Author Topic: Anger-Eating Demons  (Read 3033 times)

Offline Hanzze

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Anger-Eating Demons
« on: January 26, 2012, 11:55:45 pm »

Anger-Eating Demons


Once there lived a demon who had a peculiar diet: he fed on the anger of others. And as his feeding ground was the human world, there was no lack of food for him. He found it quite easy to provoke a family quarrel, or national and racial hatred. Even to stir up a war was not very difficult for him. And whenever he succeeded in causing a war, he could properly gorge himself without much further effort; because once a war starts, hate multiplies by its own momentum and affects even normally friendly people. So the demon's food supply became so rich that he sometimes had to restrain himself from over-eating, being content with nibbling just a small piece of resentment found close-by. But as it often happens with successful people, he became rather overbearing and one day when feeling bored he thought: "Shouldn't I try it with the gods?" On reflection he chose the Heaven of the Thirty-three Deities, ruled by Sakka, Lord of Gods. He knew that only a few of these gods had entirely eliminated the fetters of ill-will and aversion, though they were far above petty and selfish quarrels. So by magic power he transferred himself to that heavenly realm and was lucky enough to come at a time when Sakka the Divine King was absent. There was none in the large audience hall and without much ado the demon seated himself on Sakka's empty throne, waiting quietly for things to happen, which he hoped would bring him a good feed. Soon some of the gods came to the hall and first they could hardly believe their own divine eyes when they saw that ugly demon sitting on the throne, squat and grinning. Having recovered from their shock, they started to shout and lament: "Oh you ugly demon, how can you dare to sit on the throne of our Lord? What utter cheekiness! What a crime! you should be thrown headlong into the hell and straight into a boiling cauldron! You should be quartered alive! Begone! Begone!"


But while the gods were growing more and more angry, the demon was quite pleased because from moment to moment he grew in size, in strength and in power. The anger he absorbed into his system started to ooze from his body as a smoky red-glowing mist. This evil aura kept the gods at a distance and their radiance was dimmed.


Suddenly a bright glow appeared at the other end of the hall and it grew into a dazzling light from which Sakka emerged, the King of Gods. He who had firmly entered the undeflectible Stream that leads Nibbana-wards, was unshaken by what he saw. The smoke-screen created by the gods' anger parted when he slowly and politely approached the usurper of his throne. "Welcome, friend! Please remain seated. I can take another chair. May I offer you the drink of hospitality? Our Amrita is not bad this year. Or do you prefer a stronger brew, the vedic Soma?"


While Sakka spoke these friendly words, the demon rapidly shrank to a diminutive size and finally disappeared, trailing behind a whiff of malodorous smoke which likewise soon dissolved.


The gist of this story dates back to the discourses of the Buddha. But even now, over 2500 years later, our world looks as if large hordes of Anger-eating Demons were haunting it and were kept well nourished by millions slaving for them all over the earth. Fires of hate and wide-traveling waves of violence threaten to engulf mankind. Also the grass roots of society are poisoned by conflict and discord, manifesting in angry thoughts and words and in violent deeds. Is it not time to end this self-destructive slavery of man to his impulses of hate and aggression which only serve the demoniac forces? Our story tells how these demons of hate can be exorcised by the power of gentleness and love. If this power of love can be tested and proven, at grass-root level, in the widely spread net of personal relationships, society at large, the world at large, will not remain unaffected by it.


Retold from an ancient Buddhist Story by Nyanaponika Thera

Anger-Eating Demons


*smile*
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 11:57:41 pm by Hanzze »

Offline dyanaprajna2011

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Re: Anger-Eating Demons
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 02:42:31 pm »
Anger does not stop anger at any time, but only love stops anger.  This is the eternal rule.  Great post.
"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen

Offline Hanzze

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Re: Anger-Eating Demons
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 08:20:24 am »
Not really, dyanaprajna2011. Love is the cause of anger.

Sadly there are so many wrong translations, but it's good to deal with them. Love is the cause...

"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

Dhp 5


As for the danger of greed (love, tanha) here maybe a more important story based on the first:


 
The greed sucking Yakkha*

Once there lived a yakkha* who had a peculiar diet: he fed on the greed of others. And as his feeding ground was the human world, there was no lack of food for him. He found it quite easy to provoke a family desire, or national trend and to found a folk addiction. Even to stir up a total exhaustion of resources was not very difficult for him. And whenever he succeeded to cause a comprehensive exhaustion, he could properly gorge himself without much further effort; because once a addiction starts, greed multiplies by its own momentum and affects even normally modest people. So the yakkhas's food supply became so rich that he sometimes had to restrain himself from over-eating, being content with nibbling just a small piece of fervor found close-by.

But as it often happens with successful people, he became rather overbearing and one day when feeling bored he thought: "Shouldn't I try it with the ascetics and the noble minded?" On reflection he chose the monastery of the Bhikkhus of old tradition where the abbot Alobha watched over the daily matters. He knew that only a few of these Bhikkhus had entirely eliminated the fetters of greed and lust, though they were far above excessive and pleasure-driven commons. So by magic power he transferred himself to that remote monastery and was lucky enough to come at a time when Alobha the abbot was absent. There was none in the large food hall where the meager alms food was already prepared. Humble seeming he set down in the last and most dirty corner of the hall, transformed all alms food into delicious meals and kickshaw, waiting quietly for things to happen, which he hoped would bring him a good feed.

Soon some of the Bhikkhus came to the hall and first they could hardly believe their own divine eyes when they saw that humble yakkha sitting in the corner and facing the delicious meal. Having recovered from their excitement, they started to speak soft and sweetly: "Oh you noble Yakkha, it’s not proper for you to sit there in the dirty corner? What utter surrender! What bliss! You should be carried headlong up into the highest Deva realms and enjoy your merits! All comfort of those heavens should be yours! Be blessed! Be blessed!"

But while the Monks were growing more and more lustful, affected and greedy, the big Yakkha was quite pleased because from moment to moment he lost his size and weight, got even more humble and gained immeasurable  strength and power. The greed he absorbed into his system started to ooze from his body as a shining glimmer rays. This pleasant aura attracted the Bhikkhus more and more and their clearness was nearly lost.

Suddenly a damping gravitation appeared at the other end of the hall and it grew into a clear area from which Alobha emerged, the abbot of the monastery. He who had firmly entered the undeflectible Stream that leads Nibbana-wards, was unshaken by what he saw. The sparkle shadows created by the monk’s greed parted when he slowly and politely with unaffected face approached the generous donor: "You are not that welcome here my friend! It would be better if you would get up and leave this place. We are not able to take your offers, but you might have forgotten to eat your self today. It would be good if you still your own hunger first.

While Alobha spoke these rejecting words, the body of the Demon won rapidly size and with it his hunger as well. As even the other Bhikkhus realized, in what kind of greed and affection they had been caught, the yakkha fearfully and greedy stuffed all the food in his throat. His body bulge bigger and to a size that his being suddenly exploded. Left there was a sweet and alluringly fluid on the floor which likewise soon drain away into the ground.
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The structure of these story origins from a story about a Anger eating Demon which goes back to the teachings of the Buddha. Today, more that 2.500 years later, anger is for the most as unwholesome mind state visible, in opposite to the evil root of delusion, or better the forcing twin of anger greed is generally overseen.
It is even so that most try to defend anger with greed and this Yakkha consume grows bigger and bigger in his power. Compared the floods of greed, nature catastrophes, climate change, exhaustion of resources and extermination of countless species, then accompany of the fire of hatred – if examined clearly and honestly – might look even accidental and secondary. Actually it is like that. The basic orientation of our society today is the desire for more, for pleasure, fun and satisfaction. The poison of greed is inside of every thought, word and forced action.
Isn’t time for man to consider a little deeper meaning behind all, time to reduce the self-aggrandising and simultaneously destructing slavery caused by craving and to renounce step by step from greed, lust and attachment? Isn’t it time to stop giving the yakkha’s power more fuel?
This story tells who this – in everybody of us habitated – Yakkha of greed could be expelled by the power by modesty, renunciation and frugalness. When the power of modesty out of compassion (karuna) on this grass-root level is realized, the net of our consume structure, our eternal society, the whole world couldn’t stay untouched for even a moment.
As many „Buddhist“ teachings are seen just as an alternative to keep the wheel of birth, aging, sickness and death on a run but lesser as a way to escape from this circel, it is not rarely that even whole groups, and nations are spinned faster by this half grasped rein, limping on one leg. The Buddhist way needs a strong grasp of both ends of the rein (not-hatred but also not-greed) to get the root and misleader delusion on the right track. On this middle-path we are leaded to the highest insight for the welfare of all beings and our as well. 


* Yakkha (Yeak): Is a being of the deva-realm which manifests in the human world. According to ancient stories those are mainly giants which eat everything coming along with them. Those giants are not generally mentioned as bad, they are more over a kind of “judge” for those who totally left into bad habits and are called to be devas of the lower deva-realms.

(Root story:  “The Anger-eating Demon” - retold from an ancient Buddhist Story by Nyanaponika Thera)

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A german version you would find here: Der Gier saugende Yakkha*


 


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