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Karuna, aka: Karuṇā, Karuṇa; 13 Definition(s)

Introduction

Karuna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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.”.

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Karuṇā (करुणा).—A type of glance (dṛṣṭi) expressing sentiment (rasa);—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: archive.org: Natya Shastra

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)Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

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

Pali

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

karuṇā : (f.) compassion; pity.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English DictionaryPali book cover
context information

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.

Abhidhamma

compassion;

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

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 DhamaAbhidhamma book cover
context information

Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) usually refers to the last section (piṭaka) of the Pali canon and includes schematic classifications of scholastic literature dealing with Theravāda Buddhism. Primary topics include psychology, philosophy, methodology and metaphysics which are rendered into exhaustive enumerations and commentaries.

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Compassion (karunā); s. brahma-vihāra.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and DoctrinesCompassion; 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
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).

General definition (in Buddhism)

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

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

Relevant definitions

Search found 43 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

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The idea of karuna (pity), if cultivated, is very fruitful. S.v.131.
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Muditā (मुदिता).—A R. of the Plakṣadvīpa.** Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 17.
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Brahmavihara
brahmavihāra : (m.) divine state of mind; a name collectively given to mettā, karuṇā, muditā, a...
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Relevant text

Search found 168 books containing Karuna, Karuṇā or Karuṇa. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the 20 most relevant articles:

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