108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #3

Om karunarasasindhave namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is the one who flows with the essence of compassion.


karunā Hin., San. f. the feeling of compassion, kindly tenderness, pity.
karunābharana (karunā+ābharana) San. m. compassion worn as an ornament.
karunā-karā San. adj. compassionate m. one who is compassionate.
karunākāra (karunā+ākāra) San. m. the embodiment of compassion.
karunāmayī San. adj. f. filled with compassion.
karunānanda (karunā+ānanda) San. m. delight in compassion.
karunāntaranga (karunā+antar+anga) San. adj. filled with compassion.
kārunya San. adj. compassionate, kind.
kārunya Hin. m., San. n. compassion, kindness, tenderness.


The River of Compassion

The Christian Sanyasin Father Bede Griffiths called the Bhagavad Gita the “river of compassion”. This was because he recognised the compassion inherent in the gift of Lord Krishna teaching Arjuna. The “river of compassion” was a practical guide to reaching the goal of life.

In calling the Sun the flow of the essence of compassion, we are reminded that we must be like the Sun itself (who bestows heat and light upon all alike) and have compassion for one and all, alike, whether or not they are kind or not to ourselves. What is karuna (compassion)? Seeing a person in distress and expressing verbally sympathy is not compassion. Compassion must express itself in action to relieve the suffering. Nor should you adopt an attitude of aloofness or indifference on the plea that each one is suffering for his own folly. Though suffering may be due to one’s mistakes–mistakes to which everyone is prone—we should seek to remedy such suffering just as we try to get rid of our own suffering.

Service to the poor and the needy should flow from the heart, with friendliness, compassion, joy and indifference towards the results. We give the compassionate service, we move on along our path of life and leave the result of seva -service – to the Divine. Just as the Sun is not attached to the results of giving heat and light, we may also call the Sun the flow of the essence of compassion.

Karuna (kindness or compassion) Kindness should be shown towards those who are in a lower position than ourselves in respect; of age, wealth, health, status, education, and the like. Only then compassion becomes meaningful and valuable. Kindness justifies itself in such cases.

We shall be concise and not engage in matters conducive to boredom:

It seems that a learned scholar was giving a lecture on the Gita in Sanskrit to an audience whose members were so bored that one by one they all departed, leaving a solitary old man sitting totally enraptured. The lecturer was consoled by the fact that at least one person was appreciative of his erudition, and expressed his gratitude at the end of the discourse. “Oh,” said the old man, “I wasn’t listening to your talk at all. I saw Krishna in front of you and I was worshipping the Lord.”



Om karunarasasindhave namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is the one who flows with the essence of compassion.


Download 108 Names of Surya, the Sun


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