C O M P A S S I O N
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, February 5, 2008
1. Compassion, compassion, compassion.
Many times before have I appealed to you
to be like those who bear compassion.
The Call, 331.
2. I rejoice when you are imbued with the significance of the future. These are especially crucial times. In old prejudices a mountain of incomprehension is revealed. Obscure are the people's ways. Verily, only Our exertion can alter the course of events. Brutal habits have filled the leisure of mankind.
Christ taught compassion, yet trampled is the law of love. Gotama, called Buddha, besought courage and energy, yet His followers surrendered to laziness. Confucius taught about an orderly system of government, yet his followers have succumbed to bribery and corruption.
It is difficult to say which crime is the worse. Therefore, it is impossible to speak about nations; one can speak only about individuals. Indolence is dreadful and can border upon crime. It is difficult to see the consequences of laziness, but it transforms a man into an animal. I assert that it is one of the chief obstacles on the path. On the spiritual plane at times a murderer is more mobile. Also, bribery deprives a man of the confidence of the Brotherhood, because the treason of such people is great. Also, lack of compassion makes a man unfit for achievement, because such souls are lacking in courage.
3. Pity must not be confused with compassion. In compassion nothing is dissolved, but crystals of action grow. Compassion does not weep, but helps.
4. Sentimentality is often taken for compassion, anger for indignation, and self-preservation for courage. It must be understood how acutely necessary it is to purify one's concepts not in thought alone but in action.
5. It is said that a yogi has no desires; actually, he is filled with striving. A desire is not active, because it creates expectation, and expectation is the mother of passivity. Striving, on the other hand, is a generator of motion, leading to ascent of the spirit. It is said that the yogi knows no love; but in truth, he is full of compassion. People think of love only as constricting bonds. But compassion is boundless, a co-worker of Truth. It is said that a yogi is endowed with inexhaustible powers; however, like a diligent gardener, he must tend his own plants in the garden of opportunities.
Agni Yoga, 210.
6. Mercy, compassion, pity, love, and all benevolent strivings so indicated by Us—are they not wondrous ways of intercourse with the highest energies? One should become accustomed to regard these resplendent qualities as actual methods connecting one with the highest worlds.
7. Self-control is a very complex quality. It comprises courage, patience, and compassion. But courage must not become anger, compassion should not border on hysteria, and patience must not be hypocrisy. Thus, self-control is complicated, but it is imperatively needed upon entering the Higher Worlds.
Fiery World I, 634.
8. Urusvati knows that the far-reaching embrace of the consciousness, or containment, must be clearly understood. Many think that containment means the acceptance of opposing arguments, but in fact containment is the understanding of true motives. One can understand with compassion the motives that guide one’s interlocutor, but it is impermissible to immediately give up one’s own long-established and carefully-considered principles.
Containment has much in common with compassion. A compassionate person can clearly see how others err and act against themselves. But how careful one must be in trying to influence them! One should remember the ancient saying, “One does not argue about taste.” There may be karmic reasons for one’s tastes and inclinations, but often they can be traced to cultural conditioning. It is not possible to quickly help someone to eliminate such ingrained tendencies. Nor is it easy to persuade someone to question his own tastes when they differ from those of people around him, especially if his tastes cause no harm. The disharmony can be pointed out, but not everyone is capable of recognizing it.
Supermundane III, 502.
9. The one who renounces everything earthly cannot be a fair judge of this, and similarly, the one completely involved in earthly concerns cannot rise above them sufficiently to observe fully. It is rare to find the person in whom these two attitudes are harmoniously reconciled. Most people see them as contradictory, because they do not know that spiritual advancement can be accomplished in ordinary life.
Those who deny earthly conditions also deprive themselves of mercy and compassion, without which spiritual development is not possible. The teaching of the regenerated world cannot live with hard-heartedness. Humane science cannot flourish where the heart is numb. Our Brotherhood could not have existed without a full experience of earthly conditions.
Supermundane III, 523.
10. Urusvati knows that patience is the parent of tolerance. Intolerance is the offspring of ignorance. Nothing obstructs achievement as much as does intolerance. One must become attuned to an attitude of tolerance from one’s earliest years. And compassion is akin to it. Tolerance is the best way. Those who argue should not be dismissed if their words contain just one particle of truth. This particle could serve as a bridge for unity. But patience is needed to discover such particles of truth.
Supermundane IV, 752.
11. Urusvati knows that the main cause of discord lies in the individuality of consciousnesses. There are no two grains of sand alike, there are no consciousnesses alike. Such richness of nature could have accelerated evolution, but out of it much evil has been born. It should be remembered that such evil is harmful, not only in the earthly life, but also in the Supermundane World.
Each person can assist in the lessening of evil. For this one must firmly remember about the individuality of consciousnesses, and must not coerce the consciousness of one’s fellow man. He can increase friendship and cooperation, but only if he allows for differences of consciousness. Out of such understanding is compassion born. A wise man will show compassion to his neighbor in a way that will not be seen as condescending.
Supermundane IV, 795.
12. Urusvati knows the healing quality of Great Compassion. People usually suppose that only the Higher Beings possess this quality. But people, in their daily lives, often come in contact with the realm of Compassion.
Truly, mercy, peacefulness, sympathy, kindness, solicitude toward people, are manifestations of various aspects of compassion. Love itself is close to compassion. Is not cooperation kin to compassion? All these good qualities have healing properties.
Psychic energy, sent with good intentions, exerts a healing action. Science should reveal how good intentions heal the nervous system. And let us not forget that he who offers compassion receives beneficial effects, in the boomerang-like return of the dispatched energy.
Supermundane IV, 809.
13. Urusvati knows the true meaning of compassion for the less fortunate. Let every act of compassion be a step of your ascent. A fool beats his exhausted donkey and thus does only harm. But a wise master lets his donkey rest and feeds it, and thus receives benefit. It is the same with the ignorant. It is wrong to rebuke the ignorant in anger, for such abuse is only harmful. But there will be benefit if one makes allowance and finds appropriate words. It is not easy to empathize with the ignorant, but a thoughtful person will understand that when a passage is low, one must stoop to proceed.
Much has been said about compassion, yet every act of compassion requires that one know how to bend to the level of the needy one. Indeed, this affords a glorious ascent. In the Supermundane World, mercy and compassion lead to a speedy ascent. The pilgrim learns to harken to the voices of pain and is imbued with thoughts of healing, which, like wings, bear him aloft.
Man should constantly seek for opportunities to act with compassion. Schools should teach the benefits of compassion, and that negative judgment is fruitless. It can be avoided if one remembers that destruction is, for us, not equal to construction. Let us leave destruction to the wisdom of Cosmos; let us create.
The Thinker said, “Teacher, point out to me the way to ascend in compassion.”
Supermundane IV, 847.
14. Urusvati knows the true meaning of compassion. Maitreya, the Lord of Compassion, impressed this pan-human feeling on the future mind. Yet the confusion of the present world is great!
Many physicians will be needed to cure humanity. Psychic epidemics are increasing, together with the bodily ones. Compassion can arm physicians for their urgent battle.
There are some feelings akin to compassion, but only compassion itself is without selfishness. Pity, for example, can be somewhat patronizing, and even charity can have selfish motives, but compassion aids the suffering, taking the entire burden of pain upon itself. It studies the cause of the pain and offers psychic energy to revitalize the ailing psyche.
Psychic illnesses should be understood in a broad sense. People enter upon a path of confusion and thus grow helpless. Much energy for good is needed to support, to not offend, and to express hope in the simplest of words. A sick person can be quite vain and one should not give the impression that his faults are known. Truly, compassion is the most tender and sympathetic feeling. Let us not forget how a subtle feeling helps in the Supermundane World. It reveals the magnet of the heart, and its power makes one invincible.
The Thinker asserted, “Compassion is the crown of the future.”
Supermundane IV, 864.