Iti 1.22 Deeds of Goodness

Metta Sutta


This was said by the Exalted One,

spoken by the Arahant,

As I have heard:


“Do not be afraid of merit monks!” [1]


Merit is an expression

for what is desirable,




and blissful. 


For a long time monks,

I have directly experienced desirable,




and blissful results

of often performing deeds of merit. [2]




[Because of] seven years spent

cultivating a heart of Boundless Love;


For seven aeons of contraction and expansion,

I was not led back [down] into this world. [3]


When the Aeon collapsed,

I reached the plane of streaming radiance. [4]

When the Aeon revolved open again,

I appeared in an empty Brahmic plane. [5]


There I was Brāhma,

the Majestic Brāhma,




and Almighty. [6]


Thirty-six times I became Sakka,

Also known as Indra,

the king of the Devas.


Countless hundreds of lives

I was a wheel-turning,


righteous king of Dhamma

Ruling [by goodness] over the 4 continents.


I established stability over the land,

And I was graced by the seven treasures. [7]


What to say then

of mere leadership over regional kingdoms.


It occurred to me to ponder:

“To what action of mine is this the fruit?

To what action of mine is this the result?

That I have become so powerful,

of such significant influence?”


And it occurred to me:

“It is the fruit of three things,

It results from three things, that is:



And thoughtfulness. [8]


Then he further said this:


“One should train in bright actions,

Which yield enduring happiness; [9]

Philanthropy, calmness

and developing a loving mind. [10]


Developed in these qualities,

The three sources of happiness, [11]

The sage steadily walks forth,

In an untroubled and happy world. [12]


This is what the Buddha said,

As I have heard it.


[1] “Mā, bhikkhave, puññānaṃ bhāyittha.

[2] Abhijānāmi kho panāhaṃ dīgharattaṃ katānaṃ puññānaṃ…

[3] Satta vassāni mettacittaṃ bhāvetvā satta saṃvaṭṭavivaṭṭakappe nayimaṃ lokaṃ punarāgamāsiṃ.

[4] Saṃvaṭṭamāne sudaṃ, bhikkhave, kappe ābhassarūpago  homi;

[5] vivaṭṭamāne kappe suññaṃ brahmavimānaṃ upapajjāmi.

[6] mahābrahmā abhibhū anabhibhūto aññadatthudaso vasavattī.

[7] anekasatakkhattuṃ rājā ahosiṃ cakkavattī dhammiko dhammarājā cāturanto vijitāvī janapadatthāvariyappatto sattaratanasamannāgato.

[8] seyyathidaṃ dānassa, damassa, saññamassā ’”ti.

[9] “Puññameva so sikkheyya, āyataggaṃ   sukhudrayaṃ;

[10] Beautiful parallel between dama and samacariya, saññama and mettacitta bhavaya. I choose to draw on the meaning of this meaningful parallel for my translation here, rather than the classical meaning attributed to these words in the PED. Dānañca samacariyañca,

mettacittañca bhāvaye.

[11] Ete dhamme bhāvayitvā, tayo sukhasamuddaye;

[12] This translation is slightly adapted to fit a more ‘western audience.’ Here, the original meaning is in regard to rebirth in a blissful existence. Abyāpajjaṃ sukhaṃlokaṃ, paṇḍitoupapajjatī”ti.




This is a gift of Dhamma

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