"Not by hating hatred ceases,
In this world of fang and claw;
Love single-handedly from hate releases,
This is the only Universal Law."
Once upon a time there lived a dragon who fed on the anger and rage of the kingdom. His feeding ground was the world of humans and there was never any shortage of food. With a kingdom filled with family sqabbles, neighbour fighting neighbour, village at war with bordering villages, and a kingdom perpetually at war with other nations, he had plenty to gorge on. His food storage multiplied endlessly because once hatred begins, it multiplies on its own and even starts affecting good, peaceful, friendly folks.
The dragon’s daily banquet was an amazing assortment of food items including anger, resentment, hatred, envy, greed, lust, cowardice, corruption, cruelty, dishonesty, malice, pride, ruthlessness and violence. The dragon grew big, lazy and fat as hatred and violence blazed across the surrounding kingdoms and consumed every person that its darkness descended upon.
Just when there seemed no end to the destruction of the human world, a bright light appeared in a small corner of the kingdom. The light glowed in a small hut, ravaged by the scars of war. The dragon was curious. The entire world was ablaze in fiery shades of crimson, orange, grey and black....and yet a beautiful white light like the brilliant dazzling glow of a diamond shone incessantly from this broken down hut. The dragon descended from his mountain perch to take a closer look at the source of this brilliant white light.
He entered the hut and saw a young girl seated at the edge of a broken wooden table. On the table lay a chipped wooden bowl half filled with watered down porridge and a plate with a sliver of stale bread. The dragon glared at the girl with his piercing coal red eyes and bared his fangs. She looked back at him, completely unafraid. The glow surrounding her aura grew brighter as her eyes lit up and she smiled back at the dragon and said, “Welcome dear friend! Please do take a seat at this humble table. I don’t have much to offer, but can I offer you whatever little I have in my home.” With that she got up and carried her bowl of porridge and plate of bread across the table and placed it in front of the dragon.
As the little girl uttered these kind hospitable words, the dragon rapidly shrank to a tiny size and finally vanished in a cloud of grey redolent smoke. The darkness lifted over the kingdom even as the sun stepped out from behind the shadow of the clouds, bathing the entire kingdom in a shower of brilliant white sunlight.
A million years later, this story still replays in our midst. Fires of hatred, vengeance and anger surround the world threatening to engulf all of mankind. Our very foundations have been filled with dispute, discord and disagreement, translating into maleficent thoughts, words and actions. Neighbour turns upon neighbour; friends turn into enemies; and kingdoms kill their own even as they justify their actions. Isn’t it high time to end this self-destructive cycle of slavery of man to his impulses of hate and aggression which only serve the dark forces? Demons of hate can only be banished with the power of mercy, compassion and love.
Time and again Dragon met Man, Goliath met David, Ravana met Rama, Kauravas met the Pandavas and Caesar met Christ in the battlefield... and every time it was the virtuous that won the battle. History repeatedly proved that the only way to defeat hate was with the power of love.
On the eve of Good Friday as we once again listen to the echo of Christ’s words, “Lord Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do...” let us pause to remember that never can hatred be stopped by hatred; it can only be stilled by love. Mercy, Compassion and Tolerance is the highest observance; Love the greatest virtue.