Dating the metta sutta langru
They should wish: In gladness and in safety May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near and far away, Those born and to-be-born, May all beings be at ease!
While none of these sources can lead to an incontrovertible conclusion as to this discourse's origins, they allow one to understand analytically some of the strengths and weaknesses of various hypotheses.
The Pali Canon is composed of three "baskets" or collections: discipline (Vinaya Piṭaka), discourses (Sutta Piṭaka), and analysis (Abhidhamma Piṭaka). According to the texts, during the Buddha's lifetime, discourses were memorized and recited with a complete recitation of all recalled discourses occurring soon after his death.
According to the texts themselves, the Vinaya Piṭaka and Sutta Piṭaka are from the time of the historical Buddha (ca. For centuries afterwards, this oral tradition was systematically perpetuated by monastics.
These discourses were translated into different dialects and different redactions arose.
Sources useful for dating this discourse include the 2,400-year-old Pali Canon, a 1,500-year-old Buddhist commentary, and more recent scholarship regarding these verses.The other three are compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.Each of these four states has an easily recognized 'far enemy' and an equally insidious 'near enemy'.Let none deceive another, Or despise any being in any state.Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another.
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Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful, Not proud or demanding in nature.