by Ven. S. Dhammika, Dhamma Musings, April 21, 2009
Singapore -- At a time when it is becoming increasingly acceptable to display hysterically fury at what is perceived to be blasphemy or iconoclasm, some calm and reasoned words from the Buddhist tradition might not be out of place.
When the Buddha was informed that a man named Suppiya was 'finding fault in all sorts of ways with the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha' he said:
'Should anyone speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saïgha you should not get angry, resentful or upset because of that. For if you did you would not be able recognize if what they said was true or not. Therefore, if others speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Sangha you should explain whatever is incorrect saying: "This is not correct, that is not true, we do not do this, that is not our way" ' (D.I,1-3).
Over a thousand years later the poet Santideva wrote in his Bodhicaryavatra: ‘Hatred towards those who speak insultingly about or damage sacred images or stupas is inappropriate. The Buddhas do not get angry at such things.’