DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- RETRIBUTION OF
- CONTROVERSIAL KARMA
By Nhat Quan
be seen, cannot be grasped, yet they have caused many people
to laugh and cry. So what is the truth of words? You cannot
see or grasp it, but you can see and hear speech through a
manifest person. If that statement is:
people often say offensive words,
- Liars speak
fluently, can't refute them, but also can't understand their
- A malicious
person speaks insultingly to others with a gentle voice...
But in any
case, all these languages arise from one root, which is the
Mind; therefore the sign of language is the Mind. In the
Buddha's mind, speech is good dharma, and in the mind of
sentient beings, words become evil karma. The minds of
sentient beings have thousands of signs, and words cause
thousands of karma.
To observe a
person's language is to observe his/her mind. The way the mind
manifests in each person is different, so it is correct to
call each person a language of their own. So when you come to
anyone, understand them with your mind, don't just listen
superficially with your ears. It is the observation of sound.
When you don't like something, you usually say you hate it. In
a more mature person, you would say not paying much attention.
If only understood according to the hearing of the ear, these
two words are two different interests. Since then there have
been many misunderstandings.
In order to
observe the sound as it really is, the venerable ones advise,
you can't use your ears, but listen with your mind. Using the
Mind to understand the mind, the Buddha's mind can understand
all kinds of sentient beings' minds. You cannot see all the
minds of the interlocutor, you certainly cannot understand
their words. So don't be quick to react according to your own
hearing. Speech is the mind, so an evil mind produces evil
speech. Even if it is hidden, even if people do not detect it,
or do not react, evil has been born and still brings evil
retribution to the speaker.
there is a saying:
The mouth is a
poisonous snake, but the mind is the mind of the Buddha
is completely wrong, Buddha never said cruel words, or harmed
people. The reason for this saying is that people use it to
describe poisonous snakes. Each person has a different way of
saying it, a different way of expressing compassion. Like the
differential conduct of the Bodhisattvas, appearing as a judge
with the role of a just judge, it cannot be called an evil
sign. The Patriarchs scold their disciples from the heart of
emptiness, to teach patience or enlighten the True Nature, it
cannot be called evil speech. But the person who considers
himself to have a good heart should let go of his words
without restraint, each word causing unspeakable harm to
others, and makes excuses with the phrase:
- The mouth is
a poisonous snake, but the mind is the mind of the Buddha,
that speech karma is incalculable.
Buddha's Mind, that word will not benefit the listener no
matter what. On the contrary, only causing harm is called evil
speech. And an evil mind gives birth to an evil form, produces
an evil speech, produces evil karma, and produces evil
with your words. Speech is the breath from the mouth. But life
and death follow each breath coming in and out, so life and
death also follow each word that comes and goes. Therefore,
you should speak peaceably, without controversy which is the
basic practice of a Buddhist disciple. In cohabitation,
non-controversy plays a very important role in establishing
harmony and purity.
Of course, you
have the right to argue and discuss a certain issue, but you
must speak in mindfulness, love, and harmony in order to build
and perfect each other for the common goal, for your own
benefit and the benefit of others.
people in the world argue about not only fame and interests,
attachment and ego. Cultivators, if you don't keep your mind
steady, you'll also argue for fame and interests, just like
people in the world. In an age where the karma of beings is
biased towards the struggle for self-benefit, the controversy
becomes more intense. Arguing to clarify the truth, clarifying
right and wrong but still keeping a calm, compassionate mind
is acceptable. Controversy because of ego and mine causes the
breakage of brotherhood and creates a discorded living space,
people are always
suspicious and tense, it is not advisable, especially since
such a thing happens in the Sangha. According to the Mix Agama
Sutra, number 534 says:
When the Buddha was
in his garden Anathapindika, the forest of Prince Jeta, in the
country of savanna... Buddha told the monks:
This being, in
the past in the country of Sāvatthi, ordained as a monk in the
Dharma of Kāyapa Buddha, loved to argue, disturbed the Sangha,
talked with many mouths, and lost harmony. The Bhikkhu-stilts
residing before were bored and left, those who had not come
did not want to come. Because of that sin, that sentient being
is reborn in hell and suffers an immeasurable amount. Now,
because there is still residual karma to report hell, that
being has to carry this body and continue to suffer.
people like to argue because they are heavy on verbal karma
and evil nature, and do not know how to transform so that the
behavior of the mouth is pure. It is troublesome to live in a
congregation with one or more such people. Those who have been
residing permanently leave, and those who have not yet come,
no one wants to come, which is a misfortune for the
congregation. Looking deeper, there is nothing without a
cause. The former is due to the oral karma of the
controversial person. Next is the management and
administration of the responsible people in the congregation.
The leaders in the congregation, if they do not follow the
principle of the six harmonies of the Buddha, sooner or later
will cause conflicts, discord, and controversy.
mainly practice pure precepts, that is, the three karmas of
body, mouth, and mind should be pure. Remember, oral karma is
one of the three most difficult karma to overcome for
spiritual practice; It is the biggest hindrance to the
practice of attaining enlightenment. Is the greatest
life-killing power for spiritual practice; Is the main karmic
force that brings you down to the evil path; It is the
greatest hindrance to rebirth. Causing inner turmoil, gossip
of right and wrong none cease; Causing the Sangha not to
harmonize, and the Dharma not to flourish. Causing sentient
beings to lose their way of mind, and to lose their good roots
as human beings. While, less arguing, happiness comes closer
society, some of you think that those who do not know how to
compete for benefits, status, and material wealth are stupid
and dull people. But the ancients believed that the things
that people achieve in this life are due to their blessings.
Competing only harms others and damages your own virtue. Once
the heart is more open, friends and wealth will also be more.
Less arguing, happiness comes closer to you. Controversy often
with your spouse, if you win, the feelings fade. In life, you
often see a scene where the wife is not favorable at work and
immediately uses an excuse to get angry with her husband. The
husband, for his own face and in front of his friends, should
be patient. In response, when there are no friends or
outsiders, the husband tries to command the wife, treating her
as a slave. The wife could not stand it and so the peaceful
relationship turned into discord. You should know, the couple
is not 100% each, but each person is half, which is only 50%,
due to the pairing of two people, it becomes 100%. Therefore,
two people must learn together to face each other's mistakes,
to promptly help each other to improve the other, and also to
improve themselves. As a couple, there is no need to argue
about who is right and who is wrong for what?
- Parents &
at odds with their parents because they argue more than lose.
Those of you who have a dispute with your parents should note
this point. In fact, there is not a single person in this
world who is obligated to be kind to you. Only parents do not
compare, and calculate the return of their children, on the
contrary, love, and care for you only. Sometimes, parents'
worries are unfounded, and parents' attention is unnecessary,
but parents do so all because they want their children to have
a good life later. Don't argue with your parents, that's the
greatest filial piety!
your friends, if you win, the friends will fade away. Friends
come together because they are destined to meet each other
thousands of miles away because they have a mutual
understanding. The Ancients had a saying:
- Gold and silver are easy to get, and soulmates are hard to
find, so never argue with friends.
customers, if you win, the customer goes away; Arguing with
colleagues, if you win, your colleagues will fade away…
People in life
are always staring at others, if you always want to win
against others, your life will be very tiring! Live in the
world, don't think that everything has to be competed high and
low! There are some things in life that are not controversial
to have, but also not necessarily happy to have. Others have
their splendor, you also have yours.
practice of human life is in deeds, not in words and
arguments. Truth does not need to be argued every day, nor is
it necessary to argue every day to find the truth. All truths
and righteous paths, only genuine use of the heart to practice
can truly understand.
If you think
about this carefully, you can understand the logic that an
honest person is more likely to not need to argue with others.
They won't use words to prove they're right. Whether facing
defamation or being attacked by others, they can use their
intellect to prove their innocence and purity. Storytelling:
Buddha's lifetime, there was a monk named Kondaahana. Since
this young man left home and became a monk, wherever he went,
a woman followed behind him, but he did not know that there
was a woman following him, but everyone all see.
When going for
alms, the benefactors put two tablespoons of rice in
Kondaahana's bowl. The first spoon they said: This spoon is
the portion of the Master, and the second spoon is the portion
of the friend of the Master.
seeing this, thought that Master Kondaahana had broken the
precepts, so they went to the elder Anathapindika and asked
him to expel Bhikkhu Kondaahana from the temple. Mr.
Anathapindika did not dare to do. The bhikkhus let the female
believer Visakha know, but she did not dare. The monks went to
the palace to meet King Prasenajit and tell the story. The
king accepted, in the afternoon when the king entered the
temple, the king had his army surround the main hall, while
the king went up to the palace, Master Kondaahana heard the
noise and came out to see, the king saw a woman behind him.
Master Kondaahana, when he heard that the king was coming, he
immediately went back inside. When he met Master Kondaahana
the king did not bow down, but the king did not see the
woman's figure as outside.
Bhikkhu Kondaahana came out, a woman immediately followed him.
When Thay entered the palace, the image of that woman suddenly
disappeared again. The king was surprised to ask:
where is that woman?
- My Lord
Great King, I do not see any woman.
- Please tell
- Dear Great
King, the assembly here all say that there is a woman behind
me, but I do not see.
many times, the king thought: It is indeed a fake image and
- Master, once
something is not clean like this, there is no one to make
offerings to you, so from now on, you just go to the inner
palace, and I will make offerings to you.
were not pleased when the king treated Bhikkhu Kondaahana in
such a special way. So they told Master Kondaahana that:
- Hey, you
break the precepts! The king is a coward like you.
As for Master
Kondaahana, before he had no evidence to answer, but now he
has been testified by the king, he immediately replied that:
- You are the
ones who break the precepts, you are the ones who lead women
to beg for food.
for a while, the bhikkhus brought this matter to the Blessed
Sir, how did Kondaahana master create karma in the past?
just taught that:
- In the time
of Kassapa-buddha, there were two monks who loved each other
like brothers and sisters from the same mother and father. At
that time, every year the Sangha held a ceremony to express
their thoughts. Near the day of expressing their thoughts, the
two teachers invited each other to go to a deserted place to
have a ceremony to confess their feelings
in the middle of the road, there was a deity in the
Trayastrimsàs realm, seeing the two loving each other, he
- These two
monks love each other very much, can we separate?
deity was thinking of a plan of division, one of the two
- Please wait
a moment, I need to go to the toilet.
waited for the monk to finish going to the toilet, and when he
came out from the bushes, he turned into a woman with one hand
on his pants and the other on his hair as if he had just made
love to that monk finished. The deity deliberately waited for
the other monk to see it, then disappeared.
when this bhikkhu came, the other said:
- You are a
- Master, I
- Recently, I
saw a girl following you.
- Master, I
really don't have this.
The two Masters quarreled, and in the end, they two Masters
parted ways, because they were not willing to do the ceremony
together to confess their mistakes.
Seeing such a disastrous result, deva thought:
- I have committed a terrible sin.
Thinking like this, the deva immediately appeared and said:
- This monk's virtue is still pure, this is because I want to
test the two of you. Please join the ceremony to express your
At that time, the two new bhikkhus obeyed and happily
performed the ceremony to show repentance.
Because bad karma created controversy, after enjoying all the
blessings, this deity fell into Avìchì, after many lifetimes,
until now, he was born as a Kondaahana.
When he finished mentioning the previous life of Bhikkhu
Kondaahana, the Blessed One said:
- Because of bad karma that creates controversy, there is
something extraordinary like today. Yet you still keep that
bad character and refuse to repent. You should not argue with
bhikkhus. You have to be silent like a dumb person, when you
can do that, you can pay off your karma and attain the path
In order to support the disciples, the Blessed One built six
principles of peaceful coexistence, which are six peace in
order to establish purity and harmony for the Sangha. In
addition to guiding the practice of transforming controversial
karma, the Blessed One also used many means to warn his
disciples. Specifically, if you do not transform your oral
karma, you will fall into hell because of that sin, and suffer
immeasurable suffering. Now because of the hellish karma of
Bhikkhu Kondaahanan, he has to carry this body and continue to
suffer. This is the wisdom and compassion of the Blessed One
for those who deliberately cause discord in the assembly.
- Resentment can never destroy resentment, only love can
destroy resentment. Arguing does not solve discord, only
tolerance and goodwill to see things from the other side's
point of view can mediate the dispute.
And once President Lincoln advised a young officer when he was
arguing violently with a colleague:
- No one wants to get ahead and waste time in private
disputes. It only spoils your temper and takes away your
self-control. Sometimes you also have to know how to yield to
others, even though you know you have a point. It is better to
give way to a dog than to fight with it to be bitten by it.
Because even if you kill the dog later, the bite will not heal
In short, you often think that words are like the wind that
flies but doesn't know where to go, so you keep saying bad
things to your mouth, creating hot suspicions and arguments.
But you didn't expect the evil word because it was so heavy
that it followed the wind of karma to go to hell. Therefore,
you should practice saying words of love, words of solidarity,
and words of construction are necessary virtues to sublimate
yourself, contributing to the establishment of a pure and
peaceful living space. So while talking, if there is no
control, according to Ph. Chesterfield says:
- When you see the other person starting to get angry, end the
argument with a funny sentence.
- When arguing with a person, you need to orient so that after
the argument, you will have another friend.
Or better yet, America's first president, George Washington,
- Never try to argue with someone higher up, but express your
opinion with humility.
Remember, anyone whose speech is not pure will be punished in
hell. So every moment you have to control yourself, don't let
loose or talk indiscriminately. Because if you plant an
unclean cause, in the future you will definitely reap an
unclean fruit. While cultivating pure causes, you will surely
reap good fruits.
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