NINTH PRE-REQUISITE FOR BUDDHA-HOOD
Metta is the ninth of the Ten pre-requisite for Buddha-hood. "Metta", literally, means loving kindness. This loving kindness is based on the main motive of extending kind thoughts and deeds for the good and welfare of others.
Just as cold water is cold to every living being - whether good or evil doers -alike, in the same way did the loving kindness extended by Bodhisatva fall on every living being. When this pre-requisite is exercised the practicer's determination "Adhitthana" to work for the welfare of the others is maintained with perfectness, hence this is placed next to Adhitthana in order of the pre-requisites.
To begin with, one must practice Metta on one's ownself; then on other agreeable to him; then on his enemies and if this last becomes a failure then he should revert to the agreeable ones and try to overcome the anger until success is attained in extending loving kindness to any enemy. Should this also fail he should advise his own self thus : -
"O, Hatred One !If you hate the very thought of your enemy, how low should you be! If you develop such hatred such shall be to your own destruction. Therefore extend kindness and loving kindness to him who hates you".
The Lord has said in the Dhammapada in praise of this Metta :-
"HATRED SHALL NOT CEASE HATRED,
KINDNESS ALONE SHALL OVERCOME HATRED".
Continuing on the method of practicing this loving kindness on one's own enemy it is further said as follows :-
"If you still fail in your attempt, then think of the characters of Bodhisatvas. Should you still fail this way, then think of the mighty ocean of "Samsara" (the cycle of births and deaths) and try to find one being who could not have become your mother or father or child or brother. Should you still fail to succeed, then find out for yourself, if you hate his (your enemy) hair or nails or flesh or bones.
He who reason out in this way would realized that there is no object on which his hatred could ultimately fall, with the result loving kindness in him is extended to each and every living being alike.
To think in a devote way about one and in a different way about the other cannot be a general loving kindness of this description, hence such thoughts tend Metta to become impure.
One who extends loving kindness to every living being can sleep happily and wake up happily like the blossoming of a lotus. Such persons will not dream of bad dreams, will become pleasant to all living beings, will receive the blessings and the protection of many others and even the Devas; will never be made to fall an unfortunate victim to fire, poison or weapons, could make up the mind in any form that may be decided upon without difficulty and almost instantaneously. Such person's face will be bright always and he will breathe his last thoughtfully. If he is not enlightened he shall gain birth in the highest celestial world "Brahma Loka".
Thus having realized the great importance of Metta as an essential pre-requisite for the attainment of his aim, Bodhisatva, as Sumedha the Pandit, decided to himself that he should from that moment observe the pre-requisite of Metta called and described above as "Metta paramita."