Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A good Friend quite wisely asked:

>I've often seen you translate karuna as "pity,"
but isn't pity actually the near enemy of karuna?

Friend your good question exemplifies a common misconception and
non-recognition of a mixed state…Since it depends how you define and
thus understand “Pity” as a mixed state, or in itself as a pure state!

In itself Pure Pity = Karunā  is defined as:

Pity originally means ‘feeling for and of other’s pain’, or "sympathy" and
"empathy". However only IF mixed with egoism it gets more unsympathetic
connotations of feeling of “own” superiority based on conscious or even
unconscious lack of respect of the sufferer's dignity, who is now seen as
“inferior”. However this Evil does not come from pity itself, which is a pure
compassion for the plight of the sufferer, but to the often unseen and
overlooked aspect of mixed-in impurities of the EGO-conceit “I am Better”!
Since for to say or think, even subconsciously, “I am Better” there just
have to be present the mistaken belief in a non-existent Ego = The conceit
that “I am” = asmi-mâna... Needless to say has this arrogant & pride-pumped
“I”-dentification & “self”-deception nothing whatsoever to do with fellow
feelings for another being’s suffering, though it can often subconsciously
be mixed with it and thus polluting this in itself advantageous & good pure pity.

Moreover regarding karuna especially as "Buddhist Pity":
There is no “sorrow” or “sadness” in this state as it is based on understanding
of cause and effect. From the Visuddhimagga:
“One whose meditation subject is pity should arouse compassion for any
[evil-doing] person even if he now is happy: “Though this poor wretch is now
happy, cheerful, enjoying his wealth, still for want of even one single good
deed done now in by any of the 3 doors of intentional behaviour he will
come to experience untold future suffering in the states of loss.”

Cut short:
A Noble Person feels empathy and pity for any being in Samsara due to
understanding of the inherent dangers in that Samsaric trap for anyone
without understanding of the 4 Noble Truths, but he does not feel sorrow
or sadness on that account! If he did, then Pity (Karuna or Compassion)
would not be an advantageous (kusala) mental state promoting Happiness,
which is the sole purpose in the first place!

See also:
More on Pity (Karunā = Compassion):
Karuna_is_Pity, Space_Compassion, Safe_Medicine,
Great_Compassion, Compassionate_Pity, What_is_Wrong,
Pure is Unpolluted Pity...
Have a nice & noble day!
Friendship is the Greatest! Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]

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