Dealing with Resentment
The Story of King Calamity
Due to the horrible nature of the terrorist tragedy, many Americans feel a great resentment for those responsible for this terrorist attack. This is a story about how to subdue these negative and destructive feelings of resentment, taken from the Buddhist Pali scripture called the Samyutta Nikaya.
Once there was a king named Calamity, whose country was conquered by a neighboring warlike king named brahmadatta. Kin Calamity, after hiding with his wife and son for a some time, was captured but fortunately his son, the prince could escape.
The prince tried to find some way of saving his father's execution, the prince in disguise made his way into the execution ground where he could do nothing but watch in mortification the death of his ill-fated father.
The father noticed his son in the crowd and muttering as if taking to him, "Do not search for a long time; do not act hastily; resentment can b calmed only by forgiving it."
Afterward, the prince sought after some ways of revenge for a long time. At last he was employed as an attendant in the Brahmadatta's palace and came to win the King's favors.
On a day hen the king went hunting, the prince sought some opportunity for revenge. The prince was able to lead his master into a lonely place, and the king, being very weary, fell asleep with his head on the lap of the prince, so fully had come to trust the prince.
The prince drew his dagger and placed it at the king's throat but then hesitated. The words his father had expressed at the moment of his execution flashed into his mind and although he tried again he could not kill the king. Suddenly the king awoke and told the prince that he had a bad dream in which the son of King Calamity was trying to kill him.
The prince, flourishing the dagger in his hand, hastily grasped the king and identifying himself as the son of King Calamity, declared that the time had finally come for him to avenge his father. Yet he could not do so, and suddenly he cast his dagger down and fell on his knees in front of the king.
When the king heard the prince's story and the final words of his father, he was very impressed and apologized to the prince. Later, he restored the former kingdom to the prince and their two countries came to live in friendship for a long time.
The dying words of King Calamity, "Do not search for a long time," mean that resentment should not be cherished for long and "Do not act hastily" mean that friendship should not be broken hastily. One must stand back from a tragedy for a moment and look mindfully at the situation before one can truly act in the interest of all.
Resentment can not be satisfied by resentment; it can only be removed by forgetting it.
Let us remember also the words for Lord Buddha recorded in the Dhammapada, "Hatreds never cease by hating but be love alone are they healed. This is the Ancient Law."
In the fellowship of disciples that is based on the harmony of right teaching, every member should always appreciate the spirit of this story. Not only the members of the Sangha but also people in general should appreciate and practice this spirit in their daily lives.