“One moment of anger can destroy years of patience.”

The monk, Matthieu Ricard, writes in “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill”:

“In the 1980s, I had just acquired my first laptop computer, which I used to translate Tibetan texts. One morning as I was working, sitting on the wooden floor in a monastery at the far end of Bhutan, a friend thought it would make a cute joke to spill a handful of tsampa (roast barley flour) on my keyboard as he passed by. I saw red and shot him a filthy look, saying, “Was that supposed to be funny?” Seeing that I was truly angry, he stopped and tersely replied, “One moment of anger can destroy years of patience.” His gesture hadn’t been especially clever, but he was essentially right.

Another time, in Nepal, a person who had swindled the monastery of a large sum of money came by to lecture me on morality. Again my blood boiled. My voice trembling with anger, I told her to get lost, and helped her out the door with a nudge. At the time, I was convinced that my anger was perfectly justified. It was only hours later that I came to see how destructive an emotion anger really is, reducing our clarity and inner peace and turning us into veritable puppets.”

In Volume 1 of the “Mahabharata” (translated by Bibek Debroy), we read Shukra advising his daughter:

“The learned regard as a true charioteer he who reins in his anger like horses….O Devayani! Know that he who restrains his rising anger through feelings of non-anger conquers everything. A man who restrains his anger through forgiveness is compared to a snake that casts off its old skin….Between two men, one who performs sacrifices continuously every month for a hundred years and one who does not feel anger, the one without anger is the superior one.”

Peace 😊

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