The Master on 'Compassion'


The Goddess of Mercy is the epitome for compassion. Compassion will shine forth when the heart is pure. Feel for every being because all of us are One. We are not separate from each other. Blinded by the play of Maya (illusion), man tends to think that he is separate from his brothers.

This quality of compassion is not something that can be gained through practice. It is not a skill but your nature. When you know the nature of the Self, naturally you will have compassion for all that you come across. The feeling of compassion is not only to be felt towards the people whom you deem less fortunate than you are, but this also applies to those who probably have every material comfort that you can ever dream of. After all, what are worldly material possessions anyway? When you leave this physical body, you will bring nothing with you. Even the rich and famous have their own set of problems, perhaps even more so than an ordinary individual.

When we speak of compassion, most people immediately think of the downtrodden. Question yourself however whether the feeling that you have towards them is actually compassion, or pity? To pity someone and to be compassionate towards them are completely two different things altogether. To pity someone is to continue subjecting them to such state with your mental reaffirmation. One only pities another out of ignorance. It is due to lack of spiritual wisdom that you pity another being.

The feeling of pity can also be dangerous to a spiritual aspirant’s spiritual path. Not only does it demonstrates the aspirant’s ignorance to the spiritual Laws, due to this, the aspirant also allows negative thoughts and feelings to imbue his or her mind, which will subsequently project more similar experiences in this world.

For example, when you come across a homeless beggar at the side of the street, almost immediately people feel pity for them and so, give the beggar a penny or two. No doubt everyone wants to be the good soul. But are you lifting him up by giving him the money and just walk home, feeling good about the ‘noble deed’ that you have just done? Was that really a ‘noble deed’ at all to begin with, or was it just a cushion to bolster your ego? You then walk back home and forget all about the beggar you met along the way. Now, is this what we call compassion? No. Of course not! That act was out of pity. The beggar came into your experience and you feel that you have to at least do ‘something’ to make him feel better, and so the easiest way out was to just throw the penny into his begging bowl, and you are done with him once and for all.

So what is this thing called “compassion”? When you know that the world is built upon a mental foundation and operates on the basis of an infallible Universal Law, you will know that everything that exists or happens has a reason behind it. You will appreciate the karmic law that no one escapes from. As you sow, so must you reap! To feel pity for another is to feel concerned for a short-term, touching one’s heart and soul for a little while but quickly leaves when the person is no longer in their experience. To have compassion for another man is to lift him up to the ideal you would like to see him be. The wise one will know that nothing escapes the karmic law. Karma is not only confined to physical actions, but mental actions as well. The man whom you deem ‘less fortunate’ than you is now reaping the fruits of his past deeds, be it his past physical actions or mental actions. Remember this!

You may then ask how else you can help him and what does the role of ‘compassion’ have to play in this? Realising that the Law is absolute and that the man is nothing but his own reflection, the awakened being no longer feels pity towards him. Instead, recognising this spiritual Truth, he or she feels compassion towards the man as they witness the suffering of their brother. Open up your heart and see them there. The entire universe exists in your heart. There is a verse from the Bible that goes: “This is my Father’s will, that of all that he has given me, I should lose nothing but I should raise it up again.”

Everything that comes into your experience is a reflection of your state of mind. Somehow, this beggar has come into your experience and is definitely not by chance. There is no such thing as a coincidence. So, lift him up by seeing him in your mind’s eye exactly the way you would like him to be. This is true prayer. When you have faith in your inner vision, the man will have to be compelled from within to change his circumstances, and you would have done him a far greater favour than to place a penny or two in his bowl.

So, from today onwards, whenever you come across anything or someone that reflects less than the ideal you have in mind, lift them up with a prayer. A true prayer out of love is to turn away from the ‘fact’ that your five senses deem absolute and ‘see’ them as the people you would like them to be.



Excerpt from the Master’s Discourse in Auckland (03 October 2010)

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