Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part II by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(50) Appamañña and Brahmacora

In the Abhidhamma Vibhanga Pali (284), these four kinds of Brahmavihara are stated to be Appamanna. In the Mahâvâ Mahâ Govinda Sutta, it has been called ‘Brahmacariya’. It means the practice of the life of holiness led by the sanctified, or in other words, the practice of Appamanna – the perfect exercise of the qualities of loving-kindness or friendliness, compassion, goodwill, and equanimity (metta, karuna, mudita and upekkha). The term “Brahmacora Dhamma” commonly known and spoken in Burmese language is derived from the Pali word – “Brahmacariya”.

When this “metta” is developed, it must be developed dwelling one’s mind on the pannatta – the manifestation of what is known by the nomenclature “puggala” (individual) and “sattava” (being). Hence, there is every likelihood of having a false belief in atta or Self (attaditthi) with clinging attachment or a notion that ‘an individual’, or ‘a being’ really exists. Such being the case, the Exalted One has taught the last verse of the Sutta in conclusion as quoted below, in order to cause to dispel this “attaditthi” which is likely to occur, and to enable mankind to attain ariya-magga-phala.