Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I would like to ask about compassion. I feel compassion towards people, I would help a stanger in distress as well as a friend or family member, if a see suffering on the news, I feel for the people who are hurt. But,this is not exactly the compassion that Buddha speaks. He speaks of a compassion towards people, who have ignorance and therefore pain and will relive their lives over again. I understand the logic. But how does that cultivate a "feeling" of compassion? Can you help me with that? Also, yes, there's suffering in life, but also a tremdous amount of happiness. Reliving life may not be such a bad thing. Can you please address these two points for me? Thanks.
Your compassion is within the Buddha's compassion. If you are from UK, then I would use "c" and "C". Your compassion is the small "c", while the Buddha's compassion is the big "C". If you are an American, then your compassion is within the continuum, while the Buddha's compassion is the whole continuum.
The word "compassion" is again a semantic interpretation. The Buddha spoke Maghadian (Pali), while we are using English. Merriam-Webster @
defines compassion as follows:
Main Entry: com·pas·sion
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer -- more at PATIENT
: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it"
I think the above brings out the essence of compassion. The desire to alleviate it. And having done that one should feel happy and relieved. It is this feeling of happiness derived from helping others that is the essence of compassion. Well at least that is my personal interpretation. This is the humane side of human beings. We can leave out "religion" and "belief", but concentrate on alleviating the sufferings of others (in Buddhism this "others" encompasses ALL sentient beings). This is the Buddha's universal interpretation of "compassion". It transcends the whole universe irrespective of belief or religion.
As for your last comment, my dear friend, you (and I) are very fortunate to be healthy and enjoying a peaceful life. Look around you and you will see the sufferings of the less fortunate. Open your eyes and SEE the world; don't just look but SEE with your conscious eyes. Do you know that most people have eyes to look but cannot SEE? Read the news, watch the National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. If you still cannot SEE the sufferings then go to Iraq, or Darfur ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_Genocide). If you still cannot SEE the sufferings then visit to the hospital.
Finally if you are still not convinced, I am sorry you have to visit the cemetery!
Sorry to be so harsh, but that's life in reality!
(Dear reader, the above picture is very graphic, and it strikes your conscience as long as you live; so much so that the person who took that photo committed suicide. If you are interested to read about it, you can do so in my other blog by clicking HERE: )