Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Mystery of 'Non-Hatred'

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a ‘Law Eternal’. (Dhammapada 1.5)
Note: ‘Law Eternal’ (Dhammo Sanantano) is a natural principle, timeless norm, what works on its original power requiring no extraneous support. By its own nature hatred only generates and never appeases hatred. (Ven. Buddharakkhita, Dhammapada, note 1)

The enlightened Buddha discovered the profound working principle behind the vice ‘hatred’. As profound as this discovery is, one can’t help but to sense the silhouette of impartiality shadowed in the passage. What does he meant by ‘non-hatred’?

He is absolutely right to highlight the nature of ‘hatred’ that cannot be pacified by hatred. So many of us have been easily deluded to believe that the way to counter hatred is by hatred itself. In fact, how often do we find ourselves so naturally inclined to respond to hatred by hating?

Yet the silhouette of the passage remains a silhouette, not least for the next 500 years, hidden within the great minds of the ancient Brahmins. Little did these ancients know that this hidden silhouette was destined to be brought to light by a different person from a different world.

About half a millennia later, after the days of the Buddha, in the dust of the ancient Palestine, came the anointed man, Jesus. Striding on the pathway of the enlightenment, he proclaimed the inauguration of a new epoch. The promised epoch once promised by the Ancient of Days. An epoch that might have been foresaw by the enlightened Buddha. And it was through this man that the hidden silhouette was finally unveiled:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35)

The ‘non-hatred’ named by the enlightened one, Buddha, has been fully described by the anointed one, Jesus. This ‘good’ is the mystery that supersedes the eternal law. The once impartial truth discovered by Buddha is now fully expressed by Jesus. Decades later, St. Paul, a follower of Jesus recapitulates his master well, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

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