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Four sublime states Catu Brahma-vihāra for disaster situation

Four sublime states Catu Brahma-vihāra for disaster situation

Kundasale Subhagya Meheninwahance
Lecturer, Religious course
coordinator;Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education
Affiliated to the University of Peradaniya.

In Buddhist scriptures, these four sublime states are known under the name of Brahma-vihara, a term which mostly be rendered as excellent, lofty, or sublime states of mind and mainly higher qualities that maintain by the good humanity. These four mentalities are supposed to be great or grand since they are the privilege or perfect method of lead towards living creatures.

They give, actually, the response to all circumstances emerging from social contact.They are the extraordinary removers of strain, the incredible peacemakers in social clash, and the extraordinary healers of wounds endured in the battle of presence.They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, awaken slumbering magnanimity long forgotten, revive joy and hope long abandoned, and promote human brotherhood against the forces of egotism.

This world is a marvelous structure between nature and man. That’s why military conditions, natural disasters, illnesses and various forms of perishing can occur in different situations.The attitudes, activities and qualities of the man are mainly causal to these various forms of perishing. Four sublime states (Catu Brahma-vihara) namely; Mettaā – Loving-Kindness, Karunaā – compassion, Muditaā - sympathetic joy and Upekkaā–equanimityare very much important for humanity and social stability. These four qualities are also known as the boundless states because, in their perfection and their true nature, they shouldnot be narrowed by any limitation as to the range of beings towards which they are extended. They should be nonexclusive and impartial, not bound by selective preferences or prejudices.

Presently all over the world is facing for an unbearable situation. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic reaching threatening proportions in many countries. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and gradually spread to most of the countries in the world. People are suffering with health and economic problems and most of the people are confuse about the situation. As an example lives of the Sri Lankan people are getting worse every day, due to the law of curfew and the economy of the people has collapsed.Some of them have lost their relation due to the virus. Some of them haven’t seen their relations for a long time due to their services or quarantine. Most of the people fed-up with the unexpected problems.

The Buddhism is the ultimate philosophy which teaches us about the actuality. It is highly recognized the practical application of the Buddhist theories in this kind of disaster situation. Four sublime states are very much important and useful for give helping hand to each other. Mettaā – Loving-Kindness is love, without desire to possess, knowing well that in the ultimate sense there is no possession and no possessor. This is the highest love. Human being should spread Mettaā – Loving-Kindnessto the every spirit without boundaries. According to the Buddhist teaching the Buddha advised to spread Mettaā – Loving-Kindness as a mother love to her only son the peopleshould be unlimitedly distributed Mettaā – Loving-Kindness to all living being. In this particular situation every human being can wish as may all living beings be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm, difficulties come to them. May all living beings free from mental and physical illness. This is very much useful to develop own peace as well as world peace.

Karunaā – compassion means sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Karunaā – compassion is very much important for this kind of situation. Now people are suffering with lot of problems. They are unable to full fill basic need even. For an example most of the people in this world are suffering with food problems. As living being we can understand the hunger of other beings. So those who are capable to supply basic needs can help to helpless people in the world. Not only food but also medicine, cloths, shelter as well as the spiritual and mental support to overcome every problem.

Muditaā - sympathetic joy means a enjoying others happiness. This is very much helping us to get rid from the jealousy. Your life will pick up in bliss by sharing the joy of others as though it were yours. Did you never see how in snapshots of bliss men's highlights change and gotten splendid with delight? Did you never see how euphoria rouses men to honorable yearnings and deeds, surpassing their ordinary limit? Didn't such experience fill your own heart with euphoric happiness? It is in your capacity to increment such experience of thoughtful delight, by creating joy in others, by bringing them bliss and comfort. So in this situation all can express the sympathetic joy to those who suffer and non-suffer. Incidents which were happened in the airport can take as an example. Most of the passengers who came from abroad did want to join for the quarantine due to many reasons. They had different reasons including politics. So we all should have sympathetic joy to bear any success done by anybody.

Upekkaā – equanimityis a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. This is very much important for this disaster situation. We all as human beings express our happiness than sadness. According to the Buddhism we have to be patience to maintain the gap of happiness and sadness. These days we all have to face lot of difficulties due to curfew and many other reasons. Sometimes when all the family members are resident at home in this disaster period due to the curfew there will be many problems occur.Each and every one will have different kind of attitudes and habits. Everybody have to maintain the Upekkaā – equanimity to have minimum problems. We all have to be very much patience with equanimity to reestablished the country and human day today life.

As a summary four sublime states - Catu Brahma-vihara,we can use in practical application in this disaster period as; Mettaā – Loving-Kindness to activate good will towards all,Karunaā – compassionto identifying the suffering of others as one's own, Muditaā - sympathetic joy to enjoy and feels others happiness and Upekkaā – equanimityto even-mindedness and serenity, treating everyone impartially.

All the human being has to take this COVID 19 disaster as a lesson to the life. It is not matter that you’re a Buddhist or any other religious person. The matter occurs with the levels of your humanity, qualities and discipline. These sublime states - Catu Brahma-vihara can help anybody to live with full of happiness as well as to be an excellent human being. Not only that but also to attend the highest happiness of Nibbana.