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The four sublime states

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by Ven. Nyanaponika Thera

Four sublime states of mind have been taught by the Buddha: Loving-kindness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Sympathetic Joy (mudita), Equanimity (upekkha) These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living beings They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the great removers of tension, the great peacemakers 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.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/4sublime_states.pdf

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