Let us search for common platform to walk on together
by Ven. Ashin Ñānissara
We human are mysterious beings with inconceivable potentialities. Noble characteristics and criminal tendencies are latent within us. These may rise to the surface of our life at any time unexpectedly without using strength and power. These are dormant within us in various degrees. Within the powerful complex machinery of man's mind, we find a treasure storehouse of virtue and rubbish heap of wickedness. By developing these respective characteristics, we may become either o blessing or a curse to humanity. If we wish to sublimate ourselves to the noble service of humanity, we must endeavour our best to remove the latent evils and cultivate the dormant seed of virtue. To discover the invaluable treasure latent within us, righteous patience and persistent effort ore essential. Even the poorest people can accomplish this task. Thus, wealth and power are not essential prerequisites to the accumulation of human value.
One powerful destructive vice within us is anger (Dosa). The constructive virtue that can eliminate this evil force and ennoble mankind is loving-kindness (Mettā). Cruelty (Himsā) is another vice that is responsible for many horrors and atrocities prevalent in the world today. Compassion (Karunā) is its antidote. Jealousy (Issā) is another vice that is a poison to every system of the world, The poisonous jealousy leads to unhealthy rivalries and dangerous competitions. The most effective remedy for this poisonous drug is appreciative joy (Muditā). Two other universal characteristics that upset the mental equipoise of man ore attachment to pleasurable things and aversion to unpleasurable things. Developing equanimity (Upekkhā) can eliminate these two opposite forces. These four sterling virtues may be rendered by modes of Noble Conduct or Noble Abodes. These four noble conducts are capable of elevating the worlds t mankind so wills it. lf all mankind tries to cultivate these conducts, irrespective of creed, colours, race or sex, the world can be transformed into a supreme paradise where we all can live in perfect peace and harmony as ideal citizens of one world. Therefore, we should also extend these four noble virtues towards all living beings without exception. Consequently, these virtues con be called boundless spirit. Irrespective of religious beliefs, everyone should cultivate these sweet virtues and be a blessing to oneself and others.
The development of loving-kindness softens people's hearts. In the organization of nations, instead of providing military aid, we should give the pure cid of loving-kindness to the helpless world, it is defined as the sincere wish for the welfare and genuine happiness of all mankind without distinction between others and ourselves. "Just as a mother protects her only child even of the risk of her own life, even so one should cultivate boundless loving-kindness towards all living beings." This is the advice of the Buddha. Therefore, loving-kindness is not the passionate love of mother towards her child. Even so, our love towards other nations or other countries must be a sincere wish and pure love for the genuine peace and welfare of the world. We should extend the boundless universal brotherhood & sisterhood spirit of embracing all nations, all races, all classes, and all countries without barriers in the differences of political views.
Loving-kindness, which is a sincere wish for the genuine peace and welfare of the world, is not political, racial, national or even a religious brotherhood. Political brotherhood is confined only to those who share similar political views, such as the partial brotherhood of Democrats, Socialists, Communists and so on. Racial brotherhood and national brotherhood are restricted only to those of same race and nation. Very often, to assert their racial or political superiority, they resort a brutal war and killing of people by mercilessly raining bombs from the sky above. The pathetic incidents of the Second World War are striking examples, which can never be forgotten by mankind. Acts of violence and terrorism should be denounced, and harmonious relations should be established with the people of different backgrounds and faiths.
Loving-kindness (Mettā) is not mere religious brotherhood either. Owing to the limitations of religious brotherhood, religious disputes and so-called holy wars are waged without the least compassion; sincere outspoken men and women have been roasted and burnt alive. Many atrocities have been perpetrated which baffle description. Cruel wars have been waged, marring the historic pages of world history. To establish genuine peace and happiness amongst mankind, a sincere religious awaking and harmony are necessary in this morally bankrupt world. So we must carefully establish a pure and useful life of love, reason and justice based on the noble principle of their respective teachers and leaders.
The Buddha addressed: "Hatred never ceases through hatred, but hatred ceases by love alone. This is the essence of the ancient and eternal law." As loving-kindness is a constructive peaceful force, it has the power to counteract destructive influences. Just as hateful thoughts can produce toxic effects in any system or policy, even so loving thoughts can produce healthy, wealthy mental and physical effects. The Buddha emphatically stated the importance of morality as a means to overcome tensions and difficulties. To solve the problems of humanity, we should exercise right thought of selflessness, loving-kindness and harmlessness or non-violence.
Today's world is full of chaos, miseries, war-weariness, and violence. The nations are arming themselves to the teeth. Human lives are in danger and frightened by the arms race between countries. These weapons are always ready to release and to kill many human lives at any moment. In fact, the world is absolutely in need of this universal loving-kindness, measureless compassion, sympathetic joy, great tolerance and right vision in order for all of us to live in one world in perfect peace and harmony like brothers and sisters. We should develop sincere love to kill the enemy of the world, which is hatred. We should develop invaluable compassion to remove the woe of nations, which is cruelty. We should develop appreciative joy to protect from the poisoning of all systems, which is jealousy. We should develop the mental equipoise of man to eliminate attachment to pleasurable situations and aversion to unpleasurable situations, which are delusion.
In the world today, from the materialistic point of view, all technology, industry, machinery, most people's minds are underdeveloped, and their spirits remain in poverty.
Most modern people's mentalities are lacking loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equilibrium. Furthermore, the character of young generation is bankrupt. Both material and mental progress are essential for the development of a country. In order to alleviate poverty, all religious leaders and spiritual scholars should develop educational infrastructures for modern education and moral education as well. Generally, good education is an avenue to upward morality and a way out of poverty. Now worldly progress is good enough, but the progress of spiritual life is at the minimum degree in the material world. Therefore, we need to try to elevate the spirit of people, especially the characters of sons and daughters of our world for the progress of our age in the near and far future.
To do so, we should change and promote the entire education system of every country; we should plan and project, teach and learn moral education, cultural education according to respective country, culture, nature etc. Thus, all spiritual and religious leaders need to meet on a common platform and we should try to form one organization such as "The United Religions" just like the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations. If we could organize the United Religions, we would co-operate with the United Nations to solve the problems of nations. One should win anger through kindness, wickedness through goodness, selfishness through charity, and falsehood through truthfulness. This is the advice of the Buddha. On account of different faiths or different views, if we can not meet, stand and walk on a common platform like brothers and sisters, many missions of compassionate world teachers and leaders would fail in doing good for the world. Loving-kindness (Metta), great tolerance (Khanti) should be the common platform. However impractical it may seem, surely it cannot be easier and less risky than engaging in a brutal fighting and nuclear war. Let us get together and construct the spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood.
We should develop sincere love to kill the enemy of the world, which is hatred. We should develop invaluable compassion to remove the woe of the nations, which is cruelty. We should develop appreciative joy to protect from the poisoning of all systems, which is jealousy. We should develop mental equipoise of man to eliminate attachment to pleasurable situations and aversion to unpleasurable situations, which is delusion.
"Hatred never ceases through hatred, but hatred ceases by love alone."
"This is the essence of the ancient and eternal law."
May the truth and peace prevail in every corner of the world.
May all beings be peaceful and happy forever.