Adding Insult To Injury

This is an interesting Buddhist sutra from the Pali Canon, named the Akkosa Sutta (SN 7.2). In this sutra, a local priest (a brahman) gets really angry at the Buddha and starts yelling and insulting him. The Buddha’s reply is very interesting:

Thus reviled, the Blessed One spoke to the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja: ‘Well, brahman, do friends, confidants, relatives, kinsmen and guests visit you?”

“Yes, Gotama [the Buddha], sometimes friends, confidants, relatives, kinsmen and guests do visit me.”

“Well, brahman, do you not offer them snacks or food or tidbits?”

“Yes, Gotama, sometimes I do offer them snacks or food or tidbits.”

“But if, brahman, they do not accept it, who gets it?”

“If Gotama, they do not accept it, I get it back.”

“Even so, brahman, you are abusing us who do not abuse, you are angry with us who do not get angry, you are quarreling with us who do not quarrel. All this of yours we don’t accept. You alone, brahman, get it back; all this, brahman, belongs to you.

In other words, the Buddha doesn’t get angry at all. He doesn’t “accept” the brahman’s insults. So, as we say in American culture, the brahman is “left holding the bag”, or “with egg on his face”.

Kind of clever, I think. 🙂

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

4 thoughts on “Adding Insult To Injury”

  1. The first time I came across this Sutta I quite quite impressed — perhaps dumbfounded for a moment, even — by the thought. Thank you for sharing it here and reminding me of it again today. I hope you are well, friend!

    Like

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