Brahma-vihāra: the 4 ‘sublime’ or ‘divine abodes’, also called the 4 Infinite states appamaññā are: loving-kindness mettā Pity karunā, altruistic or sympathetic joy muditā equanimity upekkhā.

The stereotype text on the development of these 4 sublime abodes brahma - vihāra - bhāvanā bhāvanā often met with in the Suttas,- is as follows: ’There, o Bhikkhus, the Bhikkhu with a mind full of loving-kindness pervading first one direction, then a second one, then a third one, then the fourth one, just so above, below and all around; and everywhere identifying himself with all, he is pervading the whole world with mind full of loving-kindness, with mind wide, developed, unbounded, free from hate and ill-will. Hereafter follows the same theme with Pity, altruistic joy, and equanimity.

Literature: Detailed explanation in Vis.M IX. - For texts see: path, 97ff; texts on mettā in The Practice of Loving Kindness, by ñānamoli Thera WHEEL 7. - The Four Sublime States, by Nyanaponika Thera WHEEL 6. - Brahma Vihāra, by Narada Thera Vajirarama, Colombo, 1962.