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Metta to reach Nibbana

It says in the Metta Sutta:

This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

To me this says that through practicing Metta one can become completely Enlightened because the only way to not be reborn again into this world is through reaching Nibbana, or Once Returner.

What do you think. I’d be interested in what Bhante @Sujato thinks as he mentioned recently that Metta was practiced in the Buddha’s past life and cannot lead to Nibbana. I’m just really interested in Metta practice and would like to know what this phrase means at the end of the Kariyana Metta Sutta so I can have a better understanding, even if I’m incorrect about my postulation.

:pray:

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Please, if quoting a sutta, add a reference so that ppl who don’t know it can read it in full.

Also I think you can find interesting contributions in the several topics we had regarding metta and brahmaviharas using the search function…

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Metta Sutta

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html

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The way I understand Metta is one of Brhama Vihara.
As far as I know Metta is a Samatha practice.
So these are the pracitce of the being living in Brhama world.
Not born to this world mean born to the Kamavacar world perhaps.
Person who practice Brhama Vihara should extend it to Vipassana to be free from Samsara.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html

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I understand Bhante Sujato was thinking of MN19:

Then, as I meditated—diligent, keen, and resolute—a thought of love arose … a thought of kindness arose.
I understood: ‘This thought of kindness has arisen in me. It doesn’t lead to hurting myself, hurting others, or hurting both. It nourishes wisdom, it’s on the side of freedom from anguish, and it leads to extinguishment.’
If I were to keep on thinking and considering like this all night … all day … all night and day, I see no danger that would come from that.
Still, thinking and considering for too long would tire my body.
And when the body is tired, the mind is stressed.
And when the mind is stressed, it’s far from immersion.
So I stilled, settled, unified, and immersed my mind internally.
Why is that? So that my mind would not be stressed.
(…)

To me the above means that he had to eventually drop even the thoughts of love and kindness so stillness could come about.

From that point of the sutta the Buddha then recalls how the gradually still further and further the mind to the point of liberating insight, in which the knowledge and vision of the four noble truths take place.

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A person meditates spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. They enjoy this and like it and find it satisfying. If they abide in that, are committed to it, and meditate on it often without losing it, when they die they’re reborn in the company of the gods of Brahmā’s Group. The lifespan of the gods of Brahma’s Group is one eon. An ordinary person stays there until the lifespan of those gods is over, then they go to hell or the animal realm or the ghost realm. But a disciple of the Buddha stays there until the lifespan of those gods is over, then they’re extinguished in that very life. This is the difference between an educated noble disciple and an uneducated ordinary person…

A person meditates spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as suffering, as diseased, as an abscess, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of the gods of the pure abodes. This rebirth is not shared with ordinary people.

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I think for any practice we can’t just say this or that practice works or not without describing the practice in detail. Any practice that develops the various factors of awakening would work I suspect.
MN 7:
“He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will…

“When he knows and sees thus, his mind is liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of being, and from the taint of ignorance. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’
Bhikkhus, this bhikkhu is called one bathed with the inner bathing.”

There is a list of suttas put together by David Johnson here that mention Brahmavihāra practice as a means of awakening. I have only checked the first one - mentioned above.

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