HATRED IS OVERCOME ONLY BY
residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Savathi, the Buddha spoke this verse, with
reference to a certain woman who was barren and another capable of bearing a
there lived a householder, whose wife was barren. Being unable to bear a
child and afraid that she would be mistreated by her husband and her
mother-in-law, she arranged for her husband to marry another woman. But on
two occasions, as soon as she knew the second wife was pregnant, the barren wife
gave her food mixed with drugs causing her to have a miscarriage. On her
third pregnancy, the pregnant wife kept it to herself without informing the
barren wife. But when the latter came to know about it, she again caused
an abortion. Eventually the second wife died in childbirth. Before her
death, the unfortunate woman was filled with hatred and vowed vengeance on the
barren wife and her future offspring. Thus a feud started.
their later existences the two were reborn as a hen and a female cat; a doe and
a leopard, and finally as the daughter of a nobleman in Savatthi and a female
evil spirit. One day she (Kali Yakkhini) was in pursuit of the nobleman's
daughter and her baby. When this lady heard the Buddha was giving a religious
discourse at the Jetavana Monastery, she fled to Him and placed her son at His
feet for protection. The evil spirit was prevented from entering the Monastery. She was
later called in and both the lady and the evil spirit were
admonished by the Buddha. The Buddha told them about their past trouble as
rival wives and how they had been harboring hatred towards each other.
They were made to see that hatred could only cause more hatred, and that it
could only cease through friendship, understanding and goodwill. Both
realised their mistake, and on the admonition of the Buddha, made their peace
with each other.
Buddha then requested the woman to hand over her son to the evil spirit.
Fearing for the safety of her son, she hesitated, but because of her devotion
and confidence in the Buddha she did hand over her son.
child was warmly received by the evil spirit. After kissing and
caressing the child tenderly like her own son, she handed back the child
to his mother. As a result, there was no more hatred.
* * * *
in this world; verani
- hatred (enmity);
through hatred kudacanam
- at no time;
na hi sammanti- not
subsided; averena ca:
only by non-hatred;
Those who attempt to conquer
hatred by hatred are like warriors who take weapons to overcome others who
bear arms. This does not end hatred, but gives it room to grow. But,
ancient wisdom has advocated a different timeless strategy to overcome
hatred. This eternal wisdom is to meet hatred with non-hatred. The
method of trying to conquer hatred through hatred never succeeds in overcoming
hatred. But, the method of overcoming hatred through non-hatred is
eternally effective. That is why that method is described as eternal wisdom.