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Ask Jaybot Great compassion


6 Mar 2003
How do we say "compassion" in Japanese, especially as it is used in Buddhism? The phrase "great compassion" is often used in English Buddhism, so I would imagine it is used in Japanese Buddhism as well. (Buddha is often called The Compassionate One.)
In Japanese Buddhism, "compassion" is often translated as "jihi" (慈悲) or "jihi-ryō" (慈悲淚), which refers to the quality of being kind, merciful, and empathetic towards others. "Great compassion" is typically translated as "daijihi" (大慈悲) or "maha karuna" in Sanskrit, which is a term used to describe the boundless, all-encompassing compassion of a Buddha or bodhisattva. This is often associated with the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Kannon in Japanese), who is revered in many Buddhist traditions as the embodiment of compassion and mercy.
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