I am approaching this from the personality traits daya and krupa as emphasised in Hindu culture. I understand that "mercy" or krupa is a more sublime trait, as opposed to daya which is more everyday and ordinary.

  • Considering this seems to be related to Hindi word usage among other things you may get a better answer at the hinduism.SE. If you specifically want an answer from the academic discipline of philosophy, you would need to generalize the question.
    – virmaior
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:30
  • @Mr.Bultitude Not sure why you are trying to remove the term 'Hindu culture' from the question? Do you want to make it generic and migrate it back to Philosophy.SE? If not, OP's original question looks perfectly fine to me. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 18:31
  • @sv. It's redundant to have a Hinduism.SE question say that it's asking about Hinduism, so I removed that verbiage. The question is fine (other than being untagged, which is the main reason for my edit), but I thought the other edits I made make it clearer, by tying the English to Hindi words right in the title and restating the actual question in the body (and, as I said, removing the redundancy). Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 20:52
  • @Mr.Bultitude Ok. Thanks for clarifying. Hopefully, someone else will approve it. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 23:57

2 Answers 2


I would say that mercy implies a justice system, whereas pity implies an external source of anguish to the suffering individual. So, mercy is when justice can be exercised but is restrained. Pity is when we witness suffering but do not have authority or power to reduce the consequence because the suffering is not the consequence of the suffer's actions. Pity would be given to the victim of an "act of God" while mercy would be given to a criminal. Just my thoughts.


Pity is external, you can pity someone and even give him/her some money but mercy is different. Mercy is internal. You do not need to experience everything in life. There is no single person that can experience everything in life but don’t ignore the pain of people who are going through stuff. For instance if a lady said to you how she had to go without food for days. She had to go back to breast-feeding her already weaned child so the child won’t die. You won't have to go without food before being merciful to her.

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    You, together with your input, are welcome on this site! But it is advised to cite sources such as Vedas, Puranas or others to back your answer.
    – Jatin
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 6:50
  • Ohh.. I am sorry, This is my opinion.. Something, that my grandma taught me. Next time, if I answer something, I'll site some crude sources..
    – computnik
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 8:04

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