Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/10/2016

Brahmavihara

191. Love is characterized as promoting the welfare of others. Its function is to desire welfare. It is manifested as the removal of annoyance. Its proximate cause is seeing the loveable-ness in beings. It succeeds when it makes ill-will subside, and it fails when it gives rise to selfish affection.
Compassion is characterized as promoting the removal of others’ suffering. Its function is not bearing others’ suffering. It is manifested as kindness. Its proximate cause is seeing helplessness in those overwhelmed by suffering. It succeeds when it makes cruelty subside, and it fails when it gives rise to sorrow.
Sympathetic joy is characterized as joy in the success of others. Its function is being free from envy. It is manifested as the elimination of aversion. Its proximate cause is seeing other beings’ success. It succeeds when it makes aversion subside, and it fails when it gives rise to merriment.
Equanimity is characterized as promoting equipoise towards beings. Its function is to see the equality in beings. It is manifested as quieting like and dislike. Its proximate cause is seeing the ownership of deeds thus: “Beings are heirs to their deeds. Whose, if not theirs, is the choice by which they will become happy, or will be free from suffering, or will not fall away from the success they have reached?” It succeeds when it makes like and dislike subside, and it fails when it gives rise to the indifference of ignorance based on the household life.

Visuddhimagga 318

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