Unclear a verse in kodhana sutta (AN7.64)

What is meaning of these words of Budha in kodhana sutta(3rd paragraph):“Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they don’t get all they need!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who gets all they need. When an irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, gets what they don’t need they think ‘I’ve got what I need!’ When they get what they need they think ‘I’ve got what I don’t need.’ When an angry person gets these things that are the exact opposite of what they need, it’s for their lasting harm and suffering. This is the third thing …”?
English :


b.bodhi has:

“Again, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘May he not succeed!’ For what reason? An enemy does not delight in the success of an enemy. When an angry person is overcome and oppressed by anger, if he gets what is harmful, he thinks: ‘I have gotten what is beneficial,’ and if he gets what is beneficial, he thinks: ‘I have gotten what is harmful.’ When, overcome by anger, he gets these things that are diametrically opposed, they lead to his harm and suffering for a long time. This is the third thing gratifying and advantageous to an enemy that comes upon an angry man or woman.

I 've been thinking about it for a long time and i still dont understand it.Please explain it in detail.


Maybe tagging venerables @sujato and @brahmali who may be able to help explaining this passage of AN7.64

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It seems there is a typo? At the ending. :joy: how can the harmful benefit? :thinking:

I think Thanisarro Translations Better

Furthermore, an enemy wishes of an enemy, ‘O, may this person not profit!’ Why is that? An enemy is not pleased with an enemy’s profits. Now, when a person is angry—overcome with anger, oppressed with anger—then even when he suffers a loss, he thinks, ‘I’ve gained a profit’; and even when he gains a profit, he thinks, ‘I’ve suffered a loss.’ When he has grabbed hold of these ideas that work in mutual opposition [to the truth], they lead to his long-term suffering & loss, all because he is overcome with anger. This is the third thing pleasing to an enemy, bringing about an enemy’s aim, that comes to a man or woman who is angry.

(I’m sorry I now understand better)
This part of the text is describing a person that is never satisfied in life. Because they have hate and greed. So that’s why they wish bad for people. They are greedy and wish any profit to be for themselves and not others. And they are satisfied when they think they are doing the correct thing. They believe in their mind that they have gained because they can’t think correct(delusion) and they imagine that it gave them gain or profit.They think they have gained but it’s not truth. Even if they truly gained something, they are not satisfied, because greed, so for them they didn’t gain. They want more. But it’s not truth. They have gained. And that brings them sufferings because they don’t think in the correct way. The opposite of truth. So their aim of greed and being hateful towards others and having a delusional mind. Brings them suffering for a long time.

The 3 things we have to remove

Greed, hate, and delusion.

So when I said he believes the opposite of truth. That is delusion.

When harm befalls us, we seek mitigation. And in seeking mitigation, we seek a cause. And in seeking a cause, we seek agency. And in seeking agency we blame others. And in blaming others we create enemies, who are quite valuable because now we “know who to blame”. It’s nice to have enemies. We can always blame our enemy. We can all see this in the United States with the two political parties. Both parties have found it easier to create enemies of each other. Each cherishes the other as enemy. Each wishes for an enemy. And having found an enemy, we hold them close, nurturing resentment.

Not having enemies is much harder. Not having enemies means that when harm befalls us, we seek understanding. And in seeking understanding we need love, compassion, rejoicing and equanimity to guide us. And when we eventually find that understanding, our resentment disappears, gone without a trace.

AN10.80:1.3: Thinking: ‘They harmed me, but what can I possibly do?’ you get rid of resentment.


Perhaps this is related to the Buddha’s teachings that anger causes delusion, thus, making an angry person incapable of seeing what’s good for their lasting welfare. One sutta comes to mind where a Brahmin asks the Buddha why at times he can remember the teachings and at other times he can’t. The Buddha essentially replies when strong anger or greed is in the mind, it’s difficult to recall the teachings. When greed, anger, and delusion are not in the mind, it’s easy to remember the teachings.
See AN 5.193

Another way to look at it is if one is very angry, one often wants to harm the person or object he is angry at. If the angry person accomplishes this intention (harming another), he may think that he achieved what he wanted and thus assume that’s good. However, he actually achieved something harmful that will lead to his suffering for a long time.

Revenge is like this. An angry person may want revenge, but if he achieves this goal which he thinks is good, that will actually be for his lasting harm.

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Thanks for sharing that sutta. Exactly how you said , the sutta Brooks shared says what is happening mentally @Salvationthetruth

Brahmin, there’s a time when your heart is overcome and mired in sensual desire and you don’t truly understand the escape from sensual desire that has arisen. At that time you don’t truly know or see your own good, the good of another, or the good of both.

The person wishing bad for others has same mentality as the the example given

kāma-taṇhā (craving for sensual pleasures), bhava-taṇhā (craving for existence), and vibhava-taṇhā (craving for non-existence)

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