Four sublime states of mind have been taught by the Buddha.
Love or Loving-kindness (metta)
Sympathetic Joy (mudita)
In Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures, these four are known under the name of Brahma-vihara, a term which may be rendered as excellent, lofty, or alternatively, as Brahma-like, god-like or divine abodes.
These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct toward living beings. They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the great removers of tension, the great peace-maker in social conflict, and the great healers of wounds suffered in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, awaken slumbering magnanimity long forgotten, revive joy and hope long abandoned, and promote human brotherhood against the forces of egotism.
Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994), a German Jew, was one of the most highly respected Buddhist scholar monks in modern times. One of the founding members of the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS), Kandy, Sri Lanka, he was renowned for his many important Buddhist writing including the now classic " The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation".
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