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Itivuttaka

Itivuttaka 27 Mettācetovimutti Sutta
The Development of Loving-kindness

The Buddha explains how developing loving kindness even towards just one being will bring a huge amount of merit.

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard:

“Monks, all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.”

“Just as the radiance of all the stars does not equal a sixteenth part of the radiance of the moon, the moon’s radiance surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.”

“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the sky is clear and cloudless, the sun, on ascending the sky, dispels the darkness of space and shines, blazes and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.

“Just as in the last stage of the night, not yet dawn, the morning star shines, blazes, and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

The one, who mindfully develops loving-kindness immeasurably, sees the destruction of defilements. The fetters in his mind are worn away.

If one spreads boundless loving-kindness without having a hateful mind, even for one being, as a result, he becomes a skilled Dhamma practitioner, not to speak of the power of abundance of merit accumulated by the noble one who has a compassionate mind towards all beings.

In this world, righteous kings who have conquered the earth crowded with beings have gone about performing sacrifices: the horse sacrifice, human sacrifice, water rites, and soma rites.

But those sacrifices do not equal even a sixteenth part of a well-developed mind of loving-kindness; just as the entire starry host does not equal even a sixteenth part of the radiance of the moon.

The one who neither kills nor influences others to kill nor defeats others nor influences others to defeat, spreads loving-kindness to all beings – he has no hatred towards anyone or anything at all.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.

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Itivuttaka 27 Mettācetovimutti Sutta: The Development of Loving-kindness

Explore other suttas with these topics:

Further Reading:

  • AN 11.15 The benefits of loving-kindness
  • Snp 1.8 Karaniyametta sutta. Verses on how to practice loving-kindness

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