Cherish compassion not just as a position or an emotion, but as a foundation

Cherish compassion not just as a position or an emotion, but as a foundation

Position: Some people contribute to welfare causes because it makes them look good in the eyes of the world. For example, MNCs that exploit natural resources may conduct tree plantation programs to look green in an environment-conscious world.

Emotion: Others participate in welfare work because it makes them feel good about themselves. For example, people who see videos depicting cruelty against animals in slaughterhouses may campaign for vegetarianism.

At one level, anyone doing anything good, whatever the reason for doing it, is good. But at another, deeper level, the good can be the biggest enemy of the best. Looking good or feeling good can take away our impetus to becoming good.

Foundation: Gita wisdom explains that the best way to become good is to become godly. The Bhagavad-gita (12.13) states that compassion for all living beings is the first among the defining qualities of devotees. All living beings – humans, animals and plants – are precious members of the one divine family. Devotion for Krishna is complete only when it includes those whom he loves.

So devotees’ compassion stems from not the social or the emotional level but the spiritual level – from the very essence of who one is and what one is meant to do. And it doesn’t stop with social or emotional contribution; it extends to spiritual contribution, striving to connect others with their greatest well-wisher Krishna, thereby doing eternal good to the complete person.

When compassion is a position, one may give it up when one no longer needs to look good. When compassion is an emotion, one may neglect it when something else makes one feel good. But when compassion is a foundation, being an integral expression of the very purpose of one’s existence, then it lasts forever and makes a lasting impact.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 Text 13

"One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant [… – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.]"

Life’s speed-breakers are meant to be faith-builders, not faith-breakers
The sanctity of spirituality doesn’t erode but enhances the dignity of humanity
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5 Comments

  1. I must thank you prabhuji for providing deeper understanding and the essence of each slokas of BG.

    I am truly inspired to read your lines daily and inculcate your preachings in my own life.

    Hare krishna..

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  2. thank you prabhuji.
    this the proper understanding of preaching activities of iskcon i.e. to connect people to their ever well wisher.

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  3. Thank you Pr for sharing this article, having compassion as the foundation is the best part of the life,

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  4. Radhey Shyam!
    Chaitanyaji your eloquent explanations of the slokas make them so accessible. Thank you so much for this service.
    Radhey Radhey!

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  5. Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    On my 1st day of subscription of Gita Daily, I am very much pleased to get a wonderful message which will help me to make understand my colleagues why should we prefer ISKCON over other social institutions to know our main objective of life and to taste real essence of life.

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