The Master's CompassionOne evening a spiritual Master and a few disciples were eating dinner at the home of one of the Master's older disciples. The disciple had cooked the meal herself and the Master blessed her for her excellent preparation.
The disciple bowed and said, "Master, you have kindly eaten my food and I am most grateful to you. Now, may I ask you a question about foods?"
"Certainly, my daughter," replied the Master.
"I am curious to know, would you ever refuse a disciple's food if, say, it wasn't to your taste or because you were full?" she asked.
"I will always take at least a spoonful," the Master said. "It happens hundreds of times that I am absolutely full to the brim; I have just eaten and I am not hungry at all. Then somebody will ask me to eat and I do it to please them. Sometimes it happens that children eat, not because their stomach is actually hungry but because their eyes are hungry. In my case it often happens that my eye is not hungry, my stomach is not hungry, but my Compassion is hungry. I don't need any more of anything, but I eat one spoonful so that I can give a little joy to that person."
"Master," asked the disciple, "why do you say that your Compassion is hungry and not, for example, your Love? What is the difference?"
"Love is oneness, compassion is oneness. Again, love itself is wisdom and compassion is also a form of real wisdom. Real love, however, always keeps some wisdom inside itself, but when we show compassion, for the time being we just cover our wisdom. Love will warn me. Love will say, 'I have complete oneness with the person and I will be able to tell the person frankly that I won't be able to eat his food.' When I show compassion, though, in spite of knowing that I will suffer if I take somebody's food, I will still take some. Compassion will allow me to suffer; then I will cure myself. But my Love will be frank, saying that I am one with you."
"Then does your Compassion ever create problems for you?" asked the disciple.
The Master explained, "Pure compassion is the love of oneness. If it is a real love of oneness, it will not try to do anything consciously or unconsciously which will eventually create a problem. In the highest compassion, spiritual Masters don't consciously create any problem; but in order to please, we come down to the human level. Then, if any problem arises, we look at the situation and try to overcome the problem."
"Would that mean that compassion is superior to love?" the disciple asked.
"Not superior," the Master said. "It is only that they are two different aspects of oneness. Love can also be called superior, for love tries to perfect the person immediately."
The disciple bowed to the Master and said, "Master, this talk has been most illumining. Thank you. Thank you for your Love. Thank you for your Compassion."