The discourse gets divided into two parts. The first detailing the standard of moral conduct required by one who wishes to attain Purity and Peace, and the second the method of practice of metta(Good Will).
The characteristics of the teachings or suttas in buddhism if not for one to recite, rather the effects and benefits really comes only when one puts the teaching into practise, truthfully. This teaching of boundless love applies, putting this teaching of love into real action. The Buddha's teaching is a gradual training, nothing comes immediately. Unviersal love requires the cultivation of the heart. This particular teaching teaches us how to cultivate a heart with love and good will.
1. "He who is skilled in (working out his own) well being, and who wishes to attain that state of Calm (Nibbana) should act thus: he should be dexterous, upright, exceedingly upright, obedient, gentle, and humble.
2. "Contented, easily supportable, with but few responsibilities, of simple livelihood, controlled in the senses, prudent, courteous, and not hanker after association with families.
3. "Let him not perform the slightest wrong for which wise men may rebuke him. (Let him think:) 'May all beings be happy and safe. May they have happy minds.'
4.& 5. "Whatever living beings there may be — feeble or strong (or the seekers and the attained) long, stout, or of medium size, short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born — may all beings have happy minds.
6. "Let him not deceive another nor despise anyone anywhere. In anger or ill will let him not wish another ill.
7. "Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.
8. "Let him radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.
9. "Standing, walking, sitting or reclining, as long as he is awake, let him develop this mindfulness. This, they say, is 'Noble Living' here.
10. "Not falling into wrong views — being virtuous, endowed with insight, lust in the senses discarded — verily never again will he return to conceive in a womb."
Putting the teachings into heart, truly practise it and live accordingly, that is when you will truly understand and experience the benefits of love.
Such is the cause and effect (Kamma) taught by the Buddha, "Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that result is to be bare by myself", One who always maintains a heart of good-will, does kindness to others. He avoids doing harm or do anything bad which would bring remorse. Such person is loved by others and thus protected by his own virtues (asking yourself, would you harm a person who is kind towards you? Why would anyone harm a person who is instead harmful, helpful?) , he avoids trouble and avoid being harmed. Living without remorse, heart suffuses with unconditioned love, he lives in ease and comfort. The heart absence of hate and ill will, by itself is happiness. Neither seeking pleasure, at heart at ease and comfort is happiness. A heart filled with love is happiness.
The Buddha summarise these benefits as the 11 benefits of Loving Kindness:
"Monks, 11 advantages are to be expected from the release (deliverance) of heart by familiarizing oneself with thoughts of loving-kindness (metta), by the cultivation of loving-kindness, by constantly increasing these thoughts, by regarding loving-kindness as a vehicle (of expression), and also as something to be treasured, by living in conformity with these thoughts, by putting these ideas into practice, and by establishing them. What are the 11?
1.He sleeps in comfort.
2.He awakes in comfort.
3.He sees no evil dreams.
4.He is dear to human beings.
5.He is dear to non-human beings.
6.Devas (gods) protect him.
7.Fire, poison, and sword cannot touch him.
8.His mind can concentrate quickly.
9.His countenance is serene.
10.He dies without being confused in mind.
11.Even if one fails to attain enlighten, one will at least reach the state of the heavenly world."
The teaching of truth (Dhamma) has these basic qualities, it is to be seen(experienced) here and now, it is timeless(applicable regardless of time), inviting one to come and see ( Free for all ), Leading inwards (can be attain and learned by anyone), to be seen by the wise himself (to be experienced by himself personally). This practise of love and good-will gave 4 assurance:
"His mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:
"'Suppose there is a hereafter and there is a fruit, result, of deeds done well or ill. Then it is possible that at the dissolution of the body after death, I shall arise in the heavenly world, which is possessed of the state of bliss.' This is the first assurance he acquires.
"'Suppose there is no hereafter and there is no fruit, no result, of deeds done well or ill. Yet in this world, here and now, free from hatred, free from malice, safe and sound, and happy, I keep myself.' This is the second assurance he acquires.
"'Suppose evil (results) befall an evil-doer. I, however, think of doing evil to no one. Then, how can ill (results) affect me who do no evil deed?' This is the third assurance he acquires.
"'Suppose evil (results) do not befall an evil-doer. Then I see myself purified in any case.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires."
In buddhism, it does not gives you promises after death, but promises here and now, able to be experienced and achievable no matter who you are. So, why suffer because of hatred and ill-will? Let us do benefit to others, having a heart of good-will, which always plant a good seed, the seed of happiness and benefit to others and ourselves.
Happy Hoildays~! A merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year~!! ^_^