sidgau-tm.jpg On a certain day when the Buddha dwelt at Jetavana, a celestial deva came to him in the shape of a Brahman. The deva asked the Buddha, “What is the sharpest sword? What is the deadliest poison? What is the fiercest fire? What is the darkest night?”

The Buddha replied, “A word spoken in wrath is the sharpest sword. Covetousness is the deadliest poison. Hatred is the fiercest fire. Ignorance is the darkest night.”

The deva asked, “What causes ruin in the world? What breaks off friendships? What is the most violent fever? What is the best physician?”

The Buddha replied, “Ignorance causes ruin in the world. Envy and selfishness break off friendships. Hatred is the most violent fever. The Buddha is the best physician.”

from: Teachings of Buddha edited by Jack Kornfield, Shambhala Publications 1996