Does mettæ harm others?
Mettæ is the spirit out of which one chooses to take action and gives aid that brings happiness to others. Even a small experience of mettæ brings a measure of mental peace right away. The truly altruistic person wishes to assist those who are suffering from different tremendous situations. Herein the identity of mettæ is to share the miserable circumstances with oneself by assisting mentally and physically what they are in need. Therefore Nægajuna said “there is merit in making donations to poor monastic, but love is even more powerful” (How to expand love, pp-82-84). In connection with mettæ there are many charities and non-governmental societies which usually provide the need of people who are facing with natural disasters or any poverty situation, such as earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, volcano eruption, war, flood, conflagration, drought, diseases, feminine, etc. The works of aforesaid societies are principally based upon mettæ. It is quite apparent that mettæ is to wish for the welfare and benefit of others without harming any other living beings.
However, it can be argued if mettæ is completely beneficial to or does not harm others. For example, if one has pity on a frog which is caught by a snake, the decision is somehow difficult whether one should favour the snake or help the frog. Either of actions would harm one of them; the snake might be too hungry to death while the frog might lose its life. In this situation, only solution is to contemplate equanimity thinking that it is the law of nature.
Moreover, in Buddhist literatures, Sæmævatø, the queen of King Ca¼ðapajjota was contemplating the meditation on mettæ towards Mæga¼ðø, another (angry) queen of the same king while the former was forced to be shot by the latter by the help of king who ordered the professional archers. Nevertheless, by the glorious power of mettæ, the arrows could not reach at the Sæmævatø. The arrows turned back towards the king instead as if he would be all but shot dead. Mæga¼ðø herself also felt uncomfortable and inconvenient as though she would be seriously sick in her mind because she was not worthy of receiving mettæ (Dhammapada a¥¥hakathæ, p-122). As a matter of fact, mettæ does not really give troublesome to any other sentient beings although some dreadful situation occur to the wicked. Mettæ is for all; but whether or not effective depends upon the receivers.