I came across 'The Chant of Metta' (Metta Gatha), in a beautiful rendition by Imee Ooi in this YouTube video.

Here is the full text in Pali, with English translation: THE CHANT OF METTA

Is this chant from the Tipitaka or is it a later composition? The Karaniya Metta Sutta from Tipitaka has different wordings in this translation.


4 Answers 4


The popular chant of metta is originated from the Theravada Tripitaka. This can be found in Kuddaka Nikaya->Patisambhidamagga->Yuganaddawagga Mettakatha

Read from page 130

  • Thank you for answering. The "Mettakatha" which you referenced includes many of the same words as the one referenced in the OP, but they're not identical; for example the one you referenced doesn't begin with "homi".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 20:21
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    I agree. It is not identical. But apparently Chant of Metta has a greater influence from Mettakatha. That's why I used the term "originated". This is also widely used as metta meditation all over the world. So regardless of the origins, it is something valuable for daily use. :) Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 20:33
  • PS: Terms 'homi' and 'hontu' make it a chant Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 20:40
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    "homi" is the first person singular imperative of the verb "to be": so "may I be", or "I must be". And "hontu" is the third person plural imperative: so "may they be". [reference]
    – ChrisW
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 20:50

The chant which you're asking about included in, for example, The Complete Book of Pâli Chanting (Theravada Tradition) By Dr. Phra Achan Dhammarato, Bhikkhû, PhD. (page 152).

I think that it is traditional (not written recently by or for Imee Ooi).

It starts with "homi", i.e. "May I be".

That's compatible with the commentary in The Path of Purification, which says on page 292,

First of all it should be developed only towards oneself, doing it repeatedly thus: "May I be happy and free from suffering" or "May I keep myself free from enmity, affliction, and anxiety and live happily."

The next paragraphs explain why that "does not conflict with what is said in the texts": maybe that's evidence that this formula, i.e. starting with the first person singular, isn't found in the (earlier) suttas.


The Chant of Metta is not from the Tripitaka but the Karaniya Metta Sutta is from the Tripitaka. When translating Pali into a languages which does not have similar constructs there will be variations.

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    Then from where is the chant of metta from?
    – Bharat
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 4:00
  • I am not sure who might have written it. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:29

Mr. Bharat will find most part of it in the traditional Chant The Sublime Attitudes. Obviously the designer of this chant did not like to share some of the more insightful parts but merely replaced them with more heart beat. Here also an audio of it Sublime Attitudes - chanting in Pali and English Aside of the entrance part "May I be..." the other parts are all copies from certain Suttas (That "I" derives also from the Canon, but from the commentary which explain the way to practice.). The meaning of this quested linked one, is how ever, in line with the traditional ways. You may find an explaining of practicing metta here: Karaṇīya Metta-Sutta: The Message of Peace and Universal Friendliness As for who actually wrote it, the answer would be surely best places over the websites owners email: info(at)satipatthana.ca and the appearance of Yogi and other renderings like the teacher part, give hints, that it is written by lay people who have not much connection with the Sangha.

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