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Lack Of Compassion Explained In Hinduism

Nairghrnya means cruelty and lack of compassion in Hinduism. The word ‘ghrna’ has undergone many semantic changes. It originally implied compassion. The word nairghrnya connotes the presence of hatred and absence of compassion. This is a quality of being without compassion. However, it may be construed as the presence of hatred and also as an absence of compassion.

Compassion is a quality which is desirable in a person to live in harmony with society. On the other hand, when it comes to warfare, one should not be compassionate towards one’s enemy. Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are case in point.

There is no prejudiced motive or purpose behind the creation of this world as it is only a sport for Brahman. While creating the world, the creator, Brahman, has neither cruelty nor partiality. Some are born as men while others are born as animals; so one may think that Bhagavan is partial to some. He is cruel inasmuch as He creates a world full of suffering for the souls. In one of the sutras of Brahmasutra (2.1.34), Badarayana refutes these objections and says that on account of Bhagavan’s taking into consideration the past karma of the various beings before creating them as gods, men, or lower animals, partiality cannot be attributed to him. Souls are born according to their past karma in different species and not due to nairghrnya or non-compassion of Bhagavan.