The Four Mansions of Brahma

- through Fabrice Groult

Published on

Love, compassion, infinite joy and equanimity form what are called the four mansions of Brahmâ (Brahmâ-vihâra). These attitudes, holy par excellence, are enunciated in the sutra ofEkottaragamasutra, a sermon of the Buddha to Srâvasti, in the garden of Anâthapindada, a great lay disciple who had donated his land to the Buddha and his monks.

Love is the first virtue, because it is capable of generating the three others, provided of course that love does not turn into attachment, because according to the law of impermanence, all phenomena are illusory and nothing lasts. . Therefore, love is not limited to the restricted circle of family and friends, and is linked to the notion of emptiness (sûnyatâ), described in the Mahayana, or great vehicle, and set forth in the Prajnapamita Hrdaya Sutram (Sutra of the Heart of the Perfection of Transcendent Knowledge).

Infinite joy, even if we live in a world of suffering, symbolizes true happiness, even if it is obviously only ephemeral.

Compassion, associated with the notion of suffering (dukkha), is not comparable to the pity that we would be tempted to experience in the face of the suffering of another being. The spirit of compassion, embodied by the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, indeed consists in helping others not to suffer and in giving them love, happiness, joy, well-being, and extends equally to all beings.

Infinite joy, even if we live in a world of suffering, symbolizes true happiness, even if this is obviously only ephemeral by virtue always of the law of impermanence governing the world. Knowing that happiness is communicative and thus our happiness and that of others are complementary, we must share this infinite joy with all beings so that they can experience happiness in this life or in a future life and beyond. beyond this samsaric existence.

Finally, equanimity, unlike indifference, is a state of balance in which we become able to accept both pleasant and unpleasant things, simply taking them for what they really are. that is to say, impermanent and void of any intrinsic existence.

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

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