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Read more about Compassion from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What is Compassion?

Compassion is the equivalent of miséricorde (knife). It is a pity full of strength and kindness, a pity that pardons and makes amends, forgets all offences and wants what is best for everyone. [1]

Compassion is an essential psychic virtue. The psychic being which is possessed only in the man is able to display compassion. It appears in the consciousness only when the psychic being takes part in active life.[2]

Divine Compassion

Even the disgust of the Divine is considered as the disgust which is full of compassion. In addition to this, it is something that takes upon itself the bad vibration in order to cure others of it. The consequences of a wrong and low movement—instead of throwing it back with cold justice upon the one who has committed the mistake, it absorbs it, in order to transform it within itself, and diminishes as far as possible the material consequences of the fault committed. [3]

The divine compassion reaches out not only to the one who is eaten but also to the one who eats, not only to the one who is tortured but also the one who tortures. [4]

Why Is Compassion Needed?

The compassion seeks to relieve the suffering of all. [5]

Love, compassion, kindness, bhakti, Ananda are the nature of the psychic being, because the psychic being is formed from the Divine Consciousness, it is the divine part within you. But the lower parts are not yet accustomed to obey or value the influence and control of the psychic for in men the vital and physical are accustomed to act for themselves and do not care for what the soul wants. When they do care and obey the psychic, that is their conversion—they begin to put on themselves the psychic or divine nature. [6]

How to Cultivate Compassion?

For there indeed is the source of all compassion, of all power to efface every error when it is not repeated,to open the road to true realisation; it is he who can understand all, heal all, and always help on the path, help you not to fail, not to falter, not to fall, but to walk straight to the goal. He is the true friend, the friend of good and bad days, the one who can understand, can heal, and who is always there when you need him. [7]

It has been made a rule of religious ethics to act in a spirit of universal compassion, to love one's neighbour as oneself, to do to others as one would have them do to us, to feel the joy and grief of others as one's own; but no man living in his ego is able truly and perfectly to do these things, he can only accept them as a demand of his mind, an aspiration of his heart, an effort of his will to live by a high standard and modify by a sincere endeavour his crude ego-nature. It is when others are known and felt intimately as oneself that this ideal can become a natural and spontaneous rule of our living and be realised in practice as in principle. But even oneness with others is not enough by itself, if it is a oneness with their ignorance; for then the law of ignorance will work and error of action and wrong action will survive even if diminished in degree and mellowed in incidence and character. Our oneness with others must be fundamental, not a oneness with their minds, hearts, vital selves, egos,—even though these come to be included in our universalised consciousness,—but a oneness in the soul and spirit, and that can only come by our liberation into soul-awareness and self-knowledge. [8]

In any case, the only thing which is really effective is to what the Divine wills, and to keep an unshakable confidence in the supreme compassion of the Divine Grace, for through that it is always the best that happens; not the best according to human ideas but the best according to the supreme Truth. [9]

Read more about Compassion from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.