Discussing Atri. 41 - Universal Compassion: Treating All with Kindness

The verse from Atri's teachings encapsulates the essence of compassion by urging individuals to treat everyone with the same kindness they would extend to themselves. This discussion delves into the concept of compassion as a universal virtue that guides our interactions with various individuals, including family, friends, rivals, and even enemies.
"One should behave, like his own self towards others, his own relations and friends, him who envies him, and an enemy. This is called Dayā (compassion)." (Atri. 41)


The verse emphasizes the principle of treating others with the same respect, kindness, and consideration that one would extend to themselves. This approach is encapsulated in the concept of "Dayā," which translates to compassion.

The verse underscores that compassion is not limited to specific relationships but extends to all individuals, regardless of whether they are family, friends, competitors, or even adversaries. It calls for a consistent and inclusive practice of compassion in all interactions.

Key Points

  1. Universal Compassion: The verse highlights the significance of universal compassion, where individuals treat everyone with the same kindness they would want for themselves.
  2. Equitable Treatment: Compassion requires treating not only loved ones and friends with kindness but also extending it to those who envy and even those considered enemies.
  3. Higher Moral Standard: This approach sets a higher moral standard for interactions, promoting empathy and understanding even in challenging relationships.
  4. Shared Values: The concept of universal compassion resonates with various spiritual teachings that advocate treating others with respect and kindness, regardless of their affiliations.


This verse offers a guiding principle for living a compassionate and ethical life. By practicing Dayā, individuals can foster an environment of understanding, empathy, and kindness in their interactions.

In the context of promoting religious tolerance and harmony, the virtue of universal compassion aligns with teachings from various faith traditions. By embracing this principle, individuals can bridge differences, cultivate empathy, and contribute to a more compassionate and harmonious society.

Bridge of Faiths

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