Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part I, by Ven, Mahasi Sayadaw

(11) The Manner of Developing Metta by Ashin Subuti

The exercise of mindfulness on metta can bring about much benefit particularly in the interest of the donors. Such being the case, Ashin Subuti Thera, an arahat, used to enter into a trance of jhana metta while stopping a while in front of every house when going round for alms. Only after arising from this metta jhana, he accepted the offering of food. This is done so with a view to bestowing beneficial results on the male and female benefactors. The said Ashin Subuti later received the highest approbation from the Buddha and was conferred upon with the pre-eminent title of etadagga (foremost) of all the noble disciple-donees – recipients of alms. Nowadays, on the occasion of religious functions held in connection with the offerings of gifts in charity, the Metta Sutta Paritta is recited by monks for the benefit of the donors. Hence, where chanting metta paritta as a blessing on any such occasion, it should also be properly and seriously recited by developing metta.

It is important to note that developing metta while listening to the sermon is really advantageous. Metta bhavana needs to be developed as and when opportunity affords, and at any place wherever you may be. In the least, it should be developed immediately after worshipping the Buddha as much as time permits. If circumstances are favourable, metta jhana can be achieved soon even while metta is being developed through meditation. It is similar to the case of Dhananjhani, a Brahmin, as narrated below.