or, manayatana (mind), Or, dhammayatana, ideas or sensations? Or, cakkhudhatu (the element of eye), Or, cakkhuvinnanadhatu (the element of eye-consciousness – vision), Or, manodhatu (mental reflection or the mind that accepts), Or, dhammadhatu (ideas or objects), Or, manovinnanadhatu (mental consciousness)?

If analytical observation of the dhatus (elements) is made, it will be convincingly realised that anger has no abode in the human body, just as a tiny grain of mustard seed will have no place when rested upon a very small pinpoint, or, just as there is no place in the sky for colouring-matter to be painted.