Compassion or "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others" is a state of extreme sensitivity to others tears. To reach this state is a far cry for many. The heart has to open up for this state to happen. Then he sheds tears for others misfortune. He begins to find ways to eradicate their sufferings. Nature then comes to his aid. Nature makes him co-creator. Nature pays obeisance to him. Nature reveals her secrets. Everything becomes an open book. He is one with "the will of nature and the plan of god" as Rohit Mehta describes in his The Creative Silence, from the Theosophical Publishing House. This is the state of a Siddha.
Attaining this state we are cautioned about the appearance of spiritual pride. It is said that one can and do slip and fall even as he stands at the gates to gods kingdom. Indeed the one who takes the stage looks down on the rest as of inadequate knowledge and substance. The spiritual pride takes the stage. Elsewhere a true messenger of god would drop by when you least expected with a simple message that would shake your whole understanding and perception of life and move on as quietly as he came. An episode from Mahakavi Bharathi's life will attest to this.
Bharathi who chances upon one Kulla Swami while in Pondicherry, gives chase as the Swami dashes off. He finally catches up with him in a torn down and abandoned house. Bharathi seeks upadesam. The Swami points him to the remaining portion of the wall and the sun and then turns to show him his reflection and that of the sun in the well. "That is my upadesa for you", saying thus he leaves immediately.
பக்கத்து வீடிடிந்து சுவர்கள் வீழ்ந்த
பரம யோகி ஒக்கத்தன் அருள்வழியால் என்னை நோக்கி
ஒரு குட்டிச் சுவர் காட்டிப் பரிதி காட்டி
அக்கணமே கிணற்றுளதன் விம்பங் காட்டி
"அறிதிகொலோ !" எனக் கேட்டான்
மிக்கமகிழ் கொண்டவனும் சென்றான்
யானும் வேதாந்த மரத்திலொரு வேரைக் கண்டேன்.
தேசிகன் கை காட்டி யெனக்குறைத்த செய்தி
செந்தமிழில் உலகத்தார்க் குணர்த்து கின்றேன்
"வாசியை நீ கும்பகத்தால் வலியக் கட்டி
மண்போலே சுவர்போலே வாழ்தல் வேண்டும்
தேசுடைய பரிதியுருக் கிணற்றினுள்ளே
தெரிவதுபோல் உனக்குள்ளே சிவனைக் காண்பாய்
பேசுவதில் பயனில்லை அனுபவத்தால்
பேரின்பம் எய்துவதே ஞானம்" என்றான்.
Stop all talk and begin to experience Vaasi, was the message to Bharathi.
As I am writing this post Srīnāthā Rāghavan posted a wonderful piece of advice regarding the pride that unknowingly takes hold of many a spiritual man.
"How to keep one's Ego under check?" was the question.
The suggestion, "Nishkaama Seva (Selfless Service), Dharma (Performing one's duty unattachedly) and Daana (Charity out of Compassion)."
While I used to be a regular at the Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, Khar, Mumbai, I would prefer to spend most of my time in the Library, reading old and rare books. Many years I spent such, when one day the old Librarian Monk, who was a Friend and Mentor by then, came up to me casually and said, "Expanding the Intellect is just one side of the coin, you also have to deepen your Heart as well?"
When asked how to do so He said, "Go and serve the ill and afflicted in the nearby Hospital?"
Taking his suggestion to be a command from the Master Himself, I quit reading books (I had read more than enough by then) and immersed myself in serving the sick. That was the most precious spiritual guidance I have ever received in my life and thankfully acted upon it as well.
For nearly two years, 2-3 times a week, I got the opportunity to serve the sick and the dying, helping me to come out as a better "attuned" person.
Spiritual Attunement is nothing but how well you can connect with the other's pain and afflictions and what you can do willingly and proactively to ease it.
Knowledge and Wealth, has the ability to swell our Ego, but when complimented with Seva, it will become a great blessing for the whole world.
And as I pen these words, a devotee from Visakhapatnam messaged me that she too has joined the ranks of Agathiyar Vanam Malaysia (AVM), Amudha Surabhi (AS), Thondu Seivom (TS), Pothihai Tharma Chakkram (PTC), Thedal Ulla Thenikalai (TUT) and many family members in Malaysia, India and South Africa who have taken up the noble task of serving annadhanam to the hungry and unfortunate and carrying out other seva.
Aiya, with the grace of Appa and inspired by all of you in Malaysia, our family is serving food to the homeless each month. I cook a very basic humble meal of steamed rice and a nutritious mixed vegetable curry that comprises of 5 vegetables, moong dal (protein), any one green like spinach. My husband and I drive around and serve food to 20+ homeless people. The joy of cooking and serving is immense. A humble reminder of how blessed we are. Thank you, Aiya, for helping me along my spiritual journey with your wise words that you so articulately put across on the blog. Gratitude! Muruga Saranam!