Mantra: Karunai Karmana Namah
Compassion literally means “to suffer together with,” and is considered among the greatest of virtues. In the Buddhist tradition, suffering is an aspect of the human condition that should be recognized and can then be overcome. Compassion is illuminated in the The Four Noble Truths:
1. All existence is dukkha. “Dukkha” is suffering, anguish or pain, and The Buddha said that our lives are a struggle, and we do not find ultimate happiness or satisfaction in anything we experience. This is the problem of existence.
2. The truth of the origin of dukkha. It is humans’ natural tendency is to blame difficulties on things outside ourselves, but their actual root is found in the mind itself. Particularly, our tendency to grasp at things — or to push them away — places us fundamentally at odds with the way life really is.
3. The cessation of dukkha comes with the cessation of craving. Because we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the solution. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can change our responses.
4. The path that leads to the cessation of dukkha. The Buddha teaches that we are ultimately responsible for ending our suffering, and he also taught methods through which we can change ourselves.