the 4 'sublime' or 'divine abodes', also called the 4 boundless states
- loving-kindness (mettā),
- compassion (karunā),
- altruistic (or sympathetic) joy (muditā),
- equanimity (upekkhā).
The stereotype text on the development of these 4 sublime abodes (brahma-vihāra-bhāvanā;
s. bhāvanā), often met with in the Suttas,-
is as follows:
"'There, o monks, the monk with a mind full of loving-kindness pervading
first one direction, then a second one, then a third one, then the fourth one,
just so above, below and all around; and everywhere identifying himself with
all, he is pervading the whole world with mind full of loving-kindness, with
mind wide, developed, unbounded, free from hate and ill-will."
Hereafter follows the same theme with compassion, altruistic joy, and
- Detailed explanation in Vis.M. IX. -
- For texts s. "Path", 97ff;
- texts on mettā in The Practice of Loving Kindness, by ñānamoli
Thera (WHEEL 7). -
- The Four Sublime States, by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 6). -
- Brahma Vihāra, by Narada Thera (Vajirarama, Colombo, 1962).