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Akkosa Suttaṃ


A Discourse on Abuse

188. On one occasion, the Blessed One was dwelling near Rājagaha at the Squirrels’ Sanctuary, in the Bamboo Grove. Then an abusive brahmin heard — “A brahmin of the Bhāradvāja clan has just gone forth in the presence of the Blessed One.” Being angry and displeased, the brahmin approached the Blessed One, and having approached, rudely abused and scolded him with harsh speech.

When he had spoken, the Blessed One said this to the abusive brahmin — “What do you think, brahmin? Do friends, associates, and relatives sometimes visit you as guests?”

“Sometimes, good Gotama, friends, associates, and relatives visit me as guests.”

“What do you think, brahmin? Do you offer them hard and soft food, and delicious snacks?”

“Sometimes, good Gotama, I offer them hard and soft food, and delicious snacks.”

“If, brahmin, they do not accept them, to whom do they belong?”

“If, good Gotama, they do not accept them, they remain my property.”

“In the same way, brahmin, your abuse of one who is not abusing, your offence of one who is not offending, your scolding of one who is not scolding, I do not accept it. That is yours brahmin; that is yours.”

“Whoever, brahmin, abuses in return one who abuses, who offends in return one who offends, who scolds in return one who scolds, is said to be eating together with his guest. We do not eat together with you as your guest. That is yours brahmin; that is yours.”

“The king and his court know the Venerable Gotama as an Arahant, but he still gets angry.”¹

“Whence could anger arise in one without anger, who is self-controlled and lives rightly?
One freed by perfect knowledge, firmly established in peace?

“One only makes it worse for oneself by returning anger with anger.
By not returning anger with anger, one wins a victory hard to win.

“He conducts himself for the welfare of both; himself and the other.
Knowing that the other person is angry, he mindfully maintains his peace.

“By healing both; himself and the other.
Those who regard him as a fool, are unskilled in the Dhamma.”

When this was said, the abusive brahmin said to the Blessed One — ““It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvellous, venerable sir! It is as if, venerable sir, someone had set upright what had been overturned, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to one who was lost, brought a light into the darkness so that those with eyes can see. Thus, venerable sir, the Blessed One has explained the Dhamma in various ways. I go for refuge to the Blessed One, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. May I obtain the going forth in the presence of the good Gotama, may I receive the higher ordination.”

Then the abusive brahmin obtained the going forth in the presence of the Blessed One, he received the higher ordination. Not long after his ordination, dwelling alone (eko), withdrawn (vūpakaṭṭho), heedful (appamatto), strenuous (ātāpī), and resolute (pahitatto), before long he attained that incomparable goal of the holy life for the sake of which sons of good families rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness, having realised it in this very life and abided in it, knowing “Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what should be done has been done, there will be no more of this again.” Then the brahmin became another of the Arahants.


1. The brahmin thought that the Blessed One was cursing him by saying “That is yours, brahmin; that is yours.” However, the Buddha merely stated it as a fact that any bad kamma remains the property of one who utters harsh words.