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Compassion for our fellow human beings is the key to happiness

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by Archived_Member16, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Compassion for our fellow human beings is the key to happiness



    By The Dalai Lama, Special to the Sun - September 25, 2009



    One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it consciously or not: What is the purpose of life?

    I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this.

    Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

    For a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical.

    Of the two, the mind exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are gravely ill or deprived of basic necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life.

    Hence, we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.

    From my own limited experience, I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion.

    The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others puts the mind at ease. This gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter.

    It is the ultimate source of success in life.

    We can strive gradually to become more compassionate, we can develop both genuine sympathy for others' suffering and the will to help remove their pain.

    As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.

    The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another.

    Some of my friends have told me that, while love and compassion are marvellous and good, they are not really very relevant. Our world, they say, is not a place where such beliefs have much influence or power. They claim that anger and hatred are so much a part of human nature that humanity will always be dominated by them. I do not agree.

    We humans have existed in our present form for about 125,000 years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever.

    This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world.

    True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason.Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively

    Of course, developing this kind of compassion is not at all easy! As a start, let us consider the following facts:

    Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like one's self. Like one's self, they want happiness and do not want suffering.

    Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems.

    Let me emphasize that it is within your power, given patience and time, to develop this kind of compassion. We should begin by removing the greatest hindrances to compassion: anger and hatred.

    As we all know, these are extremely powerful emotions and they can overwhelm our entire mind. Nevertheless, they can be controlled and replaced by an equally forceful energy that stems from compassion, reason and patience.

    I must also emphasize that merely thinking about compassion and reason and patience will not be enough to develop them. We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practise them.

    And who creates such opportunities? Not our friends, of course, but our enemies. They are the ones who give us the most trouble.

    So if we truly wish to learn, we should consider enemies to be our best teachers.

    For a person who cherishes compassion and love, the practice of tolerance is essential, and for that, an enemy is indispensable.

    So we should feel grateful to our enemies, for it is they who can best help us develop a tranquil mind. Also, it is often the case in both personal and public life, that with a change in circumstances, enemies become friends.
    So anger and hatred are our real enemies. These are the forces we most need to confront and defeat, not the temporary enemies who appear intermittently throughout life.

    In conclusion, I would like briefly to expand my thoughts beyond the topic of this short editorial and make a wider point: Individual happiness can contribute in a profound and effective way to the overall improvement of our entire human community.

    Because we all share an identical
    need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.

    It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.

    I believe that at every level of society -- familial, tribal, national and international -- the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.

    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
     
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    ਗਉੜੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥
    gourree mehalaa 9 ||
    Gauree, Ninth Mehl:

    ਸਾਧੋ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਗਹਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
    saadhho eihu man gehiou n jaaee ||
    Holy Saadhus: this mind cannot be restrained.

    ਚੰਚਲ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਯਾ ਤੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    chanchal thrisanaa sang basath hai yaa thae thhir n rehaaee ||1|| rehaao ||
    Fickle desires dwell with it, and so it cannot remain steady. ||1||Pause||

    ਕਠਨ ਕਰੋਧ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜਿਹ ਸੁਧਿ ਸਭ ਬਿਸਰਾਈ ॥
    kathan karodhh ghatt hee kae bheethar jih sudhh sabh bisaraaee ||
    The heart is filled with anger and violence, which cause all sense to be forgotten.

    ਰਤਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਹਿਰਿ ਲੀਨਾ ਤਾ ਸਿਉ ਕਛੁ ਨ ਬਸਾਈ ॥੧॥
    rathan giaan sabh ko hir leenaa thaa sio kashh n basaaee ||1||
    The jewel of spiritual wisdom has been taken away from everyone; nothing can withstand it. ||1||


    ਜੋਗੀ ਜਤਨ ਕਰਤ ਸਭਿ ਹਾਰੇ ਗੁਨੀ ਰਹੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਈ ॥
    jogee jathan karath sabh haarae gunee rehae gun gaaee ||
    The Yogis have tried everything and failed; the virtuous have grown weary of singing God's Glories.

    ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਭਏ ਦਇਆਲਾ ਤਉ ਸਭ ਬਿਧਿ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥੨॥੪॥
    jan naanak har bheae dhaeiaalaa tho sabh bidhh ban aaee ||2||4||
    O servant Nanak, when the Lord becomes merciful, then every effort is successful. ||2||4||

    In these two lines,

    ਚੰਚਲ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਯਾ ਤੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    chanchal thrisanaa sang basath hai yaa thae thhir n rehaaee ||1|| rehaao ||
    Fickle desires dwell with it, and so it cannot remain steady. ||1||Pause||

    ਕਠਨ ਕਰੋਧ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜਿਹ ਸੁਧਿ ਸਭ ਬਿਸਰਾਈ ॥
    kathan karodhh ghatt hee kae bheethar jih sudhh sabh bisaraaee ||
    The heart is filled with anger and violence, which cause all sense to be forgotten.

    Guru Teg Bahadur is explaining how, in duality, we are separated from the Satguru and our hearts become filled with anger. Our minds become senseless. Compassion is not possible under such conditions.
     
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    ਆਸਾ ॥
    aasaa ||
    Aasaa:


    ਬਟੂਆ ਏਕੁ ਬਹਤਰਿ ਆਧਾਰੀ ਏਕੋ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਦੁਆਰਾ ॥
    battooaa eaek behathar aadhhaaree eaeko jisehi dhuaaraa ||
    The body is a bag with seventy-two chambers, and one opening, the Tenth Gate.


    ਨਵੈ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੀ ਮਾਗੈ ਸੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਗਿ ਸਾਰਾ ॥੧॥
    navai khandd kee prithhamee maagai so jogee jag saaraa ||1||
    He alone is a real Yogi on this earth, who asks for the primal world of the nine regions. ||1||


    ਐਸਾ ਜੋਗੀ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
    aisaa jogee no nidhh paavai ||
    Such a Yogi obtains the nine treasures.


    ਤਲ ਕਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਲੇ ਗਗਨਿ ਚਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    thal kaa breham lae gagan charaavai ||1|| rehaao ||
    He lifts his soul up from below, to the skies of the Tenth Gate. ||1||Pause||


    ਖਿੰਥਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਕਰਿ ਸੂਈ ਸਬਦੁ ਤਾਗਾ ਮਥਿ ਘਾਲੈ ॥
    khinthhaa giaan dhhiaan kar sooee sabadh thaagaa mathh ghaalai ||
    He makes spiritual wisdom his patched coat, and meditation his needle. He twists the thread of the Word of the Shabad.


    ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਕੀ ਕਰਿ ਮਿਰਗਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਾਲੈ ॥੨॥
    panch thath kee kar miragaanee gur kai maarag chaalai ||2||
    Making the five elements his deer skin to sit on, he walks on the Guru's Path. ||2||


    ਦਇਆ ਫਾਹੁਰੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਰਿ ਧੂਈ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲਾਵੈ ॥
    dhaeiaa faahuree kaaeiaa kar dhhooee dhrisatt kee agan jalaavai ||
    He makes compassion his shovel, his body the firewood, and he kindles the fire of divine vision.


    ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਭਾਉ ਲਏ ਰਿਦ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗ ਤਾੜੀ ਲਾਵੈ ॥੩॥
    this kaa bhaao leae ridh anthar chahu jug thaarree laavai ||3||
    He places love within his heart, and he remains in deep meditation throughout the four ages. ||3||



    ਸਭ ਜੋਗਤਣ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਪਰਾਨਾ ॥
    sabh jogathan raam naam hai jis kaa pindd paraanaa ||
    All Yoga is in the Name of the Lord; the body and the breath of life belong to Him.


    ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੇ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰੈ ਦੇਇ ਸਚਾ ਨੀਸਾਨਾ ॥੪॥੭॥
    kahu kabeer jae kirapaa dhhaarai dhaee sachaa neesaanaa ||4||7||
    Says Kabeer, if God grants His Grace, He bestows the insignia of Truth. ||4||7||


    Kabir ji relates the idea of yoga to compassion in this way. The first meaning of "yoga" in Sanskrit is "junction" and the English and the Punjabi words junction/jogathan clearly show the Sanskrit root. It is my understanding that in saying, ਜੋਗਤਣ jogathan Yoga Kabir ji means a living awareness of our "connection" to all of Creation. Being divided from awareness of the Satguru, we are divided from creation and from one another. Compassion is lost to us. By feeling connection we achieve compassion, and it is the grace of the Guru that grants this gift to us.
     
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  5. Archived_Member16

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    Daya (usually spelt "daia" in Punjabi ਦਇਆ ), is from Sanskrit "Daya" meaning to sympathize with, to have pity on, and stands for compassion, sympathy and mercy. It means ‘suffering in the suffering of all beings’. It is deeper and more positive in sentiment than what is usually meant by the word sympathy. Daya, cognitively, observes alien pain; affectively, it gets touched by it and moves with affectionate responses for the sufferer; and cognitively it moves one to act mercifully, pityingly, with kindness and forgiveness. Daya is opposite to hinsa (violence). One instilled with daya “chooses to die himself rather than cause others to die” says Guru Nanak (GG, 356).

    In Gurmukhi, Daya ( ਦਇਆ ) translates to compassion or mercy and is a most important quality for a Sikh. It is a necessary quality needed to become compliant to the teaching of the Guru Granth. Mercy and compassion must become an integral part of a Sikh's mind set. The devotee of the Sikh Gurus must keep compassion at the forefront of his or her mind and this virtue must accompany the Sikh at all times.

    Daya is a divine quality and a moral virtue highly prized in most religious traditions. In the Sikh Scripture, mahadaial (super compassionate), daiapati (lord of compassion), daial dev (merciful god), karima, rahima (the merciful one), etc., have been used as attributive names of God (GG, 249, 991, 1027, 727). In Sikh ethics, too, daya is inter alia, a basic moral requirement, a moral vow. “Keep your heart content and cherish compassion for all beings; this way alone can your holy vow be fulfilled” (GG 299).
    Detailed analysis

    The other four qualities given prominence by the Sikh Gurus and what should be part of every Sikh's "arsenal of virtues" are: Truth (Sat), Contentment (Santokh), Humility (Nimrata) and Love (Pyare). These five qualities are essential to a Sikh and it is their duty to meditate and recite the Gurbani so that these virtues become a part of their personality.

    The importance of Daya can be seen from the following Shabads from SGGS:


    ਨਿਰਦਇਆ ਨਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਉਜਾਲਾ ॥ ਬੂਡਤ ਬੂਡੇ ਸਰਬ ਜੰਜਾਲਾ ॥੪॥ Nirḏa­i­ā nahī joṯ ujālā. Būdaṯ būdė sarab janjālā.(4) You have no compassion; the Lord’s Light does not shine in you. You are drowned, drowned in worldly entanglements.(4)


    It is clear from the Shabad above that if you do not have Compassion, then you will not by blessed by the Lord. You will not achieve any progress in your spiritual development and you will drown in Worldly Entanglements or Maya. It is mandatory to not ignore tragedies that take place in the world but to face them head-on and do whatever is possible within ones means. As a Sikh you must feel the pain and suffering of other people involved in any tragedy. These days, in addition to natural disasters, we have all too much violence and destruction inspired by mankind. Most of this crazy action is the result of peoples lack of understanding and due to a complete loss of compassion for humanity. The Devil runs the mind of these people. Let’s learn from Gurbani as only then can we make sense of the world.

    At the human level, one can comprehend the feelings of another’s anguish, but as a theological doctrine it is to risk allowing suffering in God’s life. This has often caused much controversy in theological circles. God does not suffer in the sense of pain from evil as evil, but may suffer compassion (daya) as bearing the pain of others to relieve them (of pain as also of evil). That is why at the time of Babar’s invasion of India, Guru Nanak, when he witnessed the suffering of people, complained to God:


    Eti mar pai kurlane tain ki dardu na aia So much agony were they put through So much anguish did they suffer— Were you not, O God, moved to compassion?
    (GG, 360)


    The Guru, in the image of God, is also daial purakh (compassionate being) and bakhasand (forgiver)—GG, 681.
    Daya is a virtue of the mind. In Indian thought, virtues are classified into (1) those of the body: dana (charity), paritrana (succouring those in distress), paricharana (social service); (2) those of speech: satya (veracity), hitovachana (beneficial speech), priyavachana (sweet speech), svadhyaya (reciting of Scriptures) and (3) those of the mind which, besides daya, also include aparigraha (unworldliness) and sraddha (reverence and piety).

    In Japji sahib, the most important Bani for the Sikhs, Maharaj says:


    ਧੌਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੂਤੁ ॥ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਸੂਤਿ ॥ Ḏẖoul ḏẖaram ḏa­i­ā kā pūṯ. Sanṯokẖ thāp rakẖi­ā jin sūṯ. Dharma, the mystical bull, is the son of compassion; which patiently holds the earth in its place.


    meaning that Dharma or Religion is the son of Compassion. Putting it another way: There would be no religion if there was no compassion. This highlights how important this quality is and that it is a central quality, one which religion cannot function without. So make no mistake, and make sure that as a Sikh, this virtue is always in your mind and that you analyse your feelings and actions whenever you seen any injustice or suffering taking place. If your heart is not moved seeing the starving in Africa, or the sufferings of the victims of terrorist bombing, then you have much intra-inspection to do to move forward in Sikhi.


    http://beacon.securestudies.com/scripts/beacon.dll?C1=2&C2=3005660&C3=3005660&C4=www.{censored word, do not repeat.}&C5=&C6=&C7=http%3A//www.{censored word, do not repeat.}/story_print.html%3Fid%3D2037550%26sponsor%3D&C8=Compassion%20for%20our%20fellow%20human%20beings%20is%20the%20key%20to%20happiness&C9=&rn=60756541
    source: Daya - SikhiWiki, free Sikh encyclopedia.
     
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