Mahakaruna, Mahākaruṇā: 7 definitions


Mahakaruna 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 Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Mahakaruna in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Mahākaruṇā (महाकरुणा) refers to “great compassion”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 2).—Accordingly, “People of sensitive and upright mind can easily obtain salvation. If these people do not hear the doctrine preached, they fall into grave difficulties. It is like the lotus (utpala) in the water: some are born, some ripen, some remain within the water without emerging. If they do not have sunlight (sūryaprabhā), they do not expand (vikasanti). The Buddha is like [the sunlight]: sent forth by his great loving kindness and great compassion (mahāmaitrī-karuṇā), that he might have pity for beings and preach the doctrine”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Mahākaruṇa (महाकरुण) refers to “great compassion”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly as The Lord said: “O Śāriputra, from innumerable aeons ago (asaṃkhyeya-kalpa), the Bodhisatvas in the Mahāvyūha universe have been in accordance with the [perfection of] giving as adorned with generosity, [...] have practiced the protection of all living beings as adorned with great friendliness (mahāmaitrī), have practiced never giving up any being as adorned with great compassion (mahākaruṇa), have never ceased to make joy, happiness, and great delight of all living beings as adorned with great happiness (mahāmudita), and have been punctilious in the practice without interruption, which has made all living beings not to be conceited or depressed as adorned with great equanimity (mahopekṣa) [...]”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahakaruna in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

mahākaruṇā : (f.) great compassion.

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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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Mahakaruna in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Mahākaruṇā (महाकरुणा).—(compare Sanskrit karuṇā; = Pali id.), great compassion: Lalitavistara 181.5; Mahāvastu ii.2.7, et alibi; 32 mahāk° of a Tathāgata, Mahāvyutpatti 154, listed 155—186.

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Mahākaruṇā (महाकरुणा).—(°-) (m.c. °ṇa-) -meghaś(i)rī, name of a Buddha: Gaṇḍavyūha 285.8 (verse).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Mahākaruṇa (महाकरुण):—[=mahā-karuṇa] [from mahā > mah] mfn. very compassionate (-tā f.), [Buddhist literature]

2) Mahākaruṇā (महाकरुणा):—[=mahā-karuṇā] [from mahā-karuṇa > mahā > mah] f. general compassionateness, [Lalita-vistara]

[Sanskrit to German]

Mahakaruna in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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