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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
THE DALAI LAMA 65 of mind, a degree of stability within—then even if we lack various external facilities that are normally considered necessary for a happy and joyful life, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life. If we examine how anger or hateful thoughts arise in us, we will find that, generally speaking, they arise when we feel hurt, when we feel that we have been unfairly treated by someone against our expectations. If in that instant we examine carefully the way anger arises, there is a sense that it comes as a protector, comes as a friend that would help our battle or in taking revenge against the person who has inflicted harm on us. So the anger or hateful thought that arises appears to come as a shield or a protector. But in reality that is an illusion. It is a very delusory state of mind. Chandrakirti states in Entry into the Middle Way that there might be some justification for responding to force with force if revenge would help one in any way, or prevent or reduce the harm that has already been inflicted. But that is not the case, because if the harm, the physical injury or whatever, has been inflicted, it has already taken place. So taking revenge will not in any way reduce or prevent that harm or injury. It has already happened. On the contrary, if one reacts to a situation in a negative way instead of in a tolerant way, not only is there no immediate benefit, but also a negative attitude and feeling is created that is the seed of one’s future downfall. From the Buddhist point of view, the con- sequence of taking revenge has to be faced by the individual alone in his or her future life. So not only is there no immediate benefit, it is harmful in the long run for the individual. However, if one has been treated very unfairly and if the situation is left unaddressed, it may have extremely negative consequences for the perpetrator of the crime. Such a situation calls for a strong