Abhidhamma View: Compassion
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ sariputtadhamma/JTN]
Vism. p. 308-313 (excerpt):
78. In the Vibhanga it is said:And how does a bhikkhu dwell pervading one direction with his heart endued with compassion? Just as he would feel compassion on seeing an unlucky, unfortunate person, so he pervades all beings with compassion (Vibh 273). Therefore first of all, on seeing a wretched man, unlucky, unfortunate, in every way a fit object for compassion, unsightly, reduced to utter misery, with hands and feet cut off, sitting in the shelter for the helpless with a pot placed before him, with a mass of maggots oozing from his arms and legs, and moaning, compassion should be felt for him in this way: This being has indeed been reduced to misery; if only he could be freed from this suffering! But if he does not encounter such a person, then he can arouse compassion for an evil-doing person, even though he is happy, by comparing him to one about to be executed. How?
79. ... a bhikkhu whose meditation subject is compassion should arouse compassion for an [evil-doing] person even if he is happy: Though this poor wretch is now happy, cheerful, enjoying his wealth, still for want of even one good deed done now in any one of the three doors [of body, speech and mind] he can come to experience untold suffering in the states of loss.
80. Having aroused compassion for that person in that way, he should next arouse compassion for a dear person, next for a neutral person, and next for a hostile person, successively in the same way.
81. ... And here too when someone has done profitable deeds and the meditator sees or hears that he has been overtaken by one of the kinds of ruin beginning with ruin of health, relatives, property, etc., he deserves the meditator's compassion; and so he does too in any case, even with no such ruin, thus In reality he is unhappy, because he is not exempt from the suffering of the round [of becoming]. And in the way already described the meditator should break down the barriers between the four kinds of people, that is to say, himself, the dear person, the neutral person and the hostile person. Then cultivating that sign, developing it and repeatedly practicing it, he should increase the absorption by the triple and quadruple jhÃ¡na in the way already stated under loving-kindness.
99. Compassion has grief based on the home life as its near enemy, since both share in seeing failure. Such grief has been described in the way beginning, When a man either regards as a privation failure to obtain visible objects cognizable by the eye that are sought after, desired, agreeable, gratifying and associated with worldliness, or when he recalls those formerly obtained that are past, ceased and changed, then grief arises in him. Such grief as this is called grief based on the home life (M III 218). And cruelty, which is dissimilar to the similar grief, is its far enemy. So compassion must be practiced free from fear of that; for it is not possible to practice compassion and be cruel to breathing things simultaneously.
Love Buddha's dhamma,