Love and hate

Buddha

Buddha

According to the Dhammapada, more that 2500 years ago the Buddha said:

“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” –
those who dwell on such thoughts will surely never become free from hatred.”

“He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me” –
those who do not dwell on such thoughts will surely become free from hatred.

For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love alone can.
This is an unalterable law.

– Dhammapada 1:3-5

Looking at today’s world, it seems that we need to remind ourselves of this unalterable law.

Peace will never be realized in a world consumed with hatred. Peace will only be realized on a foundation of love.

Note that the Buddha does not say that resentful thoughts will not arise when one is a victim of injustice. He says that those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred. Likewise, those who do not dwell on those thoughts will surely be free from hatred.

What is love? What is hate? What is the relationship between the two. There may be many definitions, but definitions do not really matter. This a question that each person can answer by introspection.

I believe that there is a being, a force, a power of unconditional universal love. I believe that it is an apprehension of the oneness that underlies all existence.

Personally I believe the experience of this universal power is healing and healthy. I believe that surrendering to and cultivating the power of hatred is destructive and unhealthy.

Therefore I appreciate the Buddha’s insight that not dwelling on resentful thoughts can lead to liberation from hatred.

Vasiliy Myazin - Sermon on the Mount

Vasiliy Myazin – Sermon on the Mount

This is akin to the teaching of Jesus, “Love your enemy.”

Or, “Do unto others as others would do unto you.”

No one likes to be hated. Therefore, do not hate others.

Peace is considered a great virtue.

Selfish, unjust actions disturb the peace.

A primary responsibility of any government is to keep the peace and maintain justice.

Justice and Mercy are two poles of the divine Tree of Life. They should act in concord on the foundation of Love.

If a person is committing crimes, it is appropriate for a policeman to arrest him, but the policeman should not be motivated by hatred. The motivation should be to keep the peace, ensure justice. This is motivated by a love for the community.

Likewise, in international affairs if someone is disturbing the peace, they must be stopped. Not from a motivation of hatred, but from a desire to restore peace and pursue justice.

Road to the Temple of Peace

Road to the Temple of Peace

If a nation or an economic system is unjust, it will lose the mandate of heaven. but it is desirable that reform and rectification be powered by a motivation of love, not hatred.

Justice is important, but attempts to achieve justice motivated by hatred will not succeed. Hatred will only breed more hatred.

A world in which hatred is rampant is an unhealthy world. A nation in which hatred is rampant is an unhealthy nation.

If we do not entertain hateful thoughts and emotions then we open ourselves to the healing power of love.

If we open our hearts and minds to the power of love, then the Kingdom of Divine Love will come.

 

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Filed under Buddhism, Love, Religion

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