Brahmavihāra or the four sublime states

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Leo Radutz
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Scris de 
Leo Radutz
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or attitudes – sublime states represent a series of four Buddhist virtues that can be cultivated through the practice of meditation. Brahmavihāra means in translation: the sublime virtues of Brahma, where Brahma represents the name of the supreme consciousness, and the vichara - the divine, sublime virtues.

These virtues are also known as the four infinite or boundless states (in Sanskrit: Apramana). When a high degree of consciousness develops as a result of a long practice of meditation, these infinite states reflect on the mind, which takes over the attributes of Brahma's mind, becoming limitless.

It is said that he who practices meditation on these four sublime virtues, and constantly cultivates them, will be reborn in the world of Brahma (or Brahmloka).

The four virtues or sublime states (which are also found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras , a text significantly influenced by Buddhism) are the following:

  • love - kindness
  • Compassion
  • empathic joy
  • soul balance
  • Love and kindness, which in Sanskrit has the name of foremen, or metta (in Pali – the sacred language in which the first Buddhist texts were written) is a state that implies "the desire of the one who meditates, that all sentient beings in the Universe, without any exception, to be happy."
  • Compassion (in Pali and Sanskrit: karuna: represents the hope that personal sufferings will diminish; "the desire that all sentient beings be freed from suffering"
  • Empathic joy (in Pali and Sanskrit: mudita): joy towards personal or other achievements, empathic joy: "the beneficial attitude towards the happiness and virtues of all sentient beings"
  • Soul balance (in Pali: upekkha, in Sanskrit: upeksa): learning to accept loss and gain, joy and sadness, all the opposites of life, in a detached, equal way, both for oneself and for others. This state"does not distinguish the friend from the enemy, but regards each sentient being as equal. It is a clear and quiet mental state – without being overwhelmed by illusions, mental slowness or agitation. "

Love- Kindness and Compassion can be seen together as hopes for a future in which it is possible to act and realize these hopes. Joy and Balance can be seen as useful atutudines when they reflect our past, and through this reflection, the present can be seen as an opportunity to apply the knowledge we possess to all our actions.

Therefore, the four sublime states can be delimited as attitudes oriented towards the past or the future. However, they contain in their porfusion, the seed of the present. In this context, practicing a state of presence can be a dedicated intention of the fact that we are "here and now."

An essential part of Buddhist teachings is the deep appreciation of the present moment and the possibilities that exist in the present, in terms of spiritual awakening and freedom from suffering. The four limitless, sublime states can be a way to experience the past and the future in an enlightened manner, a manner that avoids suffering and encourages peace and happiness.



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