Compassion in Hinduism

All the gods of the Hindu trimurti — Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva — are compassionate, but the most compassionate is Vishnu.  He is the sustainer of the universe, and Vaishnavists, who form a distinct sect within Hinduism, worship him as the personification of love. Hindus believe compassion and forgiveness motivate him to incarnate at various times to restore the balance of the universe.  According to Hindus, Gautama Buddha, the embodiment of compassion, was his most recent incarnation.  Compassion, which in Hinduism, means having kindness, feeling others pain and suffering and avoiding hurting or harming others for one’s own ends, is one of its twelve most important virtues.  Compassion ‘thrives in a person who rises above his selfishness and egoism and who finds enough virtue in others to appreciate them and understand them.  A compassionate person has great sensitivity to the problems and feelings of others.  He does not take advantage of their weakness.  He does not criticize them He does not give them a reason to feel guilty or ashamed of themselves.  He is well aware of the evil and the darkness that clouds humanity and their helplessness in dealing with it. *


*‘Opening your Hearts to Compassion’: Jayaram V.  Suggestions for practising compassion can be found here.