Question: What is the relationship between divine Love and divine Compassion?

Sri Chinmoy: Divine Love is for everybody. It is like the sun. A person has only to keep open the window of his heart to receive the divine Love. Divine Compassion is for the selected few. God's Compassion is like a magnet that pulls the aspirant towards his goal. It is a mighty force that guides, pushes and pulls the aspirant constantly and does not allow him to slip on the path of Self-realisation. Divine Love comforts and helps the aspirant, but if the aspirant falls asleep, the divine Love will not force him to awaken and compel him to resume his journey.

Divine Compassion is not like human compassion. In a human way we can have compassion and pity for somebody, but this compassion does not have the strength to change the person and make him run from his ignorant condition towards the Light. In the case of God's Compassion, it is a force that changes and transforms the aspirant and keeps him from making major mistakes in his spiritual life. If it were not for God's Compassion, none of my disciples would be treading the path of Self-realisation. It is this Compassion that prevents them from committing serious mistakes and falling off the path. God's Compassion comes to the disciples through their Master's Grace. When God shows Compassion through the spiritual Master, He expects that the seeker will immediately come close, closer, closest to Him. Through Compassion alone, the disciple can become closest to God.

Love can be very often misunderstood. If one shows love, people may think that there is some motive behind it. They think, "He is showing me extra love, so he wants an extra favour." In the feeling of love between Guru and disciple, the disciple may be fifty per cent loving and the Guru may be fifty per cent loving. But in Compassion, the Guru may be offering ninety-nine per cent and the disciple one per cent, and even with his one per cent the disciple is trying to enter into the field of ignorance. When Compassion comes, it flies like an arrow and tears down the veil of ignorance.

Love can stay even with ignorance, but Compassion will not. Compassion has to be successful; otherwise it will be withdrawn. It will stay for a few seconds, or for a few minutes or a few years; but it has to send a report to the highest Authority and say whether it has been successful or not. Eventually a time comes when the highest Authority says, "It is a barren desert. Come back." Then Compassion has to fly back to the highest Authority, the Supreme.

A true spiritual Master tries to approach his disciples with snow-white, purest love. But often he fails because his love gets no response. Then he changes his policy and tries Compassion. Again, often his Compassion is refused and misunderstood to the extent of actually being misused and abused. People ascribe motives to the Master's purest Love and purest Compassion. When the Master appreciates someone, that person doubts his motives. "How can the Master be so good? How can he be so nice? Perhaps he wants something more, something important, from me."

With his Love he has failed and with his Compassion he has failed. What remains? Unavoidable strictness! Love will still continue and Compassion will continue, but along with these two divine qualities, the Master adds strict inner and outer discipline. Finally, if he fails to see inner and outer discipline in an aspirant's life, he is compelled to tell the aspirant that his path is not for him. His mission can grow and fulfil itself only on the strength of the seeker's real inner devotion and selfless, dedicated service.