Friends on the way to freedom

The boundless states or brahmaviharas are considered friends on the way to Nirvana. They help in dissolving the idea of a separate self.

  1. Loving kindness
  2. Compassion
  3. Sympathetic Joy
  4. Equanimity

Near enemy is a quality that can masquerade as the original, but is not the original. Far enemy is the clearly opposite quality. The boundless state serves as an antidote for the quality mentioned as the far enemy.

PaliEnglishDescriptionNear EnemyFar Enemy
mettaloving kindnessgood-will, friendship, unconditional love for all beingsselfish lovehatred
karunacompassionempathy, to feel with someone instead of for someonepitycruelty
muditasympathetic joyspontaneous joy in response to others successhypocrisyenvy
upekkhaequanimityeven-mindedness based on insight into the nature of thingsindifferenceanxiety


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