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Brahmavihara is a term that refers to the four Buddhist virtues and meditative practices. It derives from the Pali words, brahma, meaning “god” or “divine”; and vihara, meaning “abode.” The brahmavihara are also known as the four appamanna, or “immeasurables,” and as the four sublime states.

The Buddhist yogi cultivates these sublime states of brahmavihara through a meditation technique called brahmavihara-bhavana with the goal of reaching jhana (concentration or meditative absorption) and ultimately the state of enlightenment known as nirvana.