Standard metta formula's sabb-atta-tāya

are there any other substantially different ways to translate
than as (to) all-(as to)-oneself, which is nearly identical wording that b.bodhi uses?

i ask this because i still have suspicions about the theory that karaniya metta’s sutta part about doing metta “as a mother would protect her only child”. thanissaro and others say it means one shoudl treat the metta-practice/attainment like the child in the simile, not that one should regard all beings in the world with teh love of one’s child. i think the sabb-atta-taya in the standard metta formula could support the idea that one regard everyone as a mother loves her only child.

standard metta formula below, occurs frequently in the suttas. other 3 brahmaviharas use the same exact formula, so it’s interesting to note that the part at the end of that passage referencing abyapada would neatly fit all 4 brahmaviharas under samma samkappo.

mettā-sahagatena cetasā(with) good-will-endowed mind,

ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā(in) one direction pervade,

viharatha,abide [like this].

tathā dutiyaṃ,likewise (the) second [quarter],

tathā tatiyaṃ,likewise (the) third [quarter],

tathā catutthaṃ;likewise (the) fourth [quarter],

iti uddham-adhoThus above,-below,

tiriyaṃ sabbadhiacross, everywhere,

sabb-atta-tāya(to) all-(as to)-oneself,

sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ(to the) entire world

mettā-sahagatena cetasā(with) good-will-endowed mind,

vipulena mahaggatenavast, exalted,

appamāṇena a-verenameasureless, without-hostility,

abyāpajjena pharitvāwithout ill will, pervade.

viharatha,abide [like this].


The commonly accepted reading sabbattatā is a mistake. See discussions: