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Mettāsahagata Sutta

Once, when the Blessed One was staying among the Koliyā at Haliddavasana, the monks decided to visit the wanderers as it was too early to enter the village for alms. After exchanging friendly greetings, the monks tell the wanderers that Gotama teaches his disciples to abandon the five hindrances and to practice goodwill, compassion, sympathetic-joy, and equanimity.

The wanderers reply that they teach the same, so what is the difference between them? Without replying, the monks departed, thinking to ask the Blessed One later.

After the almsround and the meal, the monks approached the Blessed One and asked him what the difference was between his teaching and that of the wanderers.

The Buddha tells them that those wanderers should be asked, “How is liberation of the mind by goodwill … compassion … sympathetic-joy … equanimity developed? What is its final goal? Being asked thus, they would be unable to answer, as it is beyond the range of their knowledge.

The Buddha then explains how to develop the seven factors of enlightenment accompanied by goodwill … equanimity, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, culminating in release. S.v.115.

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