Message from Mohnyin Sayadaw
(First published in 'The Light of the Dhamma', Vol. 1, No. 1, The Union of Burma Buddha Sasana Council, Rangoon, 1952)
Ven. Maha Thera's Short Lecture On Love and Peace.
The leader of the Church of England in Burma, the well-known and popular Rt. Rev. Dr. West, Bishop of Rangoon, approached the Ven. Mohnyin Sayadaw with his respects and asked for his blessing and a message on his departure for Europe.
The Ven. Mohnyin Sayadaw accordingly gave Dr. West a short Buddhist Sermon on the Blessings of Metta.
The text of the Ven. Sayadaw's Sermon in the English translation is as follows
To you all, good people who want peace for your country and for the whole world, this sermon in brief is given.
Love begets love and hatred begets hatred. There is no fire more intense and consuming than the fire of hatred born of unrestrained passion, and there is no thirst more difficult to satisfy than the greed born of attachment. You, Oh wise people, have often seen that it is love alone that brings enduring peace and not brute force.
Conquest by force never brings true peace to the conqueror because the conquered, with smitten pride smarting from the wounds of defeat, will try to take revenge sooner or later.
Peace can be achieved only when selfishness is restrained. Selfishness is a terrible hindrance to the attainment of peace and happiness for it breeds conceit, vanity, pride, lust, greed, thirst for power and supremacy, anger, hatred and passion, bringing in its train an endless chain of evils culminating in grief and disaster.
You have all seen that wars were fought with the utmost cruelty and barbarity in complete disregard of humanity, love and compassion for living beings. Destruction and desolation spread and untold miseries followed in the wake of recent wars. Such terrible weapons as the atomic bombs were used and every possible advantage was taken to commit wholesale slaughter and bloodshed. Peace however was not to be obtained at the end of these wars in which both the victors and the vanquished were losers in many respects.
Lord Buddha who points the way to eternal peace has said,
Jayan veran pasavati,
Dukkhan seti parajito,
Upasanto sukkhan seti,
These words mean,
Victory increases enmity, The defeated lies in pain!
Having abandoned both victory and defeat,
The Peaceful one rests in happiness,
You should, therefore, strive to win peace by pouring out upon the trouble-ridden world an all-pervading love ; love which is intense, far reaching and beyond measure. All persons, male and female, residing either in hamlets or parishes, towns or cities or in small countries or big countries should not entertain any feelings of hostility towards one another but should have kind thoughts both day and night for all beings wherever they may be. You should have boundless love for all beings for this can bring about the well-being of all.
Whoever is disposed to undertake this mission of transmitting love-vibrations should have such attributes as uprightness, conscientiousness, amenability to reason and discipline, gentleness and humility.
Having secured these attributes you should practise the virtue of LOVE by deed, word and thought, in the following ways
(1) By deeds: promote another's happiness by giving personal assistance and by relieving distress and miseries, or by giving alms, etc.
(2) By words: Speak gently and sweetly. Your words should be for the good and well-being of all creatures. By your words try to relieve the distress and misery of others.
(3) By thoughts: Focus your thoughts on individuals or groups of persons or on all those living in hamlets or parishes or small countries or big countries ; focus thoughts on any one to whom you wish to extend your love and kindness, visualize them and then transmit kind thought - waves to them.
A certain period of the day should be set apart for this purpose and you should decide as to the number of times this love transmission should be done in a day. This can be done by telling beads also.
Virtue of Love
If you are doing this for an individual, do thus Visualize the person and then say,
"May he (or she) be happy and peaceful.
May he (or she) be free from trouble "
If you are doing it for a large body of persons, do thus -
Visualize the persons of both sexes and then repeat:
" May they all be happy and peaceful.
May they all be free from trouble ".
Repeat this many times.
If you are doing it for persons living in villages, towns, cities and countries do thus:
Think of the place or the places to which you desire to send your kind thoughts and then visualize the persons of both sexes living in that place. Focus your thoughts on these persons and repeat
May they all be happy and peaceful.
May they be free from all troubles.
May they all love one another and
Always entertain kind thoughts towards one another".
Repeat this many times.
Practise this virtue of love with a strong will and concentrated attention.
The main requirement in this process of effectively transmitting love-vibrations is to try to secure a mental picture of the objective as if it were actually seen by your eyes and then to transmit the thoughts of benevolence when this necessary mental attitude is obtained.
Our scriptures have a parable to illustrate how love disarms the enemy or neutralises the weapons used against the love transmitter. A hunter after game, it is said, hurled a spear at a cow which was feeding her calf whom she dearly loved. Such was the intensity of her love while feeding her off spring at that particular moment that the edge of the weapon curled up causing no injury to her who had this tremendous force called LOVE.