Ninth Perfection: Loving-Kindness.
Many years ago, in the kingdom of Kosala, there reigned a King by the name of Dabbamalla. In his court was a trusted minister who, due to a past misunderstanding was extremely jealous of a neighbouring King named Ekaraja. The minister plotted to destroy King Dabbamalla’s mind by spreading false rumours about King Ekaraja. Before long King Dhabbamalla was convinced that King Ekaraja was a greedy, ruthless king who planned to take over his kingdom. King Dhabbamalla gathered together his army to destroy King Ekaraja and capture His kingdom.
The Bodhisatta, who was born as King Ekaraja, was a gentle and righteous king who ruled with loving kindness, fairness and compassion, often spending His free time in an adjoining forest deep in meditation. As a result, He had reached the higher spiritual levels known as the Jhanas. The people of His kingdom were happy, gentle people, quite unprepared for warfare. It was therefore very easy for King Dhabbamalla to overpower the kingdom and capture king Ekaraja.
With anger and hatred in his heart resulting from the false accusations of the minister, King Dabbamalla bound King Ekaraja’s feet and hands and hung Him by His feet on a tree, where he left him to suffer a slow and painful death. Next day he went back to see and enjoy the last moments of King Ekaraja’s death.
The King expected to find a tortured, subdued King Ekaraja who would be begging for mercy. Instead, he found a calm and peaceful King deep in meditation. King Ekaraja was meditating a few feet above the ground and radiating peace and serenity. The surprised King Dhabbamalla then questioned King Ekaraja as to how He had escaped. King Ekaraja then explained to him the virtues of kindness and compassion, and how He often lived in the forest meditating among wild animals who, because of the compassion He radiated, would never harm Him. On hearing the truth, King Dhabbamalla gave King Ekaraja back His Kingdom and begged His forgiveness. He then punished his minister severely for his treachery.
Practicing compassion to all living beings in earnest, King Ekaraja, the Bodhisatta, completed the virtue of compassion. On completing this virtue of compassion He joyously proclaimed:
“No fear has anyone of me
Nor have I fear of anyone
In my goodwill to all, I trust
And love to dwell in lonely woods.”
Continue to Tenth Perfection: Equanimity.
See the Loving-Kindness Meditation.