Saturday, 29 January 2011

An Analytical Study of Metta in Theravada Tradition (6)

Does mettæ turn into bias?
In the perspective of mettæ, there is no discrimination between all living beings. There is also neither soul, nor ego, nor self, nor me, nor mine, nor you, nor he, nor she, nor they in connection with a real pure mettæ. According to Mettasutta, the love towards only son and the love towards others must be equally the same (Vinaya mahævagga pæ¹i, p-19 ). At this point, an issue may arise whether genuine mettæ ever really does change into bias. Such a bias can happen between husband and wife, parents and children, or other relatives. They are well intended toward one anther, so there probably tends to be a favouritism. Nevertheless, mettæ is exclusively very pure, and no bias at all. When bias occurs, it is not a pure mettæ.

The mettæ-centred-meditation
Mettæ is by and large taken into existence in connection with others.  The mettæ for oneself, however, should come first in order to reduce our own brutal tendencies in the meditation technique as it is impossible to radiate thoughts of love unless one has properly developed the quality of it. Therefore, one should first radiate on mettæ for oneself. By doing so, one helps oneself and can help others more effectively. If one loves oneself, one should help oneself to entertain always pure and beautiful thoughts so that any words or deeds, as a result of which they may become manifest, are also pure and beautiful. In the contrary, if a person cannot find happiness within himself, he will not be able to find it anywhere. People who cannot control themselves cannot find happiness by performing services for others, because they themselves cannot create a calm atmosphere. Meditation is mental training of right thoughts, words and deeds. ( Pa¥isambhidæmagga pæ¹i, p-313)
When a person has eventually cultivated the principle of mettæ in himself he is in a position to extend it, and he should develop it until it covers the whole of society, the whole country and the whole world, without distinction whatsoever with regard to class, colour or creed, then meditate on mettæ for oneself, until one’s heart and mind are full of pure love, and then enlarge that mettæ until it embraces all the limitless number of sentient beings throughout the whole universe.  Commencing with the words “May I be free from danger! May I be free from mental suffering! May I be free from physical suffering! May I have ease of well being, etc [loving-kindness, p-40]”,one should develop mettæ towards oneself or others. One can develop it particularly or non-particularly as one likes upto all the beings at ten directions.(Ibid) When mind is well concentrated during mettæ developing, one can attain onto 4th trance (jhæna).

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