The Jain concept of Karuna refers to compassion.
Thinking of compassion.
Think to show compassion to those who are in distress, want; and to those who are weak and helpless. Think to help them by giving your support to remove their sorrows and agonies.
Karuna Bhavana (Thinking of Compassion)
Instead of succeeding, many of our friends may be getting into trouble for things they should not be doing, and even those who are successful may be accumulating vices such as greed and ego. If such is the case then, they are not on the right path, and may be they are weak, helpless, and in distress. At a time like this, you should contemplate on the Karuna Bhavana and show compassion towards them instead of being disgusted towards them or hating them. Show them a right path with patience, tolerance, and forgiveness and offer them the needed support. In this way, not only will you be avoiding bad karma, but also will your friends.
This concept is part of the 12 Bhavnas (Reflections or Thoughts). Some people believe that there are 16 Bhavnas. The following explains what the Bhavnas are. (Taken from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~pluralsm/affiliates/jainism/jainedu/12bhavna.htm)
Jain religion puts a significant emphasis on the thought process of a human being. A person’s behavior and his actions are the reflection of his internal thoughts, day in and day out. It is not the action but intention behind the action results in the accumulation of Karma. Hence, one should be very careful about his thoughts, how he thinks, and the subject matter of his thought.
To make room for pure thoughts, and to drive out the evil ones, Jainism recommends to reflect or meditate the following twelve thoughts or Bhavnas.
The twelve Bhavnas described here are the subject matters of one’s meditation, and how to occupy one’s mind with useful, religious, beneficial, peaceful, harmless, spiritually advancing, karma preventing thoughts. They cover a wide field of teachings of Jainism. They are designed to serve as aids to spiritual progress, produce detachment, and lead the aspirants from the realm of desire to the path of renunciation. They are reflections upon the fundamental facts of life, intended to develop purity of thought and sincerity in the practice of religion.
The reflections are also called Anuprekshas, longings, thoughts, aspirations, or Bhavnas.
Pravin K. Shah
Jain Study Center of North Carolina