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  • Daniel
    With regards to priest and dhutangas , perhaps anyone can explain the connotations of the word metta ? Are there some connotations missed when translated
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2006
      With regards to "priest and dhutangas", perhaps anyone can explain the
      connotations of the word "metta"? Are there some connotations missed when
      translated into English as "love"?

      Sometimes I heard people say "What we in the west call
      love, buddhists would call attachment". Then, in Tibetan Buddhism "love" is
      sometimes defined as "the wish for someone to have hapiness and the causes of
      hapiness". Do you agree with these?

      Yours

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    • Michael Zoll
      To Daniel, With regards to priest and dhutangas , perhaps anyone can explain the connotations of the word metta ? Are there some connotations missed when
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 2, 2006
        To Daniel,



        "With regards to 'priest and dhutangas', perhaps anyone can explain the
        connotations of the word 'metta'? Are there some connotations missed when
        translated into English as 'love'"?



        1) According to the Paa.li-English Dictionary available online at http://www.dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/index.html, "metta" has numerous connotations. I would have pasted them here if my Unicode font worked properly, so I'd suggest checking out what the PED has to say.

        As for "What we in the West call 'love,' Buddhists would call 'attachment,'" (I'm afraid I'll be departing from the focus/purpose of the group, but here it goes:) I believe it's helpful to consider that there seem to be generally two types of love: sensuous love (loving desire rooted in the six sense bases) and maternal/paternal love (loving-kindness, the wishing for non-harm and happiness for a being). The former type seems to relate to the above statement (love associated with attachment) and seems directed not as much for the sake of the recipient(s) of one's metta (i.e. for the well-being of the recipient(s), but toward the desire/craving for one's own pleasurable feelings/sensations associated with that object of metta (and thus is an unwholesome desire rooted in greed, sensuous desire, delusion, etc.). This certainly is not the type of love that the Buddha taught his disciples to cultivate. Also, both of these types of love are clearly present in the West, so I would
        hesitate to stay that "what we in the West call 'love,' Buddhists would call 'attachment'".

        It seems that the latter is the brand of love he taught, the type of love that a mother or father would have for her/his children; in the Metta Sutta the Buddha states, "Na paro para"m nikubbetha, naatima~n~netha katthaci na ka~nci, byaarosanaa pa.tighasa~n~na, naa~n~na-ma~n~nassa dukkha-miccheyya" ("Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so let him cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings" (translation by Ven. Sayadaw U Siilaananda)). This type of love is boundless, free from enmity and hate, and is born out of a desire not only for non-harm to come to another, but for true (permanent, lasting) happiness (i.e. realization of Truth) to be experienced by the recipient(s) of one's metta.

        2) "Then, in Tibetan Buddhism 'love' is sometimes defined as "the wish for someone to have happiness and the causes of happiness"".

        Not only is this the interpretation of "love" in Tibetan Buddhism; this is the most common definition of metta in the Paa.li Canon (and thus the Theravada tradition) in reference to the brahmavihaaras (Divine Abidings/Abodes): Sabbasattaa bhavantu sukhitattaa ("May all beings be happy" (Metta Sutta, translated by Ven. Sayadaw U Siilaananda)).

        3) Relation to the Four Right Efforts (sammappadhaana):

        Also important to keep in mind is the four-fold purpose/function of cultivating metta; not only is it simply wishing for non-harm and happiness for all beings (i.e. giving rise to wholesome states and causing them to persist), but it is also to prevent unwholesome states (hate, ill will, resentment, etc.) from arising and persisting in one's own mind. In the Visuddhimagga, (Ch. IX, Sec. 3), Buddhagosa states, "He should embark upon the development of loving-kindness for the purpose of secluding the mind from hate seen as a danger and introducing it to patience known as an advantage" (translation by Ven. ~Na.namoli). Cultivation of metta can be seen as a weapon for eliminating and preventing unwholesome states from arising and persisting, while at the same time giving rise to and maintaining wholesome states that have arisen. Therefore, metta is not limited to the outward gaze (wishing for the welfare and happiness of other beings as a means of cultivating whoesome states, as
        stated/suggested in the common definition of it), but is also inwardly directed for one's own development (ridding oneself of/preventing unwholesome states).

        Mike Zoll


        Daniel <daniell@...> wrote:

        With regards to "priest and dhutangas", perhaps anyone can explain the
        connotations of the word "metta"? Are there some connotations missed when
        translated into English as "love"?

        Sometimes I heard people say "What we in the west call
        love, buddhists would call attachment". Then, in Tibetan Buddhism "love" is
        sometimes defined as "the wish for someone to have hapiness and the causes of
        hapiness". Do you agree with these?

        Yours

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      • John Kelly
        Daniel, I think the Pali word pema best expresses the English word love or affection intermixed with attachment. Whereas metta is love without any
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 2, 2006
          Daniel,

          I think the Pali word 'pema' best expresses the English word love or
          affection intermixed with attachment. Whereas 'metta' is love without
          any attachment at all.

          Mike,
          > It seems that the latter is the brand of love he taught, the type
          >of love that a mother or father would have for her/his children; in
          >the Metta Sutta the Buddha states, "Na paro para"m nikubbetha,
          >naatima~n~netha katthaci na ka~nci, byaarosanaa pa.tighasa~n~na,
          >naa~n~na-ma~n~nassa dukkha-miccheyya" ("Just as a mother would
          >protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so let him
          >cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings" (translation by Ven.
          >Sayadaw U Siilaananda)).
          The Pali in the metta sutta that is translated by "Just as a mother
          would ..." is actually not what you quoted, but the following lines:
          "Maataa yatthaa niya.m putta.m, aayusaa ekaputta.m anurakkhe, eva.m pi
          sabbabhuutesu, maanasa.m bhaavaye aparimaa.na.m".

          With metta,
          John

          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Michael Zoll <mikemasatozoll@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > To Daniel,
          >
          >
          >
          > "With regards to 'priest and dhutangas', perhaps anyone can explain the
          > connotations of the word 'metta'? Are there some connotations missed
          when
          > translated into English as 'love'"?
          >
          >
          >
          > 1) According to the Paa.li-English Dictionary available online at
          http://www.dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/index.html, "metta" has
          numerous connotations. I would have pasted them here if my Unicode
          font worked properly, so I'd suggest checking out what the PED has to say.
          >
          > As for "What we in the West call 'love,' Buddhists would call
          'attachment,'" (I'm afraid I'll be departing from the focus/purpose of
          the group, but here it goes:) I believe it's helpful to consider that
          there seem to be generally two types of love: sensuous love (loving
          desire rooted in the six sense bases) and maternal/paternal love
          (loving-kindness, the wishing for non-harm and happiness for a being).
          The former type seems to relate to the above statement (love
          associated with attachment) and seems directed not as much for the
          sake of the recipient(s) of one's metta (i.e. for the well-being of
          the recipient(s), but toward the desire/craving for one's own
          pleasurable feelings/sensations associated with that object of metta
          (and thus is an unwholesome desire rooted in greed, sensuous desire,
          delusion, etc.). This certainly is not the type of love that the
          Buddha taught his disciples to cultivate. Also, both of these types
          of love are clearly present in the West, so I would
          > hesitate to stay that "what we in the West call 'love,' Buddhists
          would call 'attachment'".
          >
          > It seems that the latter is the brand of love he taught, the type
          of love that a mother or father would have for her/his children; in
          the Metta Sutta the Buddha states, "Na paro para"m nikubbetha,
          naatima~n~netha katthaci na ka~nci, byaarosanaa pa.tighasa~n~na,
          naa~n~na-ma~n~nassa dukkha-miccheyya" ("Just as a mother would protect
          her only child at the risk of her own life, even so let him cultivate
          a boundless heart towards all beings" (translation by Ven. Sayadaw U
          Siilaananda)). This type of love is boundless, free from enmity and
          hate, and is born out of a desire not only for non-harm to come to
          another, but for true (permanent, lasting) happiness (i.e. realization
          of Truth) to be experienced by the recipient(s) of one's metta.
          >
          > 2) "Then, in Tibetan Buddhism 'love' is sometimes defined as "the
          wish for someone to have happiness and the causes of happiness"".
          >
          > Not only is this the interpretation of "love" in Tibetan Buddhism;
          this is the most common definition of metta in the Paa.li Canon (and
          thus the Theravada tradition) in reference to the brahmavihaaras
          (Divine Abidings/Abodes): Sabbasattaa bhavantu sukhitattaa ("May all
          beings be happy" (Metta Sutta, translated by Ven. Sayadaw U Siilaananda)).
          >
          > 3) Relation to the Four Right Efforts (sammappadhaana):
          >
          > Also important to keep in mind is the four-fold purpose/function
          of cultivating metta; not only is it simply wishing for non-harm and
          happiness for all beings (i.e. giving rise to wholesome states and
          causing them to persist), but it is also to prevent unwholesome states
          (hate, ill will, resentment, etc.) from arising and persisting in
          one's own mind. In the Visuddhimagga, (Ch. IX, Sec. 3), Buddhagosa
          states, "He should embark upon the development of loving-kindness for
          the purpose of secluding the mind from hate seen as a danger and
          introducing it to patience known as an advantage" (translation by Ven.
          ~Na.namoli). Cultivation of metta can be seen as a weapon for
          eliminating and preventing unwholesome states from arising and
          persisting, while at the same time giving rise to and maintaining
          wholesome states that have arisen. Therefore, metta is not limited to
          the outward gaze (wishing for the welfare and happiness of other
          beings as a means of cultivating whoesome states, as
          > stated/suggested in the common definition of it), but is also
          inwardly directed for one's own development (ridding oneself
          of/preventing unwholesome states).
          >
          > Mike Zoll
          >
          >
          > Daniel <daniell@...> wrote:
          >
          > With regards to "priest and dhutangas", perhaps anyone can explain the
          > connotations of the word "metta"? Are there some connotations missed
          when
          > translated into English as "love"?
          >
          > Sometimes I heard people say "What we in the west call
          > love, buddhists would call attachment". Then, in Tibetan Buddhism
          "love" is
          > sometimes defined as "the wish for someone to have hapiness and the
          causes of
          > hapiness". Do you agree with these?
          >
          > Yours
          >
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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          > Paa.li-Parisaa - The Pali Collective
          > [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
          > [Files] http://www.geocities.com/paligroup/
          > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
          > Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest
          or web only.
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Gunnar Gällmo
          ... The Pali text cited is stanza 6; the translation is stanza 7. So that translation is not a translation of that text. Gunnar
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 3, 2006
            --- Michael Zoll <mikemasatozoll@...> skrev:

            > in the Metta Sutta
            > the Buddha states, "Na paro para"m nikubbetha,
            > naatima~n~netha katthaci na ka~nci, byaarosanaa
            > pa.tighasa~n~na, naa~n~na-ma~n~nassa
            > dukkha-miccheyya" ("Just as a mother would protect
            > her only child at the risk of her own life, even so
            > let him cultivate a boundless heart towards all
            > beings" (translation by Ven. Sayadaw U
            > Siilaananda)).

            The Pali text cited is stanza 6; the translation is
            stanza 7. So that translation is not a translation of
            that text.

            Gunnar
          • Frank
            Hi Daniel, You made a valid point that a mother s love for their child is often tainted or impure, but what would you propose as a better example to
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 5, 2006
              Hi Daniel,
              You made a valid point that a mother's love for their child is often tainted or impure, but what would you propose as a better example to demonstrate pure love? Since everyone has a mother, and the vast majority of us have personally witnessed what mothers sacrifice and are willing to do for their children despite ungrateful or ill treatment they receive in return, I can understand why the Buddha chose mother/child relationship as the best example of metta.
              So what would you propose as a better metaphor?

              -fk
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Daniel
              Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 4:20 AM
              To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [Pali] Re: Re: Love


              Hi,
              I beleive that a love of a mother to a child is not always pure love. For
              example, mothers often wish for their offspring to have a high social status.
              To me it seems not to come from love, but from a desire to be proud of oneself,
              due to having such a "successful child". So, it does not seem pure love to me.
              In this case, I would doubt if this should be called "love" at all. Don't you
              think so?

              Regarding "pema" - I never heard of this word. Do you know perhaps what is
              the sanskrit\tibetan equivalent?




              frank@...


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Robert Didham
              Daniel The word pema, also pemma, is found commonly in Sanskrit as preman, meaning love, affection etc and is sometimes used in similar sense to sneha. Not
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 5, 2006
                Daniel

                The word pema, also pemma, is found commonly in Sanskrit as preman, meaning
                love, affection etc and is sometimes used in similar sense to sneha. Not
                sure what the classical Tibetan is off hand and I don't have my copy of Negi
                immediately handy to check - but id you know where in the canon it occurs it
                should be easy enough to find.

                Robert


                >From: Frank <frank@...>
                >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >To: pali@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [Pali] re: love
                >Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2006 12:06:44 -0800 (PST)
                >
                >Hi Daniel,
                > You made a valid point that a mother's love for their child is often
                >tainted or impure, but what would you propose as a better example to
                >demonstrate pure love? Since everyone has a mother, and the vast majority
                >of us have personally witnessed what mothers sacrifice and are willing to
                >do for their children despite ungrateful or ill treatment they receive in
                >return, I can understand why the Buddha chose mother/child relationship as
                >the best example of metta.
                > So what would you propose as a better metaphor?
                >
                > -fk
                > -----Original Message-----
                >From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                >Daniel
                >Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 4:20 AM
                >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [Pali] Re: Re: Love
                >
                >
                > Hi,
                > I beleive that a love of a mother to a child is not always pure love.
                >For
                > example, mothers often wish for their offspring to have a high social
                >status.
                > To me it seems not to come from love, but from a desire to be proud of
                >oneself,
                > due to having such a "successful child". So, it does not seem pure love
                >to me.
                > In this case, I would doubt if this should be called "love" at all.
                >Don't you
                > think so?
                >
                > Regarding "pema" - I never heard of this word. Do you know perhaps
                >what is
                > the sanskrit\tibetan equivalent?
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >frank@...
                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Hugo
                Hello Frank, Daniel and all, ... Don t forget that everything arises and passes away, and that everything is conditioned so talking about the love of a
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 6, 2006
                  Hello Frank, Daniel and all,

                  On 2/5/06, Frank <frank@...> wrote:
                  > Hi Daniel,
                  > You made a valid point that a mother's love for their child is often tainted or impure, but what would you propose as a better example to demonstrate pure love? Since everyone has a mother, and the vast majority of us have personally witnessed what mothers sacrifice and are willing to do for their children despite ungrateful or ill treatment they receive in return, I can understand why the Buddha chose mother/child relationship as the best example of metta.
                  > So what would you propose as a better metaphor?

                  Don't forget that everything arises and passes away, and that
                  everything is conditioned so talking about "the love" of a mother is
                  like talking about an ever-lasting entity, and the Buddha pointed out
                  that such a thing doesn't exist. So, at one moment the love of a
                  mother for her child may be tainted, at another point it may not. So
                  there is no point in discussing if it is "pure" or not. It will be
                  Metta when it is not tainted, it will not be Metta when it will not be
                  tainted.


                  --
                  Hugo
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