Compassion is one of the highest attributes of consciousness. But you cannot understand compassion until you have understood consciousness first. It is easy to discuss, sort of “know” compassion at the mind level, but that’s not really understanding compassion at all. The mind lives in duality, it is trapped in likes and dislikes, preferences and rejections, and so on.
The mind is blind. So whatever is done by the mind is done blindly. Consciousness is your inner vision, that mind is lacking. Mind (Ego) always looks at its own profit. Traditionally, one would say that definition of compassion is–sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others–but what kind of suffering? What kind of misfortune? For instance, sympathy for what? Not having enough money, for example? Is that something, we need to be sympathetic towards someone? That would mean that, we value money, and wherever we see people with the scarcity of money, we feel compassion for them.
Now, how many people have you seen, who have a big pile of money and they are still not happy, and in fact more miserable than people with hardly any money? That means, by wishing someone to have more money, you may not be necessarily showing them good compassion, it may turn out to be more like a curse for them. If money was a solution to life, Mahavir and Buddha, both, would have never left their palaces. No, the mind’s definition of compassion is incomplete and limited, because the mind is incomplete and limited, it cannot see the total picture. It is a symbol of duality.
Compassion, in its true sense, is the compassion that arises after connecting with the consciousness. Consciousness means totality–Non Dual state (Advait). Consciousness is a flow that flows from within to without–from the Atma, through the mind, through the body, and ultimately manifesting into the Sansar.
This is a pattern that the whole universe follows, including the dark energy that on a large cosmic scale has been pushing unimaginably large galaxies apart and causing the expansion of the universe, at a tremendous speed. The whole universe (and beyond)–consciousness, is in a giving state. The consciousness within us is a part of that cosmic existence that ultimately is a driving force behind not just our universe, but even crores of universes as Krishna states authoritatively in Gita, “I am the owner of crores of universes.”
So, when you connect with such a vast force via meditation, your ego pulverizes, you become humble and submit yourself to such vast divine existence. And at that point, after touching the feet of divinity, your heart fills with compassion for every human being, so that they can have the same divine experience of totality as you have experienced.
And with that intention, whatever you do, will become true compassion. Whether you give money, or shelter, or physical help, but all that would be still a part of total compassion, a comprehensive approach towards their total well-being. True compassion first is a realization of one’s own Atma and then extending it to other Atmas. To elevate yourself spiritually first. Know the consciousness first, know who you are first.
Then will arise the compassion from within, spontaneously, which will be towards the whole world, without limits, because this compassion will be true compassion and non-dual.