(Karaniya Metta Sutta) (1)
Buddha was staying at Savatthi, a band of monks, having received
subjects of meditation from the master, proceeded to a forest
to spend the rainy season (Vassana). The tree deities
inhabiting this forest were worried by their arrival, as they
had to descend from tree abodes and dwell on the ground. They
hoped, however, the monks would leave soon; but finding that
the monks would stay the vassana period of three months,
harassed them in diverse ways, during the night with the intention
of scaring them away.
such conditions being impossible, the monks went to the Master
and informed him of their difficulties. Thereon the Buddha instructed
them in the Metta Sutta and advised their return equipped
with this Sutta for their protection.
went back to the forest, and practicing the instruction conveyed,
permeated the whole atmosphere with their radiant thoughts of
Metta or Loving-kindness. The deities so affected by
this power of love, henceforth allowed them to meditate in peace.
gets divided into two parts. The first detailing the standard
of moral conduct required by one who wishes to attain Purity
and Peace, and the second the method of practice of Metta).
1. He who
is skilled in (working out his own) well being, and who wishes
to attain that state of Calm (Nibbana) should act thus:
he should be dexterous, upright, exceedingly upright, obedient,
gentle and humble.
easily supportable, with but few responsibilities, of simple
livelihood, controlled in the senses, prudent, courteous, and
not hanker after association with families.
3. Let him
not perform the slightest wrong for which wise men may rebuke
him. (Let him think:) 'May all beings be happy and safe. May
they have happy minds.'
5. Whatever living beings there may be - feeble or strong (or
the seekers and the attained) long, stout, or of medium size,
short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling
far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born
- may all beings have happy minds.
6. Let him
not deceive another nor despise anyone anywhere. In anger or
ill will let him not wish another ill.
as a mother would protect her only child with her life even
so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.
8. Let him
radiate boundless love towards the entire world - above, below
and across - unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.
walking, sitting or reclining, as long as he is awake, let him
develop this mindfulness. This, they say, is 'Noble Living'
falling into wrong views - being virtuous, endowed with insight,
lust in the senses discarded - verily never again will he return
to conceive in a womb.
8.; Sn. 25, under the title Metta-sutta.
2. KhpA. 232.