About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim

Are you familiar with either of the images above?

Both are images of compassion.

One is Avalokiteśvara and the other is Kuan Yin. Both are essentially the same person.

Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. "Lord who looks down") is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. The original name for this bodhisattva was Avalokitasvara. The Chinese name for Avalokitasvara is Guānshìyīn Púsà (觀世音菩薩), which is a translation of the earlier name "Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva."

This bodhisattva is variably depicted as male or female, and may also be referred to simply as Guānyīn in certain contexts.

In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World").

Kuan Yin is often know as the Goddess of Mercy or Goddess of Compassion.

Compassion is a virtue, one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is one place where God is spoken of as the "Father of compassion" and the "God of all comfort" (1.3). Jesus embodies for Christians, the very essence of compassion and relational care. Christ challenges Christians to forsake their own desires and to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress.

In the various Hindu traditions, compassion is called daya, and, along with charity and self-control, is one of the three central virtues. The importance of compassion in the Hindu traditions reaches as far back as the Vedas.

"Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed," The Buddha.

Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. Though all life is considered sacred, human life is deemed the highest form of earthly existence. To kill any person, no matter their crime, is considered unimaginably abhorrent.

In the Jewish tradition, God is the Compassionate and is invoked as the Father of Compassion: hence Raḥmana or Compassionate becomes the usual designation for His revealed word.

Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim.

In the Muslim tradition, foremost among God's attributes are mercy and compassion or, in the canonical language of Arabic, Rahman and Rahim. Each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception, begins with the verse, "In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful." A Muslim commences each day, each prayer and each significant action by invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate, by reciting, "Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim."

Compassion and affection are human values independent of religion.

We need these human values. These are secular beliefs. There’s no relationship with any particular religion. Even without religion, even as nonbelievers, we have the capacity to promote these values of compassion.

So, the question there lies is, "Do you feel you are a compassionate person?"

Most of us will automatically answer yes, which if true would make this world a perfect and wonderful place to live in. But then ask again, "Am I truly a compassionate person? What actions have I taken in my life today to show my compassion to others?"

We all have a long way to go, we are humans, we are not perfect, life is not easy but honestly, it can be easy, you can be compassionate in every way every day, if you so choose to be.

Take care and be well.

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