On the Buddha’s cheerfulness // Walpola Rahula

On the Buddha’s cheerfulness // Walpola Rahula

“The Buddha was never melancholy or gloomy. He was described by his contemporaries as ‘ever-smiling’ (militia-pubbamgama). In Buddhist painting and sculpture the Buddha is always represented with a countenance happy, serene, contented and compassionate. Never a trace of suffering or agony or pain is to be seen….

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 unhappy states and bad conduct….

Being impatient or angry at suffering does not remove it. On the contrary, it adds a little more to one’s troubles, and aggrieves and exacerbates a situation already disagreeable.”

Walpola Rahula (“What The Buddha Taught”)

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