84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

ཚད་མེད་པ། | Glossary of Terms

  • ཚད་མེད་པ།

  • ཚད་མེད།
  • tshad med pa
  • tshad med
  • apramāṇa
  • aparamāṇa
  • aprameya
  • catvāryapramāṇāni
  • Term
Publications: 12

The four meditations on love (maitrī), compassion (karuṇā), joy (muditā), and equanimity (upekṣā), as well as the states of mind and qualities of being that result from their cultivation. They are also called the four abodes of Brahmā (caturbrahmavihāra).

In the Abhidharmakośa, Vasubandhu explains that they are called apramāṇa‍—meaning “infinite” or “limitless”‍—because they take limitless sentient beings as their object, and they generate limitless merit and results. Love is described as the wish that beings be happy, and it acts as an antidote to malice (vyāpāda). Compassion is described as the wish for beings to be free of suffering, and acts as an antidote to harmfulness (vihiṃsā). Joy refers to rejoicing in the happiness beings already have, and it acts as an antidote to dislike or aversion (arati) toward others’ success. Equanimity is considering all beings impartially, without distinctions, and it is the antidote to attachment to both pleasure and malice (kāmarāgavyāpāda).