An Analysis of Love Development in Buddhism

Anchalee Piyapanyawong


This article aims of analyzing an ordinary person’s way of love development in the four forms of love (Brahmavihara): Universal love (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). Buddhist thinkers propose their development in different three models, namely: 1) There is no cultivating step between the four forms of love; 2) There is a cultivating step from universal love to other three forms of love independently; and 3) There are cultivating steps from universal love to compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity respectively. The analysis discovered that the third model is the most possible way for an ordinary person to develop love because the other three forms of love are based on universal love and each step of development is different in its degrees of difficulty. As a result, the four forms of love develop as universal love purification.

Keywords: love, universal love, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity, love development

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