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Irritable —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 7

6. The Undeclared Points

64. Irritable

1.1“Mendicants, these seven things that please and assist an enemy happen to an irritable woman or man. 1.2What seven?

1.3Firstly, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 1.4‘If only they’d become ugly!’ 1.5Why is that? 1.6Because an enemy doesn’t like to have a beautiful enemy. 1.7An irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, is ugly, even though they’re nicely bathed and anointed, with hair and beard dressed, and wearing white clothes. 1.8 1.9This is the first thing that pleases and assists an enemy which happens to an irritable woman or man.

2.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 2.2‘If only they’d sleep badly!’ 2.3Why is that? 2.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who sleeps well. 2.5An irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, sleeps badly, even though they sleep on a couch spread with woolen covers—shag-piled, pure white, or embroidered with flowers—and spread with a fine deer hide, with a canopy above and red pillows at both ends. 2.6 2.7This is the second thing …

3.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 3.2‘If only they don’t get all they need!’ 3.3Why is that? 3.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who gets all they need. 3.5When an irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, gets what they don’t need they think ‘I’ve got what I need!’ When they get what they need they think ‘I’ve got what I don’t need.’ 3.6When an angry person gets these things that are the exact opposite of what they need, it’s for their lasting harm and suffering. 3.7This is the third thing …

4.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 4.2‘If only they weren’t wealthy!’ 4.3Why is that? 4.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who is wealthy. 4.5When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, the rulers seize the legitimate wealth they’ve earned by their efforts, built up with their own hands, gathered by the sweat of their brow. 4.6This is the fourth thing …

5.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 5.2‘If only they weren’t famous!’ 5.3Why is that? 5.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have a famous enemy. 5.5When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, any fame they have acquired by diligence falls to dust. 5.6This is the fifth thing …

6.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 6.2‘If only they had no friends!’ 6.3Why is that? 6.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy with friends. 6.5When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, their friends and colleagues, relatives and kin avoid them from afar. 6.6This is the sixth thing …

7.1Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: 7.2‘If only, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell!’ 7.3Why is that? 7.4Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who goes to a good place. 7.5When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, they do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. 7.6 7.7When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. 7.8This is the seventh thing that pleases and assists an enemy which happens to an irritable woman or man.

8.1These are the seven things that please and assist an enemy which happen to an irritable woman or man.

9.1An irritable person is ugly
9.2and they sleep badly.
9.3When they get what they need,
9.4they take it to be what they don’t need.

10.1An angry person
10.2kills with body or speech;
10.3overcome with anger,
10.4they lose their wealth.

11.1Mad with anger,
11.2they fall into disgrace.
11.3Relatives, friends, and loved ones
11.4avoid an irritable person.

12.1Anger creates harm;
12.2anger upsets the mind.
12.3That person doesn’t recognize
12.4the danger that arises within.

13.1An angry person doesn’t know the good.
13.2An angry person doesn’t see the truth.
13.3When a person is beset by anger,
13.4only blind darkness is left.

14.1An angry person destroys with ease
14.2what was hard to build.
14.3Afterwards, when the anger is spent,
14.4they’re tormented as if burnt by fire.

15.1Their look betrays their sulkiness
15.2like a fire’s smoky plume.
15.3And when their anger flares up,
15.4they make others angry.

16.1They have no conscience or prudence,
16.2nor any respectful speech.
16.3One overcome by anger
16.4has no island refuge anywhere.

17.1The deeds that torment a man
17.2are far from those that are good.
17.3I’ll explain them now;
17.4listen to this, for it is the truth.

18.1An angry person slays their father;
18.2their mother, too, they slay.
18.3An angry person slays a saint;
18.4a normal person, too, they slay.

19.1A man is raised by his mother,
19.2who shows him the world.
19.3But an angry ordinary person slays
19.4even that good woman who gave him life.

20.1Like oneself, all sentient beings
20.2hold themselves most dear.
20.3But angry people kill themselves all kinds of ways,
20.4distraught for many reasons.

21.1Some kill themselves with swords,
21.2some, distraught, take poison.
21.3Some hang themselves with rope,
21.4or fling themselves down a mountain gorge.

22.1When they commit deeds of destroying life
22.2and killing themselves,
22.3they don’t realize what they do,
22.4for anger leads them to ruin.

23.1The snare of death in the form of anger
23.2lies hidden in the heart.
23.3You should cut it out by self-control,
23.4by wisdom, energy, and right ideas.

24.1An astute person should cut out
24.2this unskillful thing.
24.3And they’d train in the teaching in just the same way,
24.4not yielding to sulkiness.

25.1Free of anger, free of despair,
25.2free of greed, with no more longing,
25.3tamed, having given up anger,
25.4they become extinguished without defilements.”

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