Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part II by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(41) How to develop Metta by dividing it into two or three parts

4. Ye keci panabhuta’tthi,

tasa va thavara va anavasesa.

Digha va Ye manatee va,

majjhima rassaka anuka thula.

5. Dittha va ye va adittha,

ye va dure vasanti avidure,

Bhuta va sambhavesi va,

sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta.

Tasa va – an individual who is trembling with fear and still on probation, thavara va – and a perfect and holy Arahat who is serene, steadfast and fearless, ye keci panabhuta – and also all living beings without distinction, atthi do exist. Anavasesa – Without exception, all those, Imesatta – living beings or creatures, sukhitatta – may with happiness in both body and mind, bhavantu – become blessed and contented.

Tasa – Trembling and shaking with fear may be caused by anger or human passions, lust and desirable attachment (tanha). Those who are prone to fright are living beings who are not yet free from anger or hatred, such as, ordinary worldlings, Sotapannas, and Sakadagamis. Those beings who get frightfully affected by passionate desires are common worldlings (Puthujjana), and also include individuals who are Sotapannas, Sakadagamis dan Anagamis. How they are seized with fear because of passionate desires (tanha) is something similar to beings who are anxious for not getting or receiving which they crave for, of wish to obtain. Those whose mind is tranquil, unperturbed and steadfast without a feeling of fright are the noble Arahats who are absolutely free from tanha, human passions. Therefore, tasa – those beings who are prone to fear are beings who are not as yet liberated from passionate and desirable attachment. Thavara – beings who have absolutely no fear and are not apprehensive, with serenity and stability of mind, are the Noble Ones – Arahats. Hence, with those two phrases: “Tasa va thavara va”, it has been distinguished into two parts or categories, viz: individuals who are not free from tanha, and who have entirely got rid of tanha. These two should be kept distinct and separated in developing metta by reciting according to the said two verses. It should be also combined together with Vipassana in practising contemplation. Please follow and join in the recitation.