Monday, June 13, 2016

"Hatred does not end by hatred" (Dhammapada)

Ashley Wells, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; Dhp. V. 5, Kalayakkhini Vatthu
The record of the Buddha's sayings or aphorisms is the Dhammapada, the Path of Dharma.

Na hi verena verani
sammantidha kudacanam
averena ca sammanti
esa dhammo sanantano.

Verse 5: Indeed, hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an eternal law.

1. esa dhammo sanantano: the same as "poranako dhammo," the Dharma (doctrine, teaching, truth not changed by time) followed by the Buddha and those following the path to enlightenment includes the exhortation not to return hatred for hatred but allay it with its antidote, loving-kindness (the absence of hatred).

Back Story of Kala-yakkhini
I'll kill you, b-tch. You won't take my husband and the baby I should be having!
While residing at the Jetavana Grove monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse 5 of this book, with reference to a certain woman who was barren and her rival.
I'll kill you, b-tch. You won't have a baby.
There once lived a householder, a man whose wife was barren. He later took a co-wife, which not uncommon. A feud started between them when the elder wife caused an abortion in the newer one, who eventually died in childbirth. In later lives the two were reborn as a hen and a cat, a doe and a leopardess, and finally as the daughter of a nobleman in Savatthi and an ogress named Kali.

I remember my precious infant baby.
The ogress (Kala-yakkhini) was in hot pursuit of the lady with the baby, when the latter learned that the Buddha was nearby, delivering a sutra (discourse) at Jetavana. She ran to him and placed her son at his feet for protection. The ogress was stopped at the door by the guardian spirit of the monastery and was refused entry. She was later called in, and both the lady and the ogress were reprimanded by the Buddha.

The Buddha told them about their past life feud as rival wives of a common husband, then as a cat and a hen and a doe and a leopardess. They were made to see that hatred can only cause more hatred, and it can only cease through friendship (metta means loving-kindness and friendliness), understanding, and goodwill.

The Buddha then uttered Verse 5: "Indeed, hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an eternal law.
At the end of the discourse, the ogress was established in stream entry (sotapatti fruition, an attainment the tradition would normally limit to humans and Sense Sphere devas), and their long-standing feud came to an end. 

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