8. Supramundane Love
(By Ben Chang and George Soko, Malawi)
According to the law of creation, all people can think, but what differs is their thinking capability. This is why each and every person does a particular thing or deed according to his understanding, choice and liking. Without having differences in thinking capability, all human beings in the world would have the same thoughts, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, view, etc.
The basis of all this is the word “love.” What is love and what is it all about? Some people understand love in the wrong way. I do not know if it was like this with previous generations. I cannot say anything about the past generations because I was not in existence then!
Some of the people I have talked to in this life link love to sex and they think it’s their duty to do it, but according to my understanding, I think such people still live in darkness. I think love is neither about sex nor about physical satisfaction. From my point of view, love is about emotions, caring, helping, goodwill towards all sentient beings, and, finally, about compassion.
Yet love is impermanent; it can be created by people and can change at any time. Love exists in all sentient beings, manifests in everything that one does, and has no secret areas to hide. From the Buddhist point of view, love means having goodwill, loving kindness, and compassion towards all sentient beings—not physical satisfaction.
Others think that love is about sharing material things, or having girlfriends or boyfriends and going to parties. But love is not meant to give one AIDS, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. If love is having sex, why is it that it brings about AIDS, which ruins people, STDs and untimely pregnancies that hinder one’s progress? In this case, what can we say love is? an impediment, a killer or a kind animal? Most people turn love into a killer and impediment. In reality, love is neither there to make someone fall into problems nor cause unnecessary death. Do what you feel is beneficial, not what can create obstacles towards your future lives or spiritual development.
When there is love, then selfishness, jealousy, hatred, war, and frivolous talk cannot exist. Real love creates happiness and peace among all sentient beings. Real love can make one risk his life for the benefit of others. For example, the Buddha renounced the world not only for his own benefit, but for all sentient beings in the world. He encountered lots of difficulties and experienced a lot of pain, but still he strove diligently to serve humankind. This type of love doesn’t cause suffering, but ends suffering.
Love can also be manifest through charity. Charity can be divided into two categories: intentional charity and unintentional charity. Intentional charity is to help or give someone something with an aim to get something back like fame, praise or honor. In Buddhism, this kind of love is completely discouraged. This is so because it beckons unwholesome karmic retributions. A true Buddhist avoids this type of love. Unintentional charity is to help someone without expecting something back. This category is also considered as universal love and it doesn’t have boundaries. This love is to be practiced by all Buddhists.
Lord Buddha taught his followers to have supramundane love (universal love), not worldly love. Since worldly love does not create happiness, but rather suffering, therefore a true Buddhist totally refrains from this type of love. With supramundane love there can not be suffering, and peace and happiness can prevail throughout the world.
It is not only the Buddha who can have supramundane love, as everyone has the potential to have it. What matters most is the mind. If the mind is well trained and guarded, it cannot harbor worldly or false love. Everyone has the potential for universal or supramundane love, but some people fail to realize, understand, and use it effectively.
In this article George Soko has explained about love and supramundave love. Most of the people on the world do not understand it really. They think about only short and temporally ways. Most of the people in Africa also think about this temporary happiness through love. Not think beyond that point. Because of that many people get sickness and suffering.
In the Buddha’s teaching we can find many explanations about how we can make our true love to get benefit for ourselves and others. He explained it like loving-kindness. It is difference from love. Most of the time love follows craving. But on the loving kindness there is no craving. It brings benefit to all beings on the universe. Buddha has explained this in many Sutras like: Karaniyametta sutra and Mettanisamsa sutra sutra. There we can find what the benefit is of developing loving kindness as follows: -
"Monks, for one whose release of awareness through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?
"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, and dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. Gods protect one. No fire, poison or weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and -- if penetrating no higher -- is headed for the Brahma worlds.
"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose release of awareness through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."
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