Part II by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw
(44) Three methods of developing Metta by again distinguishing into two parts
5. Dittha va ye va adittha,
ye va dure vasanti avidure.
Bhuta va sambhavesi va,
sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta.
Ye dittha va – those beings who have been seen before, and ye va adittha – those beings who have never been seen before, atthi – do exist. Ye va – Some beings also, dure – in a remote place, vasanti – are living there. Ye va – some beings also, avidure – in the neighbourhood, vasanti – are residing there. Ye bhuta va – those beings who have become i.e. come into being, ye sambhavesi va – those beings who are in the course of becoming, atthi – do exist. Ime sabbe satta – All these beings, sukhitatta – may find happiness in both body and mind, (and) bhavantu – be accomplished.
The first pair is the manner in which Metta is developed distinguishing between beings that have been seen before, and the beings that have never been seen before. This is quite clear and precise, and is easily understandable. Let us, therefore, develop Metta relating to the first pair. Please follow the recitation.
“May those beings who have been met and seen before be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May those beings who have never been met and seen before be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all those beings who have either been met and seen before, or never been met and seen before be happy.” (Repeat three times)
The second pair also indicates the manner in which Metta is developed distinguishing between beings who live nearby and afar. In imparting the feeling of loving-kindness relating to the place, whether it is near or remote, it may be distinguished according to one’s own wish. Let us develop Metta with reference to the second pair. Please follow the recitation.
“May all these beings who are living near be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all those beings who are living afar be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all those beings who are living near and afar be happy. (Repeat three times)
In the third pair, according to the expression “bhuta” what is meant by “beings”, are the Arahats who will not be reborn in another existence for their having ceased to become. “Beings” who are about to become are those ordinary worldlings (Puthujjana) and Sekkha individuals who will be reborn again in the next existence as they have not been free from kilesas, human passions or moral defilement. According to the grammatical sense, it refers to beings who are seeking (Esi) for another rebirth, or rather, fresh existence to become again (sambhava). Those beings who are seeking for new existence are those who will have a continuum of life existence. They are still about to become. Hence, to be more appropriate in the usage of the conjunctive word, and to be closely coherent, the expression: “Beings about to become” has been used. Therefore, let us develop according to this definition. Please do the recitation as follows:-
“May Holy Arahats who are said to have ceased to become be happy.” (Repeat three times)
‘May those worldlings and Sekkha individuals who will again be reborn and about. to become be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all those beings who have already become or been in existence, and who are about to become be happy.” (Repeat three times)
Putting it in another way, it means a person who has entered into the womb of an earthly mother, i.e. at the time of conception (sambhavesi), seeking for a new existence. After being born, he is deemed to be a person who has become a living being (bhuta). Similarly, a creature about to come forth from an egg, is “sambhavesi”. If the gestation period has passed and if already hatched, it means: “bhuta”. Beings who have been reborn complete with the material body, and beings coming forth depending on viscous or viscid sticky substance from plants, shrubs, grass, vegetation, or mucilage, etc., at the moment rebirth consciousness taking place, are regarded as beings or creatures in the making, that is, about to become. All those who have become sentient beings caused by kamma without conceiving in a womb and without depending upon anything, with the sudden appearance of a material body or form, are said to be “sambhavesi”. Furthermore, it has been explained in the Commentary as “bhuta”. Let us develop Metta towards them and recite as follows: –
“May those beings who are about to become and are conceived in a womb be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May those beings who have come to be and have already been born be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all beings who are about to become and have already come into existence be happy.” (Repeat three times)
What has now been stated describes the manner of developing Metta with a view to bring about prosperity and wealth. Thereafter, it has been instructed how to develop Metta hoping to get liberated from unmerited misery and sufferings, in the following way.