Saturday, September 16, 2006

Four Immeasurables - Compassion Part 1

The second of the four immeasurables, tshad med bzhi, is snying rje, in Sanskrit karuna, compassion.

The definition of snying rje is to free all beings from suffering and the causes of suffering, so it's not hard to figure out what the second immeasurable is.

snying is heart, and rje is great, a word added to the end of other nouns to increase the definition, so another way to translate this, and to remember that snying is heart, is great heart. This translation also gives the translated sentence a nice boost of positive emotion, as well, so it could be used from time to time, as long as it's clear that we are dealing with compassion.

There are forms of compassion, from wanting to help someone over the street, to the level of snying rje chen po, mahakaruna, great compassion, which is indeed the wish to remove all suffering from the lives of everyone, and do something very active to get to a state where someone could actually do this.

Se also this earlier posting of the differences between byams pa and snying rje.

As we have gone through the first line, and the formats are very similar, we could now progress faster through the rest of the lines, with the exception of the last of the four immeasurables, as it's a long sentence.

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