Nyanaponika Thera

The Four Sublime States & The Practice of Loving-Kindness (Metta)

The Four Sublime States & The Practice of Loving-Kindness (Metta)

This booklet contains two essays: Four Sublime States by Nyanaponika Thera and The Practice of Loving-Kindness (Mettā) by Ñāṇamoli Thera.

The “four sublime states”, known as the brahmavihārās, are the lofty mental states of love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Ven. Nyanaponika gives us a brief description of all four with a section of contemplation exercises for each. He closes with a section on the interrelationship of all four.

Eerwaarde Ñāṇamoli’s essay focuses on the the basic brahmavihārā of mettā, translating for us in his usual lucid style the key passages from pali canon in which the Buddha taught the practice of mettā.

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About Nyanaponika Thera

Nyanaponika Thera (Siegmund Feniger) was born on 21 July 1901 in Hanau, Germany. He came into contact with Buddhism early in his youth and left for Sri Lanka in 1936, where he was ordained as a novice and a year later as a monk by the famous German monk Nyanatiloka.

Interned in camps like Dehra Dun's in India, he worked intensively during the war years on translations of Pali texts. Not only as author of the now classic The Heart of Buddhist Meditation and of many other books and translations, but also as co-founder in 1958, editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society he made a great contribution to the international dissemination of the Theravāda teachings. He died on October 19, 1994 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276