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Mettā (Pali: मेत्ता in Devanagari) or maitrī (Sanskrit: मैत्री) is loving-kindness,[1][2] friendliness,[3][4][5] benevolence,[2][4] amity,[3] friendship,[4] good will,[4] kindness,[6] love,[3] sympathy,[3] close mental union (on same mental wavelength),[4] and active interest in others.[3] It is one of the ten pāramīs of the Theravāda school of Buddhism, and the first of the four sublime states (Brahmavihāras). This is love without clinging (upādāna).

The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves,[7] then their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this practice is associated with tonglen (cf.), whereby one breathes out ("sends") happiness and breathes in ("receives") suffering.[8] Tibetan Buddhists also practice contemplation of the four immeasurables, which they sometimes call 'compassion meditation'[9]

"Compassion meditation" is a contemporary scientific field that demonstrates the efficacy of metta and related meditative practices.


Basic methods

Mettā meditation is regularly recommended to the Buddha's followers in the 2,500-year-old Pali canon. The canon generally advises radiating metta in each of the six directions, to whatever beings there may be.[10] A different set of practical instructions, still widely used today, is found in the 5th CE Visuddhimagga. In addition, variations on this traditional practice have been popularized by contemporary teachers and applied in modern research settings.

Visuddhimagga instructions

Contemporary instruction for the cultivation of loving-kindness – such as is found in the works of Sharon Salzberg,[11] the Triratna Buddhist Community's Kamalashila,[5] and Matthieu Ricard[12] – is often based in part on a method found in Buddhaghosa's 5th c. CE Pāli exegetical text, the Path to Purification (Pali:Visuddhimagga), Chapter IX.[13][14] This traditional approach is best known for identifying successive stages of meditation during which one progressively cultivates loving-kindness towards:

Buddha sends love to all beings.
  1. oneself[15]
  2. a good friend[16]
  3. a "neutral" person
  4. a difficult person[17]
  5. all four of the above equally[18][19]
  6. and then gradually the entire universe[20]

One should avoid choosing someone to whom one is sexually attracted or who is dead.[21] For a "neutral" person, choose someone that you might come into contact with every day, but who does not give rise to strong positive nor strong negative emotions. For a "difficult" person, traditionally choose an enemy, but avoid choosing a person who has just wrecked your life, unless you are very well grounded in awareness.

Matthieu Ricard has recommended we choose to meditate on somebody for whom it is very easy for us to feel unconditional love and compassion. 

Contemporary trainings

Mettā signifies friendship and non-violence, "a strong wish for the happiness of others" and also less obvious or direct qualities such as showing patience, receptivity, and appreciation. Loving-kindness is a very specific feeling – a caring for the well-being of another living being, independent of approving or disapproving of them, or expecting anything in return.[22] Practice includes reciting specific words and phrases in order to evoke a "boundless warm-hearted feeling," or visualizing suffering and wishing well for those beings. Non-referential compassion, also known as "pure compassion", involves simply experiencing the feeling of caring for another sentient being.[22] One special technique recommended by Matthieu Ricard is to, "imagine," the state of another.[22] Richard J. Davidson has shown metta to induce changes in the tempoparietal lobe.[23] Loving-kindness is the application of love to suffering. Metta is applied to all beings and, as a consequence, one experiences another of the sublime states: joy (mudita), which is true happiness in another person's happiness.


The benefits of metta practice are both extolled by ancient texts and increasingly identified by contemporary research.

Traditional accounts

The most ancient extant Buddhist collection of texts, the Pali Canon, identifies a number of benefits from the practicing of metta meditation, including:

One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and – if penetrating no higher – is headed for the Brahma worlds.[24]

The Canon also upholds fully ripened metta development as a foremost antidote to ill will:

“No other thing do I know, O monks, on account of which unarisen ill will does not arise and arisen ill will is abandoned so much as on account of this: the liberation of the heart by loving-kindness. For one who attends properly to the liberation of the heart by loving-kindness, unarisen ill will does not arise and arisen ill will is abandoned.”[25]

Buddhists believe that those who cultivate loving-kindness will be at ease because they will see no need to harbour ill will or hostility. Buddhist teachers may even recommend meditation on loving-kindness as an antidote to insomnia and nightmares. It is generally felt that those around a person full of loving-kindness will feel more comfortable and happy too. Cultivating loving-kindness is thought to contribute to a world of love, peace and happiness.

Meditation on loving-kindness is considered a good way to calm down a distraught mind and an antidote to anger. Someone who has cultivated loving-kindness will not be easily angered and can quickly subdue anger that arises, being more caring, more loving, and more likely to love unconditionally.

"Compassion meditation" research

A few recent psychological studies suggest that loving-kindness meditation may impact health and well-being. One study done at Stanford University suggests that a short 7 minute practice of loving-kindness meditation can increase social connectedness.[26] Loving-kindness meditation has also been shown to reduce pain and anger in people with chronic lower back pain[27]. Researcher Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that loving-kindness meditation can help boost positive emotions and well-being in life, fostering the personal resources that come from experiencing positive emotion.[28] More research is needed to see whether loving-kindness meditation is appropriate for all populations, whether it works similarly for everyone, and to understand how much practice is needed for the benefits of the practice to manifest.

An EEG study by Richard J. Davidson of people who meditate in metta, with a minimum of 10,000 hours practice, showed substantial differences in the magnitude of gamma waves as well as gamma synchronization, particularly during meditative sessions, and directly afterwards. During baseline states, where the subject was not doing metta, there was a signature brain wave pattern that distinguishes the metta practitioners, lay people as well as monks, from people, at baseline, who have not extensively practiced compassion meditation. This study also showed, during meditation, an increase in the activity of brain areas such as the temporoparietal junction, insula, and amygdala and increase the subject's ability to see things from another's perspective, and actually change the area of the brain that is involved the autonomic system so that the meditator's heartbeat increases. These studies show that the amygdala is modulated during compassion mediation.[23] Compassion meditation has been shown to lower the participants reaction to inflammation and distress, both of which are associated with, "major depression, heart disease and diabetes," in response to stressors, a change that was dependent on the amount of time spent practicing, with practitioners who spent more time meditating having corresponding more significant changes in their brains.[29]

Historical presentations

In the Pāli Canon, statements regarding the use of loving-kindness (metta) traditionally employ one or more of the following devices, often using a stock formula:

  • mental purification
  • a verse for wishing others well
  • pervading all directions and all beings with loving-kindness.

The well-known Kakacupama Sutta and Karaniya Metta Sutta use striking metaphors to give these traditional devices vitality. Other canonical materials, such as in the Paṭisambhidāmagga, elaborate on these basic devices in a manner that is perpetuated by the later traditional commentaries. Other canonical sources, such as the Abhidhamma, underline the key role of loving-kindness in the development of wholesome karma.

Basic intention and verse

May these beings be
free from animosity,
free from oppression,
free from trouble,
and may they look after
themselves with ease!
Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta[30]

In the Sutta To Cunda the Silversmith (Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta, AN 10.176), the Buddha explains that mental or intentional purity (manasā soceyyaṃ) is threefold: non-greed, non-ill-will and non-delusion. Regarding the manifestation of non-ill-will the discourse describes a virtuous person in the following manner (in English and Pāli):

He bears no ill will and is not corrupt in the resolves of his heart.
[He thinks,] 'May these beings be free from animosity,
free from oppression, free from trouble, and
may they look after themselves with ease!'[30]

Avyāpannacitto hoti appaduṭṭhamanasaṃkappo,
'ime sattā averā
avyāpajjā anīghā
sukhī attānaṃ pariharantu'ti.

This basic statement of intention and verse can also be found in several other canonical discourses.[32]

Basic radiating formula

In over a dozen discourses, the following description (in English and Pāli) is provided for radiating loving-kindness in six directions:[33]

He abides, having suffused with a mind of loving-kindness
one direction of the world,
likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth,
and so above, below, around and
everywhere, and to all as to himself;
he abides suffusing the entire universe with loving-kindness,
with a mind grown great, lofty, boundless and
free from enmity and ill will.[34]

So mettāsahagatena cetasā
ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati.
Tathā dutiyaṃ. Tathā tatiyaṃ. Tathā catutthiṃ.
Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ
sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ
lokaṃ mettāsahagatena cetasā
vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena
averena abyāpajjena pharitvā viharati.

In the canon, this basic formula is expanded upon in a variety of ways. For instance, a couple of discourses[36] provide the following description of "the path to the company of Brahmā" (brahmānaṃ sahavyatāya maggo) along with a memorable metaphor:

"What ... is the path to the company of Brahmā? Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will. When the deliverance of mind by loving-kindness is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there.
"Just as a vigorous trumpeter could make himself heard without difficulty in the four quarters, so too, when the deliverance of mind by loving-kindness is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there. This is the path to the company of Brahmā."[37][38]

Kakacupama Sutta (MN 21)

Incorporating facets of the above textual methods in a series of increasingly vivid similes, the Parable of the Saw Discourse (Kakacupama Sutta, MN 21) provides the following culminating scenario:

"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: 'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love – thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.' It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves."[39]

Karaniya Metta Sutta (Sn 1.8)

In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Even as a mother
     protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish
     all living beings.

The Karaniya Metta Sutta (Sn 1.8) combines both the interpersonal and radiant aspects of canonical expressions of loving-kindness.

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
... Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.

atthakusalena yaṃ
taṃ santaṃ padaṃ abhisamecca
... Sukhino vā khemino hontu
sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā

Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty,
medium, short or small,

Ye keci pāṇa bhūtatthi
tasā vā thāvarā vā anavasesā
Dīghā vā ye mahantā vā
majjhamā rassakāṇukathūlā

The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born –
May all beings be at ease!

Diṭṭhā vā yeva addiṭṭhā
ye ca dūre vasanti avidūre
Bhūtā vā sambhavesī vā
sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.

Na paro paraṃ nikubbetha
nātimaññetha katthaci naṃ kañci
Byārosanā paṭighasaññā
nāññamaññassa dukkhamiccheyya

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;

Mātā yathā niyaṃ puttaṃ āyusā
Evampi sabbabhūtesū
mānasaṃ bhāvaye aparimānaṃ

Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.

Mettaṃ ca sabbalokasmiṃ
mānasaṃ bhāvaye aparimānaṃ
Uddhaṃ adho ca tiriyañca
averaṃ asapattaṃ

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding....[40]

Tiṭṭhaṃ caraṃ nisinno vā sayāno
vā yāvatassa vigatamiddho
Etaṃ satiṃ adhiṭṭheyya
brahmametaṃ vihāraṃ idhamāhu

According to the Pāli commentaries, the Buddha originally gave this instruction (of loving-kindness meditation) to monks who were being harassed by the tree spirits of a forest in which the monks were trying to meditate. After doing this meditation in the forest it is said that the spirits were so affected by the power of loving-kindness that they allowed the monks to stay in the forest for the duration of the rainy season.

Patisambhidamagga Mettakatha (Ps. 2.4)

May all beings be free from
enmity, affliction and anxiety,
and live happily.
Mettākathā (Ps. 2.4)[42]

In the Khuddaka Nikāya's Paṭisambhidāmagga, traditionally ascribed to Ven. Sariputta, is a section entitled Mettākathā (Ps. 2.4, "Instruction on Loving-Kindness").[43] In this instruction, a general formula (below, in English and Pāli), essentially identical to the aforementioned Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta verse (especially evident in the Pāli), is provided for radiating loving-kindness:

"May all beings be
free from enmity, affliction and anxiety,
and live happily."[42]

Sabbe sattā
averā abyāpajjā anīghā
sukhī attāna pariharantu.

In addition, this instruction categorizes twenty-two ways in which "the mind-deliverance of lovingkindness" (mettācetovimutti) can be radiated as follows:

  • five ways of "unspecified pervasion" (anodhiso pharaṇā):
  1. all beings (sabbe sattā )
  2. all breathing things (sabbe pāṇā bhāvapariyāpannā)
  3. all creatures (sabbe bhūtā bhāvapariyāpannā)
  4. all persons (sabbe puggalā bhāvapariyāpannā)
  5. all with a personality (sabbe attabhāvapariyāpannā)
  • seven ways of "specified pervasion" (anodhiso pharaṇā):
  1. all women (sabbā itthiyo)
  2. all men (sabbe purisā)
  3. all Noble Ones (sabbe ariyā)
  4. all non-Noble Ones (sabbe anariyā)
  5. all deities (sabbe devā)
  6. all humans (sabbe manussā)
  7. all born in lower realms (sabbe vinipātikā)
  • ten ways of "directional pervasion" (disā-pharaṇā):
  1. of the eastern direction (puratthimāya disāya)
  2. of the western direction (pacchimāya disāya)
  3. of the northern direction (uttarā disāya)
  4. of the southern direction (dakkhīṇāya disāya)
  5. of the eastern intermediate direction (puratthimāya anudisāya)[45]
  6. of the western intermediate direction (pacchimāya anudisāya)
  7. of the northern intermediate direction (uttarā anudisāya)
  8. of the southern intermediate direction (dakkhīṇāya anudisāya)
  9. of the downward direction (heṭṭhimāya disāya)
  10. of the upward direction (uparimāya disāya).

Moreover, the directional pervasions can then be applied to each of the unspecific and specific pervasions. For instance, after radiating loving-kindness to all beings in the east (Sabbe puratthimāya disāya sattā ...), one radiates it to all beings in the west and then north and then south, etc.; then, one radiates it to all breathing things in this fashion (Sabbe puratthimāya disāya pāṇā ...), then all creatures, persons, and so forth until such is extended for all those born in the lower realms.

Abhidhammic descriptor (Dhs. 189)

What are the three
causes of good karma?
The absence of lust,
hate and dullness.
Dhs. 188[46]

In the Abhidhamma's Dhammasaṅgaṇi, the causes of "good" or "wholesome" (kusala) and "bad" or "unwholesome" (akusala) karmic states (dhammā) are described (Dhs. 188ff.). The three causes of wholesome karma are stated to be the non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion (alobho adoso amoho; cf. kleśā). Non-hate is then defined in the following manner:

The absence of hate, hating, hatred; love, loving, loving disposition; tender care, forbearance, considerateness; seeking the general good, compassion; the absence of malice, of malignity; that absence of hate which is the root of good (karma).[46]

Yo adoso adussanā adussitattaṃ metti mettāyanā mettāyitattaṃ anuddayā anuddayanā anuddayitattaṃ hitesitā anukampā avyāpādo avyāpajjho adoso kusalamūlaṃ, ayaṃ vuccati adoso.[47]

See also


  1. ^ Bodhi (2005), pp. 90, 131, 134, passim; Gethin (1998), pp. 26, 30, passim [spelled as two words: "loving kindness"]; Harvey (2007), pp. 247-8 [spelled without a hyphen: "lovingkindness"]; Ñāamoli & Bodhi (2001), pp. 120, 374, 474, passim; Salzberg (1995), passim [without a hyphen]; Walshe (1995), p. 194.
  2. ^ a b Warder (2004), pp. 63, 94.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 540, entry for "Mettā," retrieved 2008-04-29 from "U. Chicago" at
  4. ^ a b c d e Monier Williams, 1964, p. 834, entry for "Maitrī," retrieved 2008-04-29 from "U. Cologne" at
  5. ^ a b Kamalashila (1996).
  6. ^ Gombrich (2002), p. 64-5.
  7. ^ Regarding the cultivation of loving kindness towards oneself, this is not specifically recommended by the Buddha in the pertinent canonical discourses but is inferred in the commentarial literature from other discourses.
  8. ^ Trungpa (1993), p. 220, "Glossary" entry: "maitri bhavana: The practice of maitri, or loving-kindness. Tonglen practice is also referred to as maitri practice, or maitri bhavana...."
  9. ^ Matthieu Ricard's 2cd set "Happiness"
  10. ^ See, e.g. MN 7.12, Snp 1.8/Khp 9: [1], [2].
  11. ^ Salzberg (1995).
  12. ^ Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has spent thousands of hours cultivating loving-kindness and compassion, has advised that we have unconditional love and care for someone that we have no trouble at all doing this for, such as, perhaps, a child, and then that we cultivate, we encourage that feeling of unconditional well-wishing and happiness. Ricard gives a talk on his practice, available on Youtube here:
  13. ^ Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (trans.) (1999), pp. 288-306.
  14. ^ Centuries before the Visuddhimagga's famous instructions for the practice of loving-kindness, Upatissa's Vimuttimagga provided a similar though less detailed framework:
    Thus after the yogin has clearly understood the way of destroying hatred, has identified friends, indifferent ones and enemies with himself, and acquired facility in the practice, he should gradually arouse the thought of loving-kindness and develop it for various bhikkhus in (his) dwelling-place.... After that he should develop (loving-kindness for beings) in one direction.... Thus he spreads loving-kindness towards all beings of the four directions, above, below.... (Upatissa et al., 1995, p. 187.)
    Interestingly, however, the aforementioned method is not the first one described by Upatissa. Instead, in a manner reminiscent of the Karaniya Metta Sutta (see below), Upatissa starts his description of the practice of loving-kindness with the following:
    Q. What is loving-kindness? What is the practising of it?...
    A. As parents, on seeing their dear and only child, so one arouses thoughts of loving-kindness and benevolence towards that child, so one arouses thoughts of loving-kindness and benevolence towards all beings. Thus is loving-kindness to be known. The undisturbed dwelling of the mind in this practice is called the practising of it.... (Upatissa et al., 1995, p. 181.)
  15. ^ In the Visuddhimagga, Ch. IX, vv. 8-10 (Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (1999), pp. 289-90), Buddhaghoṣa identifies three sources in the Tipiṭaka for the practice of loving-kindness (the Khuddaka Nikāya's Sutta Nipata 145, the Khuddaka Nikāya's Paṭisambhidā-magga ii.30, and the Abhidhamma's Vibhaṇga 272). In none of these texts is cultivating loving-kindness towards oneself mentioned. However, Buddhaghoṣa states that the Tipiṭaka references to loving-kindness are for the purpose of meditative absorption (such as jhāna practices); whereas cultivating loving-kindness towards oneself is instead practiced as "an example" for cultivating loving-kindness towards another. That is, one first cultivates loving-kindness towards oneself in order to seed loving-kindness that is subsequently extended towards others. Buddhaghoṣa bases this latter approach on the following statement by the Buddha in the canonical Samyutta Nikāya i.75 (also in the Khuddaka Nikāya's Udāna 47):
    Searching all directions
    with one's awareness,
    one finds no one dearer
    than oneself.
    In the same way, others
    are fiercely dear to themselves.
    So one should not hurt others
    if one loves oneself. (Thanissaro, 1994)
  16. ^ Vsm. IX.11, clearly identifies that after developing lovingkindness towards one's self, one should cultivate it towards a "benefactor" (to use Sharon Salzberg's term), that is, one who "inspire[s] love and endearment, ... respect and reverence." Only after such a benefactor should one cultivate lovingkindness towards a "very dearly loved friend" (Vsm. IX.12). However, in Vsm. IX.40, the benefactor and dear friend appears to be combined when it states:
    ... [One] should break down the barriers by practicing lovingkindness over and over again, accomplishing mental impartiality towards the four persons, that is to say, himself, the dear person, the neutral person and the hostile person. (Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli, 1999, p. 299.)
  17. ^ In the Pāli canon, a classic example of extending loving-kindness and compassion (Pāli: karuṇā) to "difficult persons" can be found in the Parable of the Saw sutta (MN 21), where the Buddha provides the following instruction:
    Monks, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handled saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate toward them would not be carrying out my teaching. Herein, monks, you should train thus: "Our minds will remain unaffected, and we shall utter no bitter words; we shall abide compassionate for their welfare, with a mind of loving-kindness, never in a mood of hate. We shall abide pervading them with a mind imbued with loving-kindness; and starting with them, we shall abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will." This is how you should train, monks. (Bodhi, 2005, pp. 278-79.)
    (Excerpts from this sutta are also available on-line at Buddharakkhita, 2006, and Thanissaro, 1997a.)
  18. ^ Vsm. IX.40-43. According to the Visuddhimagga, after one is able to generate lovingkindness towards each of these persons with equal concern for each person's welfare, one is said to have "broken down the barriers" and is capable of entering deep absorptive states.
  19. ^ As Matthieu Ricard has said someone who escapes from prison but who's friends are left behind is not happy, and one who has food while his friends have none is not happy, and as for the happiness of oneself and others, "Well, they're the same."
  20. ^ Vsm. IX.44. See, also, e.g., Kamalashila (1996), p. 25-26.
  21. ^ Vism. IX.4,6-7.
  22. ^ a b c Interview with Matthieu Ricard. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
  23. ^ a b Davidson, R. (2010). Cultivating compassion: Neuroscientific and behavioral approaches. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
  24. ^ AN 11.16 (trans. Thanissaro, 1997b). See also AN 8.1 (similarly entitled, Mettānisasa Sutta [SLTP] and Mettā Suttaṃ [CSCD]) which omits the last three of four benefits mentioned in AN 11.16 (that is, it omits "One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused...").
  25. ^ AN 1.ii.7 (trans. Nyanaponika & Bodhi, 1999, p. 34).
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b Thanissaro (1997a). Square-bracketed text is part of the original Thanissaro (1997a) translation.
  31. ^ Bodhgaya News (n.d.), Anguttara Nikaya, book 5, BJT p. 488, retrieved 2007-11-26 at
  32. ^ In addition to AN 10.176, other discourses that contain this text include: Discourse for the Brahmans of Sala (Sāleyyaka Sutta, MN 41) (Ñanamoli & Khantipalo, 1993); Discourse for the Brahmins of Verañja (Verañjaka Sutta, MN 42, which is substantially a reiteration of MN 41 in a different locale); Sutta on the To Be Cultivated and Not to Be Cultivated (Sevitabbāsevitabba Sutta, MN 114) (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 2001, p. 917); First Discourse on Hell and Heaven (Pahama-niraya-sagga Sutta, AN 10.211); Second Discourse on Hell and Heaven (Dutiya-niraya-sagga Sutta, AN 10.212); First Discourse on Intentional Actions (Pahama-sañcetanika Sutta, AN 10.217); Second Discourse on Intentional Actions (Dutiya-sañcetanika Sutta, AN 10.218); as well as in the Paṭisambhidāmagga (see below) and the paracanonical Milinda Pañha.
  33. ^ See for instance, in the Digha Nikāya alone, The Great Splendor Discourse (Mahāsudassana Sutta, DN 17), v. 2.4 (Walshe, 1995, p. 287); The Great Steward Discourse (Mahāgovinda Sutta, DN 19), v. 59 (Walshe, 1995, p. 312); The Great Lion's Roar to the Udumbarikans Discourse (Udumbarika-Sīhanāda Sutta, DN 19), v. 17 (Walshe, 1995, pp. 390-391); and The Lion's Roar on the Turning of the Wheel Discourse (Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta, DN 79), v. 28 (Walshe, 1995, p. 405).
  34. ^ This particular English text is from the Nyanaponika (1988) translation of the Simile of the Cloth (Vatthūpama Sutta, MN 7), v. 12.
  35. ^ Bodhgaya News(n.d.), Majjhima Nikaya, book 1, BJT p. 88, retrieved 2009-08-07 at
  36. ^ See, for instance, the Discourse to Subha (Subha Sutta, MN 99) (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 2001, pp. 816-17); and, The Threefold Knowledge Discourse (Tevijja Sutta, DN 13), vv. 76-77 (Walshe, 1995, p. 194). See also the Discourse to Dhānañjāni (Dhānañjāni Sutta, MN 97) (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 2001, p. 796), in which a similar statement about union with Brahma is made by the Ven. Sariputta without the trumpeter metaphor.
  37. ^ MN 99 (Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 2001, pp. 816-17). In this translation, this text is presented as one paragraph. Here, it was divided into two, thus following the Pāli text presentation, to enhance readability.
  38. ^ Given this text's length, relatively uncomplicated translation and lesser known status (e.g., compared with the Karaniya Metta Sutta), the associated Pāli text is not represented in this main article but here:
    'Katamo ca ..., brahmānaṃ sahavyatāya maggo: idha ..., bhikkhu mettāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati. Tathā dutiyaṃ, tathā tatiyaṃ, tathā catutthiṃ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ mettā sahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā viharati. Evaṃ bhāvitāya kho ..., mettāya cetovimuttiyā yaṃ pamāṇakataṃ kammaṃ, na taṃ tatrāvasissati. Na taṃ tatrāvatiṭṭhati.
    Seyyathāpi ..., balavā saṅkhadhamo appakasireneva catuddisā viññāpeyya. Evameva kho ..., evaṃ bhavitāya mettāya ceto vimuttiyā, yaṃ pamāṇakataṃ kammaṃ na taṃ tatrāvasissati. Na taṃ tatrāvatiṭṭhati. Ayampi kho ..., brahmāṇaṃ sahavyatāya maggo. (Bodhgaya News, n.d., Majjhima Nikaya, book 2, BJT p. 730 [MN 99], retrieved 2009-08-07 at
    In this particular Pāli text, the word that is repeatedly elided ("...") is māṇava ("student" or "young man") so that only the text that is common to all of the identified discourses is represented here. (For instance, in MN 97, instead of māṇava, it uses the name of the Brahmin being addressed.)
  39. ^ Buddharakkhita (1987).
  40. ^ a b c Amaravati Sangha (2004). Space between sentences and half-sentences is not in the original English translation but is based on the Pali text presented here.
  41. ^ Bodhgaya News (n.d.), Sutta Nipata (1.8), vv. 143-152, BJT pp. 44-46, retrieved 2009-08-07 starting at Intra-sentence lines formatted to match English translation.
  42. ^ a b Cited in Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (1999), p. 302, Vsm.IX,50. See also Ñanamoli (1987), section 11, "Methodical Practice: from the Patisambhidamagga," where this sentence is translated as: "May all beings be freed from enmity, distress and anxiety, and may they guide themselves to bliss."
  43. ^ In this section of this article, the primary English-language sources are Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (1999), pp. 301-304, Vsm.IX,49-58; and, Ñanamoli (1987), section 11, "Methodical Practice: from the Patisambhidamagga." The Pali is primarily based on Bodhgaya News (n.d.), Patisambhidamagga 2, BJT pp. 64-80, retrieved 2009-08-07 starting at
  44. ^ Bodhgaya News (n.d.), Patisambhidamagga 2, BJT p. 64, retrieved 2009-08-07 at
  45. ^ An "intermediate direction" (anudisā) is the midpoint between two compass points. For instance, the "eastern intermediate direction" refers to either the direction to the north-east (between north and east) or the south-east (between south and east).
  46. ^ a b Rhys Davids (1900), pp. 275-276.
  47. ^ Bodhgaya News (n.d.), Abhidhamma Pitaka, vol. 1, Dhammasangani, BJT p. 402, retrieved 2009-08-07 at


  • Amaravati Sangha (trans.) (1994, 2004). "Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness" from Chanting Book: Morning and Evening Puja and Reflections (1994). Hemel Hempstead: Amaravati Publications. Retrieved 2007-11-25 from "Access to Insight" (2004) at
  • Bodhgaya News (n.d.), "Pali Canon Online Database," online search engine of Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project's (SLTP) Pali Canon. Retrieved 2009-08-07 at
  • Buddhaghosa, Bhadantacariya & Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli (trans.) (1999). The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-00-2.
  • Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) & Bhikkhu Bodhi (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
  • Nyanaponika Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.) (1999). Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An anthology of Suttas from the Aṅguttara Nikāya. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7425-0405-0.
  • Rhys Davids, Caroline A. F. ([1900], 2003). Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics, of the Fourth Century B.C., Being a Translation, now made for the First Time, from the Original Pāli, of the First Book of the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka, entitled Dhamma-Sangaṇi (Compendium of States or Phenomena). Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-4702-9.
  • Walshe, Maurice (1995). The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-103-3.

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