What is the True Meaning of Compassion?

what is the true meaning of compassion

What is Compassion?

Often, one talks of a compassionate heart or a compassionate person.

What does it mean to “have” or “possess” compassion?

Is it something that somebody can possess?

Has it got something to do with kindness or is it pity?

These are some questions that come to mind, when we mention the word compassion.

Difference between Compassion and Pity

In the world, pity is often misunderstood as compassion.

In pity, you feel that you are at an advantage and the other person is not.

This is a negative emotion driven by the feeling of superiority of a subtle kind.

This emotion is due to a gross state of ignorance where the mind has not yet conceived the equality inherent in nature.

A heart with purity and equanimity, has compassion.

For instance, serving the poor, feeding a beggar, helping the needy- All these activities are exhilarating.

We term these acts as ‘Acts of Compassion’.

Although these acts are noble by nature, is that compassion?

Acts of service or help to others are purifying by nature.

does compassion exist

However, sometimes these acts may arise out of condescension or pity.

Acts such as the ones described find their meaning in the motivated feelings that cause them.

Compassion is born out of the highest good in man.

It may not necessarily find expression through actions alone.

On the other hand, noble action may not always translate to compassion. When the heart is perfectly pure and crystallized, that brilliant disposition of the heart is compassion.

A compassionate person has no complains with life. He simply watches life pass by in a detached manner without attaching the ‘My’ feeling to it.

Thus, He does not claim owenership of his actions as he is aware of his own dependence on mother nature.

When the heart and the head is in perfect unison, not motivated by dominant emotion or cause, it becomes a compassionate act.

Unless the heart is free of all worldly dispositions, compassion is not possible.

Compassion can never be pity.

Pity focusses more on the action while compassion on the emotion.

Thus pity is mundane while compassion spiritual.

Can compassion be moody?

10 signs of enlightenement

Compassion is a state of being that has an insight into the great working of nature.

People feel that talking kindly to others is out of care and compassion. This is not exactly right.

If kindness is situational, then the words or the feelings that emerge cannot be compassionate.

Compassion is a perfect state of being which once established, remains forever.

It is a feeling that is universal and flows through a fully open Anahata chakra.

Indeed, it is uniformly shed from the heart of the enlightened on the rich, the poor, the envious, the greedy, the lusty, the kind, the unkind, all with the same intensity.

Hence, Compassion cannot be dependent on swinging moods.

If this is so, it is definitely not compassion.

Can an angry person be compassionate?

Even getting angry can portray deep compassion unlike the popular belief that a compassionate person is soft and can never get angry.

Strangely, an extremely angry person can be extremely compassionate if his heart melts for the well-being of all. His compassion shows through his very words of anger,  directed with the intention of universal welfare.

Spirituality and Compassion


An enlightened man shows compassion by avoiding the evil, knowing well that the evil man will hurl slander and abuse at him.

The man of realization does not worry for his own self-esteem or image.

However nature shall punish those who even ignorantly hurl malice at the ones who are truly divine.

Hence, a compassionate man will not want Nature to take any such course. So, out of compassion, he keeps away from sinners and prays to the Lord for the welfare of all.

This is compassionate intelligence.

A truly compassionate man never claims any compassion, only the man who receives it can feel it.

Firstly, to become compassionate it is important to become universal.

Secondly, compassion is not a saleable philosophy.

It is highly subjective and cannot be pinpointed or directed.

The act of compassion is the act of the heart alone, when heart and head have become one.

Hence, Compassion is the sum totality of being.

The actions of one who has a compassionate heart are utterly pure without an ounce of selfishness or worldly objective.

Therefore, only truly spiritual people can be compassionate.

Thanks for reading!