HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

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MayaRefugee
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HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby MayaRefugee » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:54 pm

Say The Buddha was in an environment where there was a "bully" directing taunts at him - what would he do?

I know there was no "him" for the bully to direct taunts at so maybe I should say the bully is directing the taunts at the Tathagata - I'm not sure if this is right but hopefully you get what I mean.

Even if the words don't mean anything to him/don't offend him wouldn't the presence of negatively inspired sounds/volition in his environment disturb his solitude/peace of mind?

Can you be that indifferent that you don't eventually make a stand and try to bring the negativity to an end?

How do you think he would see and react in this situation?

What factors do you see at play in this scenario?

Peace.

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Cittasanto
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:51 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

... Now Akkosaka1 of the Bhaaradvaaja Brahmans heard [of this.]2 Angry and displeased, he went to see the Blessed One, overwhelming him with abuse and reproaches. At these words the Blessed One said: "What do you think, brahman? Do you receive visits from friends and colleagues, blood-relations and others?"

"Yes, good Gotama, sometimes such people come."

"What do you think? Do you serve them with solid food, soft food and savories?"

"Yes, good Gotama, sometimes."

"But supposing, brahman, they do not accept what you offer, whose is it?"

"If they do not accept, good Gotama, then it belongs to us."

"So it is here, brahman. The abuse, the scolding, the reviling you hurl at us who do not abuse or scold or revile, we do not accept from you. It all belongs to you, brahman, it all belongs to you! If a man replies to abuse with abuse, to scolding with scolding, to reviling with reviling, brahman, that is like you joining your guests for dinner. But we are not joining you for dinner. It is all yours, brahman, it is all yours!"

"The king and his court believe that Gotama the recluse is an Arahant. And yet the good Gotama can get angry!"3

[The Blessed One said in verse:]
How could anger rise in him who's free, Wrathless, all his passions tamed, at peace, Freed by highest insight, by himself, So abiding, perfectly serene? If a man's abused and answers back, Of the two he shows himself the worse. He who does not answer back in kind, Celebrates a double victory. From his action both sides benefit, He himself and his reviler too: Understanding that man's angry mood, He can help him clear it and find peace.4 He's the healer of them both, because He and the other benefit thereby. People think a man like that's a fool, For they cannot understand the Truth.

[Akkosaka responds exactly as in SN 7.1]

And another Venerable Bhaaradvaaja became an Arahant.
Notes

1.
Really a nickname: "The Reviler."
2.
[Transcriber's note: Elided text refers to an incident in which a clansman of Akkosaka becomes a monk under the Buddha. See SN 7.1.]
3.
A perfect example of projection on Akkosaka's part!
4.
Upasammati, "he (the other) becomes calm," i.e., as a result of the first ones understanding. Here, as elsewhere, we see the Buddha's profound understanding of psychological processes. Cf. Dhp 4.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

meindzai
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:32 pm

As you can from the above example, this particular "What would Buddha do?" isn't so hypothetical.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that he always responded skillfully to the individual situation. Should such a situation arise again he might respond differently. You can't really answer in the hypothetical becuase every situation and every person is unique.

-M

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RayfieldNeel
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby RayfieldNeel » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:10 pm

My opinion is...
He responds rather than reacts.
Speaking more about an "awakened person" generally, and less so about the specific Buddha, it occurs to me that he would be mindful of the abuse coming his way, and perhaps even mindful of his mind's attempt to foster anger. It seems to me that there would be no place in his "being" for the anger to get "hooked", and so it would not be possible for him to become involved with it.

That being the case, he would respond in a fashion that is consistent with the dharma; with compassion, empathy, etc. This seems to me to be consistent with Manapa's post.

MayaRefugee
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby MayaRefugee » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:33 am

Thanks for the replies guys - very helpful.

I've looked around and found some stuff of interest.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-library/khanti.htm
Khanti literally means patience, endurance or forbearance. It is the endurance of suffering caused by others, or the forbearance of other's wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path#Right_effort
Right Effort

And what, monks, is right effort?
(i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

(ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

(iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

(iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, and culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen:

This, monks, is called right effort.

dspiewak
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby dspiewak » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:27 pm

I have always loved the Akkoso Sutta, and I guess I had never thought of it side by side with samma vayama. Good thread.

locusphor
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Re: HYPOTHETICAL: The Buddha and a Bully

Postby locusphor » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:51 pm

The Buddha is happy for the bully. The Buddha knows that the bully's life is unsatisfactory and his actions bring no fulfillment. The Buddha also knows that many of his own devoted followers came to him as a result of a life filled with unsatisfactory deeds. That is why the Buddha is very happy for the bully when he is abusing those around him. When the Buddha is taunted and mocked, he does not try to soften the blows. The Buddha is right there in the middle of the abuse. The Buddha knows that with each step the bully takes away from the path of morality another rope is tied around his feet. Eventually it will be too much for the bully, and the path to ethical behavior will be abundantly clear for him. I personally believe that there's more to motivation than just pleasure/pain since there are many types of people. However this is the basic mechanism of the bully scenario - pleasure and pain.


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