The Buddha took his last rebirth into this world out of compassion for beings. The state of compassion is practiced long before Prince Siddhartha became a Buddha. During several stages of his life the Prince Siddhartha practiced and cultivated the state of Compassion: for example, during his 4 views out of the Palace, during his meditation seeing the logical cycle of life beings or when his cousin Devadatta injured a swan in flight … The knowledge of his history has shown that Compassion (Karuna in Sanskrit) and loving-kindness (Maîtri in Sanskrit) are part of two primary qualities in the practice of Buddhism. It is often said that Buddhism is the path of compassion and loving-kindness. Great masters have emanations of these two states, especially the Dalai Lama is an emanation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.
What exactly does this concept of compassion mean in Buddhist philosophy? Compassion is sometimes synonymous with love and involves the state of love. When can we consider that the state of compassion is put into practice, under what circumstances, in what forms? We can’t talk about compassion and happiness without speaking of suffering. The suffering of the beings that high state of compassion and love.
This means that before we can develop compassion and kindness, we should understand and approach the state of suffering, we should also learn to recognize the suffering at home and especially in the other order at that time, develop compassion and benevolence, otherwise it will be difficult.
Recognize the suffering of others implies an accurate understanding of what it is that suffering, its nature and its manifestation. This step is sometimes difficult when the other does not reflect his left inner suffering. That is why the Buddha speaks of no longer see with our senses but to see with our minds, with the eyes of the heart: it’s like a mother who recognizes the suffering of his only child even if it conceals is more than just appearance, it’s much deeper, it is beyond the physical sensations, we talk about psychological and mental vibrations.
After realizing that the other is in pain, the next step is to provide ease his suffering state, delete it. It’s in the Wisdom and the practice of Dharma, the person who cultivates the state of compassion, can eradicate the suffering of others, sometimes with words, sometimes by the actions from the body, sometimes by the wishes creating a spiritual energy, such as recitation of sutra, mantra, for an environment beneficial to others. After removing the suffering of others, he is again in play: this is when it is easy to give him the joy, happiness by practicing kindness.
Compassion, you two in VN, is defined as a quality but it can also be defined as an action. By literal translation, the first part of word you bi, the word you mean that the state of compassion and love developed must be made for all beings, whatever their form, without distinction of class, whatever the mode of life, whatever their status … . It also means being completely available to be able to provide well being and happiness for ever. Bi and the word constituting the second part of the word, means that you must rescue all beings without suffering barrier, with an opening without ego. We must act to free them from the suffering that drives them to create their conditions and empowering them to return to the path of happiness and well being.
This state is a springboard to cultivate a spirit of generosity, perseverance, and beneficial in an effort to act for the good of all beings. This is the direction that the practitioner may develop generosity in the donation:
- Action to give what is hard donnable
- Action to accept what is hard to accept
- Action to achieve what is difficult to achieve
There is a sutra on compassion and kindness, the Metta Sutra.