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Topic Summary

Posted by: Johann
« on: June 22, 2019, 06:24:16 AM »

Quote from: Nyom Sriram Goutam P on BSE
How does metta sutra develop loving kindness

Metta sutra says "May all living beings be happy minded." This seems illogical to me as all living beings cannot be happy minded at a particular moment of time. I also feel that contemplating on anything that is false will not lead me to the ultimate truth. In my view loving kindness should be better cultivated by knowing the true nature of things because if we get insight into real nature of things then we will automatically develop kindness by clearly seeing dukkha and we would be able to understand the suffering of others in a better way. Note: I do not intend to offend great Buddhist scriptures. I asked this question to clear my ignorance.

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

Venerable fellows,

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person to share a question and investigate it. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa  

That is, on a more focused view, right, householder Sriram Goutam P, and no offend of the Buddhas teachings at all but a wise observed encouragement.

While the development of metta certainly has not the purpose to change the world of others, or give oneself the task to feel such as love toward any being, it's used to develop an attitude of goodness and goodwill toward all, what ever might be the quality of relation. See "Mettā means Goodwill ", which corrects certain wrong transmitted attributes of metta.

Giving others the wish:
"May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!"

Mostly such a honest wish, acting without harm, is all one could do for others and having done all what one can do gives release, freedom of debts.

There are less who actually do not give such a gift, also in action, but mostly only toward those regarded as own or regarded a heading after ones aims and desires.

Once the ensnared net of battle each other can be seen, that there is no real justification why siding snake or mouse, and that beings are heirs of their actions, i.e. right view arises, metta, the wish for the best for all can non-hypocritical developted toward all in the universe, good, wise and fools, gifted or worse. That is one huge different to the metta development of the Jains:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

They get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Lay down the rod with regard to beings who live more than 100 leagues to the east... more than 100 leagues to the west... more than 100 leagues to the north... more than 100 leagues to the south.' Thus they get the disciple to undertake kindness & sympathy to some beings, but not to others.

"On the Uposatha day, they get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Having stripped off all your clothing, say this: "I am nothing by anything or of anything. Thus there is nothing by anything or of anything that is mine."'

Thus at a time when he should be persuaded to undertake truthfulness, he is persuaded to undertake falsehood. At the end of the night, he resumes the consumption of his belongings, even though they aren't given back to him. This counts as stealing, I tell you. Such is the Uposatha of the Jains, Visakha. When this Uposatha of the Jains is undertaken, it is not of great fruit or great benefit, not of great glory or great radiance.

And there is the strategical giving of metta of the cowherd, trading with something which is not their own to walk on.

So right view, at least in faith, is the prerequistite for developing metta that leads into the Brahma realms or even beyond:
right view (4 Noble truth) > right resolve (=metta) > right virtue! > right meditation (development) > release

And if investigating the Karaṇīya Metta-Sutta one finds that in the starting verses.

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

He who is skilful in his welfare, And wishes to attain that state of Peace (e.g. at least a firm faith-follower, instructed, and after Nibbana) Should act thus:...

Further, there is not really any evidence that such as metta-bhavana was taught much toward people of wrong view.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of greed, devoid of ill will, undeluded, alert, & resolute — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] — as well as the second direction, the third, & the fourth — with an awareness imbued with good will. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, & all around, everywhere & in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.

And at least, metta is deply connected with even conventional right view, not to speak that "maha-metta" is an application of Noble Ones.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"And how is one made pure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is not covetous. He does not covet the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' 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!' He has right view and is not warped in the way he sees things: 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made pure in three ways by mental action."

— AN 10.176

There is a generouse and very useful essay on metta by Ven. Ñāṇadassana as gift of Dhamma: Karaṇīya Metta-Sutta , including also detail explainings of the prerequisites of metta-development as means for higher and beyond.

The generous essay Metta Means Goodwill helps to get ride of certain popular missunderstandings.

There have been related answers on the topic before and maybe my person can add them here later:

- Some words on blessings
- How to view people with metta and karuna?

Best wishes that householder soon arrives at right metta, right view and/or pushes if further till highest liberation.

And so ends the Sublime Buddhas introduction on metta development those:

(developing metta+...And not holding to [wrong] view, Being virtuous, endowed with right vision, And discarding desire for sensual pleasures, One surely never again will be reborn in a womb.

metta & mudita