Karuna, aka: Karuṇā, Karuṇa; 23 Definition(s)


Karuna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Karuna in Purana glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Karuṇa (करुण).—See under Dhanañjaya.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Karuṇa (करुण) refers to the “pathetic” sentiment (rasa). It is one of the eight rasas mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 6.15. The color associated with the karuṇa is grey (kapota), and the presiding deity of of the pathetic (karuṇa) sentiment is Yama.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “The Pathetic (karuṇa) Sentiment arises from the Durable Psychological State of sorrow. It grows from Determinants such as affliction under a curse, separation from dear ones, loss of wealth, death, captivity, flight accidents or any other misfortune.”.

2) Karuṇā (करुणा, “pathetic”) refers to a specific “glance” (dṛṣṭi), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. This is a type of glance that expresses the ‘pathetic sentiment’ (karuṇārasa). There are a total thirty-six glances defined. The Glance in which the upper eyelid has descended, the eyeball is at rest due to mental agony, and the gaze is fixed at the tip of the nose, and there is tear, is called Karuṇā (pathetic).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

A type of glance (or facial expression): Karuṇa: a downcast glance, half-vouchsafed, with tears, benevolent, the black pupil slowly moving, regarding the tip of the nose. Usage: the pathetic.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Karuṇa (करुण) or the “sentiment (rasa) of pathos”.—Karuṇarasa generates from the advent of what is unpleasant or from the loss of what is loved. The learned call it to be of dove-coloured and its presiding deity is the god of death. Its sthāyibhāva is sorrow and the ālamabavibhāva is the thing sorrowed for. The uddīpanavibhāva here, is such things as when this i.e. the dead body of the loved one is being burnt. Its anubhāvas are the cursing one’s destiny, falling on the ground, wailing etc., changes of colour, sighs and sobs, stupefaction and raving. Its vyabhicāribhāvas are indifference to all worldly objects, fainting, epilepsy, sickness, debility, reminiscences, weariness, distress, insensibility, madness, anxiety etc.

The karuṇa-rasa has been suggested in the sadness of Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning, at the demise of the great poets like Meṇṭha, Subandhu, Bhāravi and Bāṇa. Maṅkhaka here, as if, tries to console the goddess and promises to create poetry which would make Her forget the pain and sorrow, that She feels at their death.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Karuṇā (in both Sanskrit and Pali) is generally translated as compassion. It is part of the spiritual path of both Buddhism and Jainism.

In Theravāda Buddhism, karuṇā is one of the four "divine abodes" (brahmavihāra), along with loving kindness (Pāli: mettā), sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). In the Pali canon, the Buddha recommends cultivating these four virtuous mental states to both householders and monastics.

In Mahāyāna Buddhism, karuṇā is one of the two qualities, along with enlightened wisdom (Sanskrit: prajña), to be cultivated on the bodhisattva path. Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies karuṇā.

Karuṇā is associated with the Jain practice of compassion. For instance, karuṇā is one of the four reflections of universal friendship — along with amity (Sanskrit: maitri), appreciation (pramoda) and equanimity (madhyastha)—used to stop (samvara) the influx of karma.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Compassion; sympathy; the aspiration to find a way to be truly helpful to oneself and others. One of the ten perfections (paramis) and one of the four "sublime abodes" (brahma vihara).Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

Part of the Sobhana Cetasikas. Karuna arises when poor sattas are encountered and mudita arises when fulfilled sattas are encountered. Karuna is compassion while mudita is sympathetic joy.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Compassion (karunā); s. brahma-vihāra.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'compassion', is one of the 4 sublime abodes (brahma-vihāra).

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines


Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Karuṇā (करुणा, “compassion”) refers to one of the “four immeasurables” (apramāṇa), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 32.—Accordingly, “Karuṇā is to think with compassion of beings who are suffering in the five destinies (gati) all sorts of bodily suffering and mental suffering. Karuṇā is practiced to remove harm (vihiṃsā) toward beings”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Karuṇā (करुणा, “kindness”) refers to one of the “four spiritual states” (brahmavihāra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 16). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., brahma-vihāra and Karuṇā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Karuna is the attitude conveyed by such terms as compassion, sympathy, pity, and mercy. Its basic characteristic is sympathy for all who suffer, and it arouses a desire to relieve or remove the pain and suffering of others. Karuna helps to eliminate callousness and indifference to others woes. It is the direct antidote to cruelty, another vice common in the world today. It is compassion that prompts one to serve others selflessly, expecting nothing, not even gratitude, in return.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Simple Guide to Life

Karunā (karunā) Skt., Pali; compassion, active sympathy, gentle affection. The outstand­ing quality of all bodhisattvas and buddhas; one of the four brahma-vihāras. Compassion ex­tends itself without distinction to all sentient be­ings. It is based on the enlightened ex­perience of the oneness of all beings. Karunā must be accompanied by wisdom (prajñā) in order to have the right effect. The virtue of com­passion is embodied in the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

Karunā is often translated as “pity” or “sym­pathy”; since these notions tend to suggest pas­sive attitudes that do not contain the quality of active help that is an essential part of karunā, the concept of “compassion” is more suitable.

Source: Shambala Publications: General

Karuṇa (करुण, “compassion”) is a concept defined within Buddhist ethical conduct (nītiśāstra).—In Buddhism, the two most important ethical virtues are compassion (karuṇa) and friendliness (maitrī). One should have deep sympathy and goodwill for the suffering people and should have the qualities of a good friend.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Indian Ethics: Individual and Social (buddhism)

India history and geogprahy

Karuṇā.—(CII 4), one of the bhāvanās. Note: karuṇā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Karuna in Pali glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

karuṇā : (f.) compassion; pity.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Karuṇā, (f.) (cp. Vedic karuṇa nt. (holy) action; Sk. karuṇā, fr. kṛ. As adj. karuṇa see under 3. ) pity, compassion. Karuṇā is one of the 4 qualities of character significant of a human being who has attained enfranchisement of heart (ceto-vimutti) in the 4 sentiments, viz. mettā k. ° upekhā muditā Freq. found in this formula with °sahagatena cetasā. The first two qualities are complementary, and SnA 128 (on Sn. 73) explains k° as “ahita-dukkh-âpanaya-kāmatā, ” the desire of removing bane and sorrow (from one’s fellowmen), whilst mettā is expl. as “hita-sukh-ûpanayakāmatā, ” the desire of bringing (to one’s fellow-men) that which is welfare and good. Other definitions are “paradukkhe sati sādhūnaṃ hadayakampanaṃ karotī ti” Bdhd 21; “sattesu k° karuṇāyanā karuṇāyitattaṃ karuṇā cetovimutti” as expl. of avihiṃsa dhātu Vbh. 87; paradukkhāsahana-rasā Vism. 318. K°-sahagatena cetasā denotes the exalted state of compassion for all beings (all that is encompassed in the sphere of one’s good influence: see cātuddisa “extending over the 4, i.e. all, directions): D. I, 251; III, 78, 50, 224; S. IV, 296, 322, 351; V, 115; A. I, 183, 196; II, 129, 184; III, 225; V, 300, 345; J. II, 129; Nd2 on Sn. 73; Vbh. 273, 280; Dhs. 1258. The def. of karuṇā at Vism. 318 runs “paradukkhe sati sādhūnaṃ hadaya-kampanaṃ karoti. ” Frequently referred to as an ideal of contemplation (in conn. w. bhāvanā & jhāna), so in “karuṇaṃ cetovimuttiṃ bhāveti” S. V, 119; A. I, 38; V, 360; in k° cetovimutti bhāvitā bahulī-katā, etc. D. III, 248; A. III, 291; IV, 300; in k°-sahagataṃ saddhindriyaṃ A. I, 42; unspecified S. V, 131; A. III, 185; Nett 121, 124; Ps. I, 8; k°+mettā Nett 25; k°+muditā Bdhd 16 sq. , 26 sq. , 29; ananta k° pañña as Ep. of Buddha Bdhd 1; karuṇaṃ dūrato katvā, without mercy, of the Yamadūtā, messengers of Death Sdhp. 287; mahā° great compassion Ps. I, 126, 133; —°samāpatti a “gest, ” feat of great compassion: in which Buddha is represented when rising and surveying the world to look for beings to be worthy of his mercy and help D. II, 237; Ps. 1, 126 f. DhA. I, 26, 367; PvA. 61, 195;— 3. As adj. only in cpds. (e.g. °vācā merciful speech; neg. akaruṇa merciless Mhbv 85, & ati° very merciful J. IV, 142) and as adv. karuṇaṃ pitifully, piteously, mournfully, in k° paridevati J. VI, 498, 513, 551; Cp. IX. 54; also in Abl. karuṇā J. VI, 466.—See also kāruñña.

—âdhimutta intent upon compassion D. II, 241, 242; —ânuvattin following the dictates of mercy Dāvs III, 46; —guṇaja originating in the quality of compassion Sdhp. 570; —jala water of c. , shower of mercy Miln. 22; Mhbv 16; —jhāna meditation on pity, ecstasy of c. D. II, 237—39; —ṭṭhāniya worthy of c. PvA. 72; —para one who is highest in compassion, compassionate Sdhp. 112, 345; —bala the power of c. Mhvs 15, 61, 130; Sdhp. 577; —brahmavihāra divine state of pity Vism. 319. —bhāvanā consideration or cultivation of pity Vism. 314 sq. —rasa the sweetness of c. Mhbv 16; —vihāra (a heart) in the state of c. Vism. 324 (& adj. °vihārin); DA. I, 33; —sāgara an ocean of mercy Mhbv 7; —sītala “cool with c. ” +hadaya, whose heart is tempered with mercy Sdhp. 33; DA. I, 1. (Page 197)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

karūṇa (करूण).—a S Moving, affecting, pity-exciting. 2 Pitiful, compassionate, merciful.

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karūṇa (करूण).—m S karūṇā f (S) Pity, compassion, tenderness, mercy. karūṇā bhākaṇēṃ To appeal to pity; to make pitiful complaints; to supplicate movingly. As karūṇā signifies (not pitiful accents or speech, but) pity, the explication of the phrase is, to speak so that pity be excited. Ex. myāṃ ka0 bhākitāṃ thōra || uḥśāpa bōlilā kubēra || For other ex. see bhākaṇēṃ. See under dayā certain common compounds.

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karūna (करून).—prep By or through: noting means or instrumentality, medium or channel. 2 Used as although not so correctly as hōūna in the sense of Of one's own accord. See hōūna.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

karuṇa (करुण).—a Moving, pity-exciting, pitiful.

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karuṇa (करुण).—m-ṇā f Mercy, pity. karuṇā bhākaṇēṃ To implore mercy, to appeal to pity.

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karuna (करुन).—prep By or through; noting means.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Karuṇa (करुण).—a. [karoti manaḥ ānukūlyāya, kṛ-unan Tv.] Tender, pathetic, pitiable, exciting pity, mournful; करुणध्वनिः (karuṇadhvaniḥ) V.1; Śi.9.67; विकलकरुणैरार्यचरितैः (vikalakaruṇairāryacaritaiḥ) U.1.28.

-ṇaḥ 1 Pity, compassion, tenderness.

2) Pathetic sentiment, grief, sorrow (as one of the 8 or 9 sentiments); पुट- पाकप्रतीकाशो रामस्य करुणो रसः (puṭa- pākapratīkāśo rāmasya karuṇo rasaḥ) U.3.1,13;7.12; विलपन् (vilapan)... करुणार्थग्रथितं प्रियां प्रति (karuṇārthagrathitaṃ priyāṃ prati) R.8.7.

3) The Supreme Being.

4) A Jaina saint.

-ṇam Ved. An action, a holy or sacred rite. स विश्वस्य करुणस्येश एको (sa viśvasya karuṇasyeśa eko) Rv.1.1.7; ममेदु- कर्मन् करुणेऽधि जाया (mamedu- karman karuṇe'dhi jāyā) Av.12.3.47. ind. mournfully, woefully; अधस्ताच्छिंशपामूले साध्वी करुणमास्थिता (adhastācchiṃśapāmūle sādhvī karuṇamāsthitā) Rām.5.59.21.

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Karuṇā (करुणा).—Compassion, pity, tenderness; प्रायः सर्वो भवति करुणावृत्तिरार्द्रान्तरात्मा (prāyaḥ sarvo bhavati karuṇāvṛttirārdrāntarātmā) Me.93; so सकरुण (sakaruṇa) kind; अकरुण (akaruṇa) unkind.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Karuṇā (करुणा).—(?) , n. of a yakṣiṇī: Mahāsamāj 187.1 (Wald-schmidt, Kl. Sanskrit Texte 4). But Pali Aruṇā, which may be right (reading Kaḍambakā before it for Kaḍambā, q.v., and see ed. note).

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Kāruṇa (कारुण).—(nowhere recorded), (1) adj. (= Sanskrit kāruṇika), compassionate: Mv i.179.6 (verse, metr. indifferent) tato lokānukampārthaṃ kāruṇo (mss. °ṇā) mahadviśāradaḥ; (2) subst. nt. (= Sanskrit kāruṇya), compassion: Mv i.51.2—3 …samyaksaṃbuddhasya mahatā kāruṇena (no v.l.) sam- anvāgatasya sattveṣu mahākāruṇaṃ (no v.l.) okrami.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Karuṇa (करुण).—mf.

(-ṇaḥ-ṇā) Tenderness, pity, compassion, the feeling or sentiment. adv.

(-ṇaṃ) Pitifully, in distress. m.

(-ṇaḥ) 1. Sorrow, affliction, one of the eight sentiments. 2. The name of a fruit-tree, the pamplemouse, (Citrus decumana.) 3. A Jina or Jaina saint. E. kṝ to send or cast, unan Unadi aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 292 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Karuṇarasa (करुणरस) refers to the “pathetic sentiment” or the “sentiment of pathos” as defined ...
Karuṇāmallī (करुणामल्ली).—f. (-llī) Double jasmin: see navamallī.
Karuṇārdra (करुणार्द्र).—mfn. (-rdraḥ-rdrā-rdraṃ) Tender-hearted, soft, sensitive. E. karuṇā; a...
Karuṇāvipralambha (करुणाविप्रलम्भ).—m. (-mbhaḥ) Grief of separation with the uncertainty of mee...
Karuṇāmaya (करुणामय).—mfn. (-yaḥ-yī-yaṃ) Gentle, compassionate. E. karuṇā and mayaṭ aff.
Mahākaruṇā (महाकरुणा).—(compare Sanskrit karuṇā; = Pali id.), great compassion: LV 181.5; Mv ii...
Karuṇāsvana (करुणास्वन).—a cry of distress, a piteous tone, wail.Derivable forms: karuṇāsvanaḥ ...
Vikalakaruṇa (विकलकरुण).—a. helpless, piteous; विकलकरुणैर्मर्मच्छेद- व्यथाविधुरैरिव (vikalakaru...
Karuṇāvimukha (करुणाविमुख).—a. merciless, cruel; करुणाविमुखेन मृत्युना हरता त्वां वद किं न मे ह...
Karuṇātman (करुणात्मन्).—a. tender-hearted. Karuṇātman is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the...
Karuṇādhvani (करुणाध्वनि).—a cry of distress, a piteous tone, wail.Derivable forms: karuṇādhvan...
Pārvatīkaruṇā (पार्वतीकरुणा) is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of...
Karuṇāpara (करुणापर).—a. very kind. काकुत्स्थं करुणामयं गुणनिधिं विप्रप्रियं धार्मिकम् (kākutst...
Karuṇānidhi (करुणानिधि).—store of mercy. Derivable forms: karuṇānidhiḥ (करुणानिधिः).Karuṇānidhi...
Astakaruṇa (अस्तकरुण).—a. merciless; हा धिक्कष्टमनिष्टमस्तकरुणः कोऽयं विधेः प्रक्रमः (hā dhikka...

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