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In our daily lives we meet all kinds of people. Some are pleasent and some are ill-disposed. There are also moments of anxiety, moments of stress, and circumstances which are perplexing. On encountering unpleasant people, and in difficult times, a recital or persual of the Sutta (Karaniya metta Sutta) will produce beneficial results. The practice of what is contained in it, will induce a tranquil state of mind, give us self confidence, and help us to overcome difficulties. This is a Sutta (a Sermon) that was delivered by lord Buddha to a set of his diciples, who had gone to meditate in a forest close to the Himalayan mountain range. They complained that they were being disturbed by some spirits of the forest. Lord Buddha exhorted them to follow this course of conduct. They went back to the same abode, and putting the advice into practice, found that they were not disturbed any more.

Sutta: Sinhala version
Sermon: English version

All tremble at violence,
Life is dear to all.
Comaparing oneself with others,
One should neither kill nor cause others to kill.

Victory breeds hatred,
The defeated live in pain.
Happily the peaceful live,
Giving up victory and defeat.

A man may spoil another just so far, as it may serve his ends,
But when he is spoiled by others, he despoiled, spoils yet again.

So long as evil's fruit is not matured,
The fool does fancy, "Now is the hour, the chance!"
But when the deed bears fruit, he fareth ill.

The slayer gets a slayer in his turn,
The conqueror gets one who conquers him,
The abuser wins abuse, the annoyer frets,
Thus by the evolution of the deed,
A man who spoils is spoiled in his turn.

One is not a thief by another's word,
One is not a sage by another's word.
It is as one knows oneself,
That the devas (gods) also know one.

The above versus are merely a dew drop of the ageless wisdom preached by Lord Buddha.

Excerpts from the writings of Ven. Nayanaponika Mahathera

The Buddha's Message

The Buddha's Message, as a doctrine of the mind, teaches three things:
(1) to know the mind - that is so near us, and yet is so unknown;
(2) to shape the mind - that is unwieldy and obstinate, and yet may turn so pliant;
(3) to free the mind - that is in bondage all over, and yet may win freedom here and now.

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, p. 23


Mindfulness is of an unobtrusive nature. Its virtues shine inwardly, and in ordinary life most of its merits are passed on to other mental faculties which generally receive all the credit. One must know mindfulness well and cultivate its acquaintance before one can appreciate its value and its silent penetrative influence. Mindfulness walks slowly and deliberately, and its daily task is of a rather humdrum nature. Yet where it places its feet it cannot easily be dislodged, and it acquires and bestows true mastery of the ground it covers.

The Vision of Dhamma, pp. 71-72

Vanquishing Bad Habits

The growth of morally bad or otherwise detrimental habits can be effectively checked by gradually developing another habit: that of attending to them mindfully. If we now do deliberately what had become a mechanical performance, and if prior to doing it we pause for a while for bare attention and reflection - this will allow us to make a fresh assessment of the situation, to see it directly, un-obscured by the mental haze that surrounds a habitual activity with the false assurance: "It is right because it was done before."

The Vision of Dhamma, p. 109

Protection of Self, Protection of Others

Self-protection and protection of others correspond to the great twin virtues of Buddhism, wisdom and compassion. "I shall protect myself" - thus should we establish our mindfulness, and guided by it, devote ourselves to the practice of meditation, for the sake of our own liberation. "I shall protect others" - thus should we establish our mindfulness and guided by it, regulate our conduct by patience, harmlessness, loving-kindness, and compassion, for the welfare and happiness of many.

The Vision of Dhamma, pp. 327-328

Irrigators lead the waters,
fletchers bend the shafts,
joiners shape the wood,
those who are wise tame themselves.

Peaceful his mind and peaceful
his speech and action too,
perfect in knowledge of freedom,
one 'such' is of utmost peace.

One's own good one should not neglect
for another's good however great;
one's own good knowing well,
on one's own good be intent.

The perfume of flowers goes not against the wind,
neither that of sandalwood, jasmine or tagara;
but the perfume of the virtuous does
go against the wind,
The good man suffuses all directions.

Sandalwood or tagara,
lotus or the jasmine great -
of these perfumes various,
virtue's perfume is unexcelled.

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Last Modified on January 5th, 2000