Once, a young disciple came to his master and asked him, “Master, what is compassion?”
The master took him to the window and asked him to look at the beggar sitting at the corner of the street. While looking at him for some time, they saw an old lady pass by and gave him a gold coin. After her, a merchant passed by and gave him five gold coins, and sometime later, a boy passed by who gave the beggar a flower.
Now the master questioned the disciple, “Which one of all these do you think felt most compassion for the beggar?”
The young disciple replied, “The merchant.”
The master smiled and explained, “You see, the old lady who passed by, was infuriated by his poverty, so she gave him a gold coin. The old lady acted out of pity towards the beggar.
“After that, we saw that the merchant noticed a small group of people who were talking about him, so he gave five gold coins to the beggar and left quickly. The merchant acted out of pride. He wanted to show off his wealth to those people and show that he has a big heart and likes to help others.
“Later, we saw a boy who had collected some flowers in his hands for his mother, and when he passed by that beggar, he smiled at him and gave him a flower. That little boy is the boy who acted out of compassion.”
Master continued and explained, “Compassion is far greater and nobler than pity. Pity has its roots in fear. When fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity, but when love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion.”
This, I know
• Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, and a suitable path to follow. You are here to realise your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment.
• The divine is not something high above us. It is in heaven, it is on earth, it is inside us.
• When you bow deeply to the Universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.
• One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the art of peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.
• The art of peace is based on four virtues: Bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship, symbolised by fire, heaven, earth, and water.
• Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also, learn from holy books and wise people. Everything—even mountains, river, plants, and trees should be your teacher.
• A true warrior is always armed with three things—the radiant sword of pacification; the mirror of bravery, wisdom, and friendship; and the precious jewel of enlightenment.
Vagaries of this life can be
Tough and hard to fathom,
And yet have they conquered me?
Look how far I've come.
As I climb up its hill,
Slopes and jagged edges and all,
There are times I slip but still
At no time did I fall.
As I tread along its way
Sometimes I run into bends,
Stumbling blocks on some days,
But never into dead ends.
As I sprint down its lane,
Hurdles seem to abound,
Yet the tripping now and again,
Still can’t bring me down.
Whims of life that lie in wait
Though I may not have a clue,
Firm is my will, strong is my faith.
My God will see me through.
—Abimbola T Alabi
Set your heart on fire
Said a traveller to one of the disciples, “I have travelled a great distance to listen to the Master, but I find his words quite ordinary.”
“Don’t listen to his words. Listen to his message.”
“How does one do that?”
“Take hold of a sentence that he says. Shake it well till all the words drop off.
What is left will set your heart on fire.”
—Anthony de Mello
Just for laughs
One night, God visits a preacher. The preacher has one question: "What is Heaven like?" God replies, "Heaven is like a city. It has the best of everything. For example, the French are the chefs, the Italians are the lovers, the English are the policemen, the Germans are the mechanics, and the Dutch are the politicians."
"What is Hell like?" he asks. "Well," he sighs, "The French are the mechanics, the Italians are the politicians, the English are the chefs, the Germans are the policemen, and the Dutch are
“One who pursues materialism alone, goes into great darkness. One who pursues spirituality alone, goes into even greater darkness. Yet one who pursues materialism and spirituality side by side is happy in this world and the next.”
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