Congratulations to our graduate student, Youteng Bi, from the Department of East Asian Studies at UA! Youteng has been awarded Merit Awards in an essay competition of “Ci - Chinese character of Compassion” hosted by Maitreya Culture & Education Foundation in Hong Kong. The foundation is established by Prof. Andrew Wong, who is a senior fellow of the Center for Buddhist Studies at UA.
The information of Youteng’s essay is listed as follows:
Abstract: Compassion (ci 慈) is one of the most important concepts relating to the Bodhisattva worship in Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. As one of the four immeasurable states of mind (siwuliangxin 四無量心), compassion serves as the fundamental motivation for Bodhisattva’s self-sacrifice. The question arose here is that does the compassion of a Bodhisattva differ from secular emotions, say the compassion a father has toward his son? Furthermore, does the compassion of the Bodhisattva completely transcend or exclude the temporal dimension of ci? To answer these questions, this paper explores the definition and classification of Bodhisattva’s compassion in Chinese Mahayana scriptures, while at the same time, compares it to the discussion in the Analects and argues that the concept of compassion in Mahayana Buddhism expands the indigenous Chinese understanding of ci to a philosophical and universal level.