Karuna comes from the Sanskrit kara, meaning “to do,” or “to make.” Karuna is a compassionate state of being as part of a shared human experience. Karuna is the compassionate doing of something to alleviate suffering. Karuna is a key element of the yogic path, opening the “eye” of enlightened wisdom to see the harmony, connectedness, and interdependence of all living beings and their natural environments within the whole universe.
Karuna is the highest level of compassion and is comprised of six basic spiritual virtues latent in the soul. These latent virtues are transmitted from the living beings, souls, through the spiritual trajectory of awareness, attitude, vision, and action. These virtues live as vibrational frequencies in the soul, and their expression forms a living system of interrelationships that connects us in the experience of life. Karuna is like a satellite that emits the frequencies of love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, non-‐violence, and generosity.
The Coronavirus is a global health and societal emergency that calls on the collective effort of human beings to take informed and effective action to protect the self and others. The virus is an excretion of a toxic cell that has gone viral. It spreads mainly between people through respiratory droplets from an infected person as well as through touching surfaces that may contain germs from the virus, then touching one’s own mouth, nose, and eyes. In order to cope with the sudden-‐ ness of this outbreak and the drastic precautions people are being asked to take, there are a lot of emotional and psychological consequences, such as distress and anxiety, uncertainty and worry, confusion and fear, and over-‐reaction.
Because there is no immediate treatment available to deal with the virus, people are moving into spiritual domains for strength, support, and signals. Karuna is offered as a collective spiritual experiment to help open our hearts and souls to a more elevated response, one requiring resilience and flexibility.
Compassionate love is care and consideration for someone. It is not selfish in its aims and upholds respect, reverence, and regard. Its intention is pure. People who love compassionately, whether for loved ones, their community, or all of humankind, do so continually, and maintain a relationship with others through selfless service.
Social Distancing – Don’t Be Distressed.
In observing social distancing, the space of six feet apart invites us to practice the spiritual principle of “being detached and loving.” The foundation of human life is love. Love brings souls closer. Being detached gives us the chance to be fully present. Social distancing is the opportunity to share spiritual love. With your eyes, emit the vibrations of elevated thoughts, pure feelings. This is called “drishti” -‐-‐ the sharing of soul conscious love. With your folded hands, honor the divinity in the other. This is called “namaste.” With your smile, acknowledge the other with the peaceful greeting of “om shanti.”
Compassionate kindness comes from self-‐compassion – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is the ability to be gentle with the self and to go beyond self-‐judgments. When we enhance this inner ability to really see the self, then we can see and feel what is around us. We would treat others the way we would want to be treated. Compassionate kindness brings stability and satisfaction in relationships. It gives courage and strength to see every thought, word, and action as an opportunity to be kind in large and small ways.
Cleanliness Is Important – Don’t Become Frustrated.
At a time when we are dealing with preventative responses, the spiritual tenet of “cleanliness gives the clarity to be safe” is applicable. Every time I wash my hands or wipe a surface, I am being kind and keeping others safe. It takes a clear and clean intellect to discern between choice and compulsion. Choose kindness!
Compassionate mercy motivates benevolence – going out of one’s way to help another. To be of service to others gives a feeling of gratitude, something to be thankful for. It is a spiritual disposition of understanding the essential in the expansion, the underpinning wisdom in the vastness of information overload.
Be Informed – Don’t Over-‐react.
To be knowledgeable of something is to have mercy on yourself, family, and community. Knowledge makes it easy to follow directions with understanding. Mercy is to stay with what is essential and not to over-‐listen, over-‐read, over-‐speak, and over-‐react about the information so abundantly available. Don’t keep thinking about the many different opinions. Not keeping the detailed expansion in your mind and heart means to have mercy for the self. Merge the waste of worry and stay with the pure feelings of hope. The mercy of your own heart enables you to have disinterest for the various types of ideas and opinions that could cause over-‐ reaction on your part.
Compassionate forgiveness is an awareness that generates a willingness to let go of guilt and blame that cause disturbance and distress to the soul. It is the wisdom to forgive the self for acting out of ignorance and to reinstate a sense of dignity by acting from enlightened responsibility.
Check for Symptoms – Don’t Blame.
When millions of people globally have to face the fact that they may contract a deadly virus, then we know that we are embracing a collective settlement for something that we contributed to in some way and form. The usual response is to project, to blame, and to accuse. In this particular settlement, it appears the law of karma is enabling the animals to have their karmic revenge. The time of collective settlement is also a time for reconciliation and forgiveness. It’s the time to take our lifestyle seriously and to change our awareness, attitude, and actions especially toward animals, plants, and Planet Earth. Forgiveness is grounded in deep realization of causes, symptoms, and consequences. Forgiveness sets us free.
Compassionate non-‐violence is to appeal to fairness, not to fear. The human heart is capable of conceiving a complete substitute for violence. The heart’s deepest nature is to trust what is true and real. The roots of this substitute grow from courage, not from confusion. True non-‐violence is only possible with unadulterated fearlessness.
At Times of Uncertainty -‐-‐ Don’t Get Confused.
Some people behave in certain violent ways when their behaviors are driven by fear. Panic unearths exclusion and discrimination, resulting in anger, resentment, and prejudices. For other people, compassionate non-‐violence is embodied best at times of uncertainty. At these times, these people spontaneously act from the heart, coming together in community as one human family.
Compassionate generosity is to live from the heart and not from the ego. As a human family, we must accept that in life there are many challenges. In the face of challenges, we must rise with humility, calmness, and courage. Compassionate generosity urges us to open our hearts to our people and our planet. Compassionate generosity stops us from viewing life through the eyes of greed. It prevents us from becoming small, narrow-‐minded, lonely, bitter, and resentful. Compassionate generosity is to live from a place of authenticity and abundance. It opens our eyes to see life as it is (a new normal), instead of how it should be (normalcy bias).
Compassionate generosity awakens goodness in the soul and helps us to cultivate heart-‐to-‐heart bonds and to live pure, unselfish lives.
Lockdown -‐-‐ enough for everyone’s need – don’t panic.
There is a panic that runs through the society when there’s a lockdown. People begin to stockpile and hoard food and other essential supplies. The supermarkets and stores can sometimes hardly keep up with consumers’ demand. The mindset is “survival of the fittest.” Compassionate generosity can be applied through the simple reminders of “less is more,” “enough for everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed,” and “sharing is caring.” To practice compassionate generosity at the time of crisis fosters a sense of community and a feeling of interconnectedness. This shifts the focus away from selfishness to a spirit of being in it together. More information: Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization.