Bliss is our true nature - Sadness is not.
"Lakshman is Wounded"
by Harish Johari
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When we feel sad for all who do not see through this illusion of suffering, for the ignorance created by maya, then we experience the highest form of Karuna, which is Compassion. Read more about Compassion.
While the highest Karuna is Compassion, the original Sanskrit word karuna means "Sadness". This more popular meaning of the Karuna Rasa finds expression in many kinds of art, literature, and theatre in India. Sadness is a feeling that comes when we have to let go of attachments. In pity, we forget that other people's problems are essentially the same as our own.
Mastering Karuna means to convert our more self-centered Sadness into genuine Compassion for our ignorance and the ignorance of others.
To directly counter any Sadness, one must first understand that Sadness may come but goes just as well. In adolescents, periods of Sadness may come when one feels neglected and tries to produce pity in others. Loneliness in general is a main cause of Karuna.
When one gets older, a Sadness may come because of waning strength and Beauty, of achievements becoming meaningless. If one accepts whatever goes and finds meaning in all that is still left, then there is no problem.
The same goes for the Karuna or Sadness that may come when nearing death. If one believes that the end is near, then obviously Sadness will come. If one believes in eternity, then one can still enjoy everything around as a beautiful life in progress.
Sadness Sadhana : see Rasa Sadhana .
Karuna Rasa Chart
Basic Rasa : Sadness
Sub-Rasas : Pity, Compassion
Dominant Element : Water
Dominant Dosha : Kapha
Dominant Guna : Rajas
Dominant Kosha : Ego
Friendly Rasas : Peace
Enemy Rasas : Joy, Love
Neutral Rasas : Disgust, Wonder, Anger, Fear, Courage
Rasa Produced : Sadness
Key for Mastering : Kindly embrace both truth and ignorance
Siddhi : Mahima (mightiness)
Deity : Varuna
The above texts on the Karuna Rasa were extracted from the book "The Yoga of the Nine Emotions", which fully explains these subjects.