Skip to main content

True Compassion

A few days ago, I received this painting from a friend. The painting is by the well known cartoonist Keshav, who works for the newspaper, The Hindu. It really opened my eyes as to what true compassion is.
The painting, as you can see is from the story of Gajendra Moksham, wherein a crocodile grabs the leg of an elephant when it comes to drink water at the river. The elephant, Gajendra, in divine fervor, calls out to the Almighty and Lord Vishnu rushes to his rescue. This is the version we have heard and typically we will sympathize with the elephant and either ignore or deride the crocodile.

But the painting, as you can see, shows that the Lord, ever compassionate (Avyaja Karunasindhu) is equally sympathetic with both the elephant and the crocodile. The crocodile, has repented its mistake and surrenders at the feet of the Lord and He embraces him too. A very profound perspective to how compassion should be practiced.
While one may dismiss this as a story of imagination from the Puranas, two real life stories illustrate that truly compassionate people practice this in their daily lives.

Case 1 - Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981. And while Mehmet was imprisoned for his crime, Pope John Paul II visited him in prison and befriended him and forgave him. The Pope stayed in touch with Mehmet's family and requested the authorities to pardon him. Years later when Mehmet Ali Agca was released, he visited the tomb of Pope John Paul II and laid roses at his tomb.
For reference - Pope John Paul II and his would have been assasin

Case 2 - A South African woman forgave a police office who murdered her husband and son during the apartheid days. A beautiful true life example where the woman forgave the police officer, adopted him as her son and poured out her love on him.
For reference - Forgiveness

True compassion is embracing everyone irrespective of their actions towards you.

Popular posts from this blog

The true Aghori!

Dr. Robert Svoboda is an authority on Ayurveda (incidentally the first westerner to obtain a degree on Ayurveda from the Pune University) and author of the famous Aghora trilogy.

I have read a few of Dr. Robert Svoboda's books - the Aghora trilogy, the Greatness of Saturn etc. All of them are wonderful and gives a glimpse of the man that Dr. Svoboda is and of course his Master Swami Vimalananda. I had the fortune of meeting him at Kashi (Varanasi) when he guided us to Trailinga Swami's home, Lahiri Mahasaya's home and Swami Kina Ram's temple. It was surprising to see his excellent command of the local language when he asked for some specifics at Kashi and of course knows the city of Varanasi like the back of his palm. Dr. Svoboda likes Kuki Hojicha, his favorite tea (the aroma was heavenly), I am yet to get a taste of that - hopefully very soon.

The reason for this post is different though. I am sure most of us have a very different picture when it comes to descriptions …

Kabir - the love for his poems and his philosophy!

While searching for interesting Sufi and Tantric music, I came across a beautiful song by Shabnam Virmani on Youtube sung as part of a project called "The Kabir Project" held at the Srishti School of Design. To put it simply, it moved me on its simple lines and very beautiful message. It led me to search for more of Kabir's poems. And a whole world opened up! It opened up to Kabir, Kumar Gandharva, Prahlad Tipaniya, Vidya Rao, the Nath Panthis somewhere in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Some Nirguni singers on the street. Several beautiful pieces that connect you to your soul for the inner peace that everyone is seeking, unfortunately outside!Here are some wonderful poems and some links that you will enjoy.
khalak sab rain ki sapna, samajh man koi nahi apna; kathin hai moha ki dhara, baha sab jat sansara; ghada jas nir ka phuta, patra jyon dar se tuta; aisi nar jat jindagani, ajahun to chet abhimani; bhulo mati dekhi tanu gora, jagat men jivana thora; sajan parivar sut d…