Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

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Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby Coyote » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:29 pm

It's one of the three chants on the Brahmaviharas that I know of, along with the Karaniya metta sutta and the basic formula from DN 13.
I'll repeat it here just for fun as I'm sure everybody knows what I am talking about.

May I abide in well-being, in freedom from affliction, in freedom from hostility, in freedom from ill-will, in freedom from anxiety, and may I maintain well-being in myself.

May everyone abide in well-being, in freedom from hostility, in freedom from ill-will, in freedom from anxiety, and may they maintain well-being in themselves.

May all beings be released from all suffering.

And may they not be parted from the good fortune they have attained.

When they act upon intention, all beings are the owners of their action and inherit its results. Their future is born from such action, companion to such action, and its results will be their home. All actions with intention, be they skillful or harmful, of such acts they will be the heirs.



Where does it come from? Is it from a Sutta? Quick google search comes up with nothing.
I ask because I am starting to use it in meditation. It's a good way to reflect on the Brahmaviharas. Also while this topic is up, are there any other similar chants/suttas I should know about?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:30 pm

I'm not aware of a sutta with all of those things arranged together.
By the way, here is a Pali-English version:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#sublime

But, of course, the "may all beings be happy" part is in the Karaniya Metta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

And the part about kamma:
All living beings are the owners of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions.

does appear in a number of suttas, such as: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:51 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
But, of course, the "may all beings be happy" part is in the Karaniya Metta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html


Mike


I think I heard a dhamma talk from Ajahn Thanissaro where he talks about American laughter when they realised a nun from Amaravati in the UK chanted "May everyone abide in well-being" instead of the more direct "may all beings be happy".

I wonder whether practitioners outside the UK are familiar with coyote's version? If not, it might originate in Amaravati.
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Re: Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi Sam,

Interesting. Safer to stick with chanting in Pali. Less arguments.

A few months ago I was in a group with an Ajahn Chah monk and we were chanting the Karaniya Metta Sutta, and someone asked about the different translations of the line towards the end:

Which is variously translated as:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
Not falling into wrong views...
But when he has no trafficking with views...
By not holding to fixed views...
Not taken with views...
Holding no more to wrong beliefs...

From which a long discussion ensued... [As I understand it, when "views" are mentioned without qualification, then "fixed" or "wrong" is implied.]

:anjali:
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Re: Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby Coyote » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:56 am

Thanks for all the help.

As for the translation being particular to Amaravati - Abhiyagiri's version on their website is the same translation, though I don't know of it is their everyday version. It seems more likely it is a translation made by the Thai Forest Sangha, of which the two monasteries are branches. I like this flowery translation as it seems to have been translated specifically for chanting.

Metta
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Where does the Universal Well-Being chant come from?

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sam,

Interesting. Safer to stick with chanting in Pali. Less arguments.

A few months ago I was in a group with an Ajahn Chah monk and we were chanting the Karaniya Metta Sutta, and someone asked about the different translations of the line towards the end:

Which is variously translated as:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
Not falling into wrong views...
But when he has no trafficking with views...
By not holding to fixed views...
Not taken with views...
Holding no more to wrong beliefs...

From which a long discussion ensued... [As I understand it, when "views" are mentioned without qualification, then "fixed" or "wrong" is implied.]

:anjali:
Mike


Yes, the Amaravati/Cittaviveka version of that line changed in the chanting books about five years ago. From "By not holding to fixed views", to "by not holding to false views".

They rarely chant the Pali version at Cittaviveka, and when they do there are only a couple of lay supporters who know it.
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