The Characteristic of Dosa - The adverse effects of anger

When we are angry with other people we harm ourselves by our anger. The Buddha pointed out the adverse effects of anger (dosa). We read in the 'Gradual Sayings' (Book of the Sevens, Ch.VI, par. 10, Anger) about the ills a rival wishes his rival to have and which are actually the ills coming upon an angry woman or man. The sutta states:


...Monks, there is the case of the rival,

who wishes thus of a rival:

'Would that he were ugly!'. And why?

A rival, monks, does not like a handsome rival.

Monks, this sort of person, being angry, is overwhelmed by anger;

he is subverted by anger:

and however well he be bathed,

anointed, trimmed as to the hair and beard,

clad in spotless linen; yet for all that he is ugly,

being overwhelmed by anger.

Monks, this is the first condition,

fostered by rivals, causing rivals,

which comes upon an angry woman or man.

         Again, there is the case of the rival,

who wishes thus of a rival:

'Would that he might sleep badly!' And why? 

A rival, monks, does not like a rival to sleep well. 

Monks, this sort of person, being angry,

is overwhelmed by anger... 

and in spite of his lying on a couch,

spread with a fleecy cover,

spread with a white blanket, 

spread with a woollen coverlet,

flower embroidered,

covered with rugs of antelope skins,

with awnings above;

or on a sofa, with crimson cushions at either end;

yet for all that he lies in discomfort,

being overwhelmed by anger.

Monks, this is the second condition....

  We then read about other misfortunes a rival wishes for his rival, which come upon an angry woman or man. We read that a rival wishes his rival to be without prosperity, wealth and fame. Further we read that a rival wishes a rival to be without friends and this happens to someone who is an angry person. The text states:

Monks, this sort of person, being angry...

whatever friends, intimates, relations and kinsmen he may have,

they will avoid him and keep far away from him,

because he is overwhelmed by anger...


A rival wishes his rival to have an unhappy rebirth and this can happen to an

angry person. We read:


…..Monks, this sort of person, being angry...

he misconducts himself in deed, in word and thought;

so living, so speaking and so thinking,

on the breaking up of the body after death

he is reborn in the untoward way,

the ill way, the abyss, hell....

Topic 179