Mettā = God’s Love ?

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    • #47786
      silasampanno
      Participant

      Does the ‘Mettā’ in Buddha Dhamma have a similar meaning to ‘Love’ in the Christian connotation? Like “God’s Love” 

       

    • #47787
      Dawson
      Participant

      No, because someone would feel ‘God’s love’ on account of taking the pancakkhanda as being of nicca, sukha, and atta nature. As such, they would also have micca ditthi. Therefore, expressing ‘God’s love’ to other beings, while moral in a conventional sense, would be lacking an understanding of the four ariya truths. A person could encourage others to live morally on the basis of thinking that doing so would result in salvation, and conduct themselves according to that principle. However, The Buddha taught that morality alone isn’t sufficient enough to address the fundamental issue with the world (i.e., sansara). So then, that wouldn’t constitute metta. By understanding that reality is characterised by anicca, dukkha, and anatta, that will inform how a person perceives others and subsequently engages with them.

      To learn more about metta, you can read this article: https://puredhamma.net/bhavana-meditation/ariya-metta-bhavana/

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      • #47791
        silasampanno
        Participant

        Your reply gives me great insight! 

        Dawson say, 

        “No, because someone would feel ‘God’s love’ on account of taking the pancakkhanda as being of nicca, sukha, and atta nature. As such, they would also have micca ditthi.”

        Right. A living being that Buddha Dhamma refers to is a ‘collection of pancakkhandha’.

        On the other hand, a living being that Christianity refers to is a ‘something that has an eternal soul given by God’.

        And, they feel grateful for pancakkhandha because God gave it. So, for them, pancakkhandha is considered a ‘good thing’. If then, their Love can be seen as based on Sakkaya ditthi.

        I will also read the post you recommended. 

        Thank you, Dawson 🙏

        Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

         

         

         

    • #47790
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Dawson is correct in pointing out those aspects.

      •  ‘Mettā’ or “compassion for other beings” must come from within oneself. 
      • All living beings suffer at different levels at different times. But any given being suffers tremendously over long time spans because rebirth in the apāyās is unavoidable until the Sotapanna stage is reached.
      • While we cannot see the suffering in three of the apāyās, we can see the suffering in the animal realm. Of course, many humans undergo much suffering. Even those with wealth have to suffer when they get sick or get to old age.

      “Seeing and contemplating suffering” is a big part of the practice. It gives the motivation to live a moral life first. But that is not enough to “end the suffering in Sansāra.”

      • The deeper one comprehends the issue of suffering, the deeper the ‘Mettā’ one can generate for all beings, as Dawson pointed out.
      • Of course, that understanding helps avoid many akusala kamma too. One would not have the mindset to kill, steal, lie, etc., to hurt others when this concept is understood.
      • Furthermore, as one contemplates further, one can see that the rebirth process (Sansāra) must hold to explain the “nature of this world.” That helps get rid of various wrong views.

      Cultivating wisdom (paññā) is the basis of Buddhist practice. Not rituals or mere chanting.

      • Chanting with understanding helps get to samādhi, but mere chanting does not do much.
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      • #47792
        silasampanno
        Participant

        Lal says 

        The deeper one comprehends the issue of suffering, the deeper the ‘Mettā’ one can generate for all beings, as Dawson pointed out.”

        This sentence is very important to me. As you mentioned, Mettā is deelpy related to samsaric suffering. I thought of mettānussati in this part.  

        Mettānussati is to keep in mind always that all living beings are in the same boat, suffering in the long run, and thus to have compassionate thoughts about all of them.”

        Anussati and Anupassanā – Being Mindful and Removing Defilements

        Thanks to you, my understanding has become clearer. 

        Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

    • #47811
      Gad
      Participant

      Hi Silasampanno.

      • As a former Christian, I can tell you that God’s love is a myth. First, you have to know what love is. Love is the absence of Dosa(hatred). It’s from the anagami stage that we start the real metta. In the Bible, we see God showing great malevolence. He condemns people to eternal hell and amuses himself with the lives of his followers. The story of Job is an example.
      • God kills Job’s children and destroys his wealth to see if he would remain faithful to him. I can cite many other examples, but it will be too long. Reading the Bible we see a great contradiction with “the love of God”.
      • Of course, there are Christians who are highly moral people and who come close to what they call the love of God. But as Mr. Lal and Dawson say, this is not enough to free oneself from Samsarā. 
      • I apologize in advance if my words may offend some people. My goal is not to denigrate any religion. You can look up the story of Job on the internet and read the apocalypse of John.
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    • #47819
      silasampanno
      Participant

      Hi, Gad. 
      Thank you for sharing your experience. 

      It’s shocking that there’s such a cruel story in the Bible. I’ll look it up.

      I also have no desire to denigrate other religions, too. Because that’s the mindset of dosa/patigha. That’s akusala kamma! 

      And I have several Christians around me. I want to get along with them, without a quarrel or argument. 
      I think that’s the true meaning of “sāmīcippaṭipanno(pleasant to associate)” 

      I just wanted to know the difference. And thanks to your explanation, I have a clearer understanding of mettā.

      Thank you, guys :)

      May we all attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana…. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! 🙏

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    • #47821
      Gad
      Participant

      Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

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