From Passion to Compassion by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I took to a balcony walk and had some time to reflect on today’s class with the Scarborough crew. The topic was “From Passion to Compassion.” I mentioned to the group on Zoom that I would come close to cringing when I first read that message from chapter 2 of the Gita. “The wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.”

It sounded extreme. Is there any room for compassion in the culture? Answer, “Yes.” For instance, after the Kuruksetra war many widows suddenly came into being and Krishna was there to offer the women folk much support. So why such a statement about not lamenting when people are in pain? The empathy factor must be projected during trying times for others.

The major point is to give more importance to the soul, which is permanent, whereas the body is a machine that is disposable. From a world of passion, temporal desire, we should evolve to the point of placing compassion in the right direction, to that of the soul.

A few helpful quotes on the subject of compassion:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato

“Compassion is the basis of morality.” Arthur Schopenhauer

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama

“It is easy to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” Gandhi

If our dear Prabhupada did not demonstrate compassion I would not be in the reality where I am today; in safety, peacefulness and joy.

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