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Path to Nibbana - part 11: Forgive others even if they harm us

Path to Nibbana - part 11:

Forgive others even if they harm us

Siri Sudassanarama
sadaham senasuna
Ven. Dr. Mirisse Dhammika thero

" Let us take a look at of each the above five characteristics associated with metta. Hatred is the desire to oppress or damage; hostility is the tendency to hurt to injure; harsh words come from the desire to make others feel pain or worry; destruction is the desire to kill or demolish; and conceit is the tendency to disparage others. "

Each of these tendencies is rooted in antipathy and malevolence, and provides a contrast with metta, both as a mode of conduct and as a psychological state or attitude of mind. The substitution of a negative trait by the opposite positive one implies a well-developed and mature approach to life: one should overcome anger by love; cruelty by compassion; hatred by sympathetic joy; and conceit by equanimity. When one’s whole being is well established in metta, he is able to maintain no-hatred, no-hostility, no-harsh words, o-destructiveness and no-conceit. The end result is a well-cultured personality in a world where interactions among human beings create so much disharmony, tension, and stress.

In addition to the above aspects of metta, where are three more qualities which are related to metta. I have touched on them already, but I will summarize them in more detail here. They are compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). If one practices metta he considers everybody as his friend. If there is a sympathetic feeling of friendliness with others, this generates compassion, a deep understanding of the sorrow and pain in others. One feels others’ pain and sorrow as if they were one’s own. Similarly, by virtue of the sympathetic feelings generated by metta, one can also easily show and celebrate others’ success and good fortune, even though being bothered by jealousy and envy. This is mudita: the ability to feel others’ joy as if it were one’s own. Equanimity is the response to both negative and positive events with calm neutrality. When one meditates on loving kindness and then compassion and then sympathetic joy in that order, upekkha or equanimity will naturally occur of its own accord.

The Buddha described these four states of positive emotions as the four sublime or boundless states or divine abodes (brahma-vihara). They are the fundamental functions in developing all the other types of wholesome acts, such as generosity, or honesty. For example, we can practice generosity with impartiality when we have overcome egocentric likes and dislikes, and cultivated metta. Whereas, when we do not practice metta, we may be inclined to be generous only to those whom we like. The four sublime states are the basis for the performance of moral actions. We should conduct wholesome deeds without expecting favours in return. Form this one can learn to forgive other people, even if they harm us. If we feel hatred towards those who harm us, as a rule the only results we may get are raised blood pressure and stomach upset. There is likely to be no positive change in the behavior of the person we hate. But when we develop and maintain metta, we can learn not to get upset at the behavior of others, and therefore not develop anger towards them. We will learn not to think of them in terms of “us versus them” or superior or as inferior: this is ego-centered conceit. When we closely inspect all our thoughts and feelings with full mindfulness, we will get to know through our own experience that wholesome mind or kusalacitta is totally different from unwholesome mind or akusalacitta as we discussed in Chapter Three.

  පුර අටවක

ජනවාරි 20 බදාදා අපර භාග 13.15 න් පුර අටවක ලබා 21 බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා අපර භාග
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ජනවාරි 20

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ජනවාරි 28

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පෙබරවාරි 04

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පෙබරවාරි 11




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