Last fortnight major newspapers carried articles on compassion and the virtues associated with it. As materialism has come to dominate modern life, jettisoning all “virtues” prized in the pre-modern society, people are desperate to restore some of those values. Compassion and non-violence are only two among such virtues. Virtues are ingested by children if they are initiated into them in early childhood. We define them as Sanskaars, while others give it some other name. A person bereft of the virtue of compassion is like an animal without a tail or sting. Scholars have defined compassion vividly, but it is beautifully defined in a song most favourite of Mahatma Gandhi: Vaishnav Jana to tene kahiye….
The writer of this song has defined a compassionate person as one who (1)understands the pain of others, (2)who does a good turn to people without boasting about it, (3)one who does not malign others, (4)one who does not tell lies, (5)one who does not misappropriate another’s wealth, (6)one who is samdrishti or unified vision.
Unified vision is the most difficult to achieve in life. It means “non-discriminatory, fair, just and equitable”. Those with a pair of two eyes can’t possibly view everyone equally. That is a Godly virtue- only God is capable of that quality. But setting such a high goal in life, a compassionate being can strive to do greater justice. I am writing this piece due to the pain caused by the Uttarakhand tragedy, followed by the callousness of governments, NGOs, religious establishments and other individuals, who have indulged in robbing the people in distress, pushing them from the hill top into the ditches 100 or 200 hundred feet below, rotting-half burnt bodies, dead bodies under the mud and debris, demanding 100000 plus for a helicopter rescue by private operators, not distributing relief articles, ration, water, medicines etc and worst of all opening bank accounts inviting donations by fraudsters! The contrast is so apparent: the compassionate rushing to help with supplies but the cussed showing little compassion. Let us not run high BP for others’ cuss. Those gifted with the virtue of compassion must consider themselves lucky that the Lord was kind enough to make them like that.
Enjoy the song in the morning hours and uplift the spirits to the level of a compassionate one!