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Pratigha (P. paṭigha; T. khong khro ཁོང་ཁྲོ་; C. chen 瞋) is translated as "anger," "aversion," "hostility," "repugnance," etc. It is defined as a hostile attitude towards sentient beings, towards frustration, and towards that which gives rise to one's frustrations; it functions as a basis for fault-finding, for negative actions, and for not finding a moment of peace or happiness.[1][2]

Pratigha is identified as:

The antidote to anger directed towards other beings is meditation on loving kindness (maitrī).


Pali tradition

Patigha (Pali) is defined by Pali sources as: anger, repulsion;[3] animosity; irritation; indignation.[4]

The Buddhist Dictionary states:[5][6]

  1. In an ethical sense, it means: 'repugnance', grudge, resentment, anger, and is a synonym of vyāpāda, 'ill-will' (see nīvaraṇa) and dosa, 'hate' (see mūla). It is one of the proclivities (anusaya, q.v.).
  2. '(Sense-) reaction'. Applied to five-sense cognition, paṭigha occurs in the following contexts:
(a) as paṭigha-saññā, 'perception of sense-reaction', said to be absent in the immaterial absorptions (see jhāna). Alternative renderings: resistance-perception, reflex-perception;
(b) as paṭigha-samphassa, '(mental) impression caused by fivefold sensorial reaction' (D. 15); see phassa;
(c) as sappaṭigha-rūpa, 'reacting corporeality', and appaṭigha, 'not reacting', which is an Abhidhammic classification of corporeality, occurring in Dhs. 659, 1050. Sappaṭigha are called the physical sense-organs as reacting (or responding) to sense stimuli; and also the physical sense-objects as impinging (or making an impact) on the sense-organs. All other corporeality is appaṭigha, non-reacting and non-impinging. These two terms have been variously rendered as resistant and not, responding and not, with and without impact.

Sanskrit tradition

The Khenjuk states:

Anger is the hostile attitude towards a sentient being, a painful object, or pain [itself]. It makes one not abide in peace and creates the basis for negative action.[2]

The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:

What is anger? It is a vindictive attitude towards sentient beings, towards frustration, and towards taht which gives rise to one's frustration. Its function is to serve as a basis for fault-finding and for never finding even a moment of happiness.[1]

StudyBuddhism states:

[Pratigha is] a root disturbing emotion, aimed at another limited being, one's own suffering, or situations entailing suffering, and which is impatient with them and wishes to get rid of them, such as by damaging or hurting them, or by striking out against them. It is based on regarding its object as unattractive or repulsive by its very nature.[7]

StudyBuddhism identifies dvesha (aversion) as a subcategory of pratigha (anger) that is directed primarily, although not exclusively, at limited beings.[8]

Defects of anger

The Necklace of Clear Understanding states:[1]

Anger does not allow one to settle on the pleasures of this life and produces immeasurable frustrations in the next life.[1]

The Bodhisattvacaryavatara (VI, 3-5) states:

When one is mentally feverish with hate,
The mind cannot experience peace.
In not being able to gain either happiness or joy
One will lose sleep and become very unsteady.

He who with whatever wealth or honor
Does kindness will become steadfast.
They are the assailants who slay
That tyrant ruler, hatred.

By anger friends are made weary, and even if one attracts
Them by gifts, they cannot be made to stay.
In short, anger does not offer one
The slightest chance to he happy.[1]

The Jātakamālā states:

If ones face is distorted by the fire of anger,
Even ornaments will not make it look beautiful.
Even if one goes to sleep on a comfortable bed,
The mind burning with anger will be miserable.

He forgets what good was done for him,
And being afflicted by anger lie goes evil ways.
He fails in fame and achievements
And even his prosperity dwindles like the waning moon.

Even if he is supported by friends, the angry person
Will fall into ways not suited to being a human.
While only thinking about "How can I get something." or "How can I harm someone," his intelligence collapses and,
Generally, he violates the moral norm and becomes more and more infatuated.

When through anger he has become accustomed to do evil acts,
He will for one hundred years suffer evil forms of life.
Even an enemy who is after the evil-doer
Could not be worse than this![1]

Walpola Rahula states:

Although there is suffering in life, a Buddhist should not be gloomy over it, should not be angry or impatient at it. One of the principal evils in life, according to Buddhism, is ‘repugnance’ or hatred. Repugnance (pratigha) is explained as ‘ill-will with regard to living beings, with regard to suffering and with regard to things pertaining to suffering. Its function is to produce a basis for unhappy states and bad conduct.’[9] Thus it is wrong to be impatient at suffering. Being impatient or angry at suffering does not remove it. On the contrary, it adds a little more to one’s troubles, and aggravates and exacerbates a situation already disagreeable. What is necessary is not anger or impatience, but the understanding of the question of suffering, how it comes about, and how to get rid of it, and then to work accordingly with patience, intelligence, determination and energy.[10]

Alternate translations

See also



External links

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