Opening our hearts to compassion..!

THERE are so many religious leaders today, who have huge followings, not just in Hinduism but in every religion in this country. But quite often what is missing from their lives and from their teachings is compassion.
I have seen religious leaders, so good with their sermons, later going back to their ashrams or offices and shouting and yelling at their juniors. I quite often wonder what those employees think of them.
I have also seen men and women who profess to tell others about leading a good life, going back home and being harsh and merciless.
“Your husband is such a good man, he must be the ideal husband to be married too. He is such a good preacher!” says a friend to the wife of a religious teacher. “I wish,” says the wife, a wistful look on her face, “that he would be as loving a husband as he is a preacher!”
Most of us put up one image for the public and another for those who are close to us. That is where we make a mistake, because the love that those close to us have for us, reflects what sort of man or woman we are; it reflects whether we have a heart of compassion or a professional mask.
Outsiders see the professional mask, our family and home see our real hearts. Says this verse form the holy scriptures, “Even if I give away everything that I have and sacrifice myself, but have no love, I gain nothing”.
The heart of any spiritual growth is compassion. You can ring every temple bell, you can enter every church or mosque but if you cannot feel the agony and pain of someone you see sick, or someone poor, or someone going through a problem. If you cannot give a helping hand to lift such people up, then you are wasting your time in church, mosque or mandir!
This morning I shouted at my driver because he had taken leave, and then I looked into his eyes, and they were full of pain, “What happened? I asked quietly.
“I couldn’t come because my wife fell and fractured her hand, so I had to see that my children had their food and left for school, and also I had to look after my wife,” he said, “She was in much pain!”
I felt sad that I had not seen the agony in his eyes before I had yelled at him. Compassion means understanding why your maid servant has taken the day off, understanding why your cook needs a raise, understanding why your old mother or father need to see you on your only holiday. Compassion is not easy, but once you open your heart to compassion, God lives in you..!
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