Annabel wrote:A Bodhisattva would cry out of compassion.
How do you know Annabel?
Do you know of a sutta reference where the Buddha retold an anecdote from one of his past lives where he shed tears and explained that it was out of compassion? A textual reference is really the only way we can know, unless one meets a bodhisattva, knows the being is a bodhisattva, and then asks the being whether they cry out of compassion.
I think it is also a mistake to associate compassion with crying. Getting overwhelmed by the suffering of others is actually aversion, not compassion.
Dear Ben, forgive my visiting another tradition to answer.
How do you know Annabel?
The Dalai Lama is regarded as the principal incarnation of Chenrezig
(referred to as Avalokiteshvara in India), the bodhisattva of compassion
The Dalai Lama is believed to be the current incarnation of a long line of Tulkus, or Buddhist Masters, who have become exempt from the wheel of death and rebirth.These ascended masters have chosen of their own free will to be reborn to this place in order to teach humanity.
unless one meets a bodhisattva, knows the being is a bodhisattva
he wept out of compassion.
"Tendzin Palmo, a nun:
"I pray that this life of purity and renunciation which is so rare and precious in the world, that this jewel of the Sangha may not be thrown down into the mud of our indifference and contempt.'
It was an impassioned, formidable cry from the heart.
When she had finished a great hush fell over the gathering. No one was laughing now.
As for Tenzin Gyatso, (the Dalai Lama), the Great Ocean of Wisdom, regarded by his people as an emanation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, he was sitting there, head in his hands, silently weeping."
and then asks the being whether they cry out of compassion
A little Zen story, if you allow.
One day Chuang Tzu and a friend were walking by a river.
"Look at the fish swimming about," said Chuang Tzu, "They are really enjoying themselves."
"You are not a fish," replied the friend, "So you can't truly know that they are enjoying themselves."
"You are not me," said Chuang Tzu. "So how do you know that I do not know that the fish are enjoying themselves?"
This means that some people's awareness is of a nature that they know
why another is shedding tears, and the nature of others is of a kind,that they have to ask and then still wonder.
Pretty much like the Buddha could see former lives, and others couldn't-