1.  Daya – Compassion

Compassion means mercy, Grace, sympathy or kindness. When on seeing the suffering of a person, one's heart bleeds and he is really sorry for his suffering, then one is said to have compassion. A compassionate person cannot bear the sight of the sufferings of another and shares his misery involuntarily. He tries to alleviate his sufferings by all means and does not feel at ease till this is done.

The Lord is compassionate. He is described as highly compassionate by the Gurus. He is the sustainer and showers Grace on all.

The mighty compassionate One sustains and showers mercy on all.

Gauri M5, 249-7

The inward-seeking soul realizes the colour of the Lord. The soul is a particle of the Lord.

Oh Kabir soul is a particle of the Lord. The soul that takes on the hue of the Lord awakes in the inner soul and has compassion for all beings and treats all compassionately. It has a friendly feeling for all and loves them. It has, therefore, sweet words for them. This is the essential basis of all virtues and desires. Oh Nanak, humility and sweetness are basis of all virtues.

Asa War M1, 470-13

Dharma is born from such a compassionate heart. That bull of dharma is born of compassion.

Jap Ji, 3-13

Only a compassionate man can be Dharmatma (high-souled one) Patience and forgiveness are born of compassion. When there is no compassion, there is no Dharma or forgiveness. Compassion and Dharma (duty) are strongly interconnected. As long as there is compassion, godly virtues like dharma, truth, contentment, forgiveness and patience remain. With its disappearance they also leave and their place is taken by the five robbers, namely: lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride.

Goswami Tulsidas says that compassion is the root of Dharma and pride is the root of all sins. We should not, therefore, give up compassion until our last breath.

Compassion is the root of Dharma and pride that of sins, Oh Tulsi! Do not give up compassion till there is breath in the body.

A compassionate person is full of loving compassion and is like a cup full to the brim which spills over. There is no thought of violence in him. Such persons are blessed.

Guru Arjan Sahib says that the merit of performing pilgrimage of sixty-eight spots is obtained by showing compassion to living beings. Such purity and merit cannot be earned by charity and pilgrimage. This merit is not gained by all. The boon resulting from compassion is Grace. That person is blessed, and compassion resides in his heart.

Better than the pilgrimage of sixty-eight sacred spots is compassion. He who gets it by His Grace is indeed blessed.

The compassionate person has an aura of bliss about him. He has a shining forehead, kind and merciful eyes and a sympathetic look. He gives his heart to the depressed and suffering persons. His sweet words act like healing showers on thirsty and parched hearts. He can be called a man in the real sense of the term. The living things become happy because of seeing him and many sins perish. Persons without compassion have human forms but do not deserve to be called men, as they are ruled by animal passions. Obstinacy, selfishness, cruelty and injustice are a part of their nature and they are a cause of unrest in the world. Their pastimes and enjoyments become the cause of misery to the living things. Such evil persons consider it an ordinary matter to bleed any number of persons for their selfish ends. They are sinful persons and more venomous than serpents. One is poisoned by merely looking at the - to say nothing of touching them. A serpent stings occasionally, but such cruel, irreligious persons, by their words, wrinkled forehead and gaze, sting those around them hundreds of times, which results in forcible separation of human beings and sundering of united hearts. It is better to keep at a distance from them.

Oh Kabir, do not associate with evil ones. Keep away and run from them.

Kabir Salok, 1371-9

One ought to be very wary in exercising compassion. We sometimes, owing to ignorance, use compassion which becomes cruelty. No farmer sows seed in the ground without mature consideration. If he does otherwise, it is wasted. The same is true of charity also. It is necessary to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving. The results of doing otherwise are before us in the shape of Sadhu Samaj (societies of ascetics), associations and sacred spots which have become places of irreligion, lust, anger, maya and jealousy.

Oh Nanak, Glory be to the Lord. Let all prosper within His will. Peace be unto all the world.

A compassionate person sacrifices his interest to alleviate the suffering of others. He who surrenders his life to the Lord for His service and that of His creatures, earns eternal true life, and he who tries to save his own life loses it.

Whosoever shall lose his life, shall save it, whosoever shall save his life, shall lose it.


Lust, anger, Maya's wine and jealousy cling to my mind. Compassion, dharma and service of Master enter not there even in dreams.

Kabir, Ramkali, 971-3

Bhagat Parmanand says that these hypocritical dacoits are filling their bellies by looting others. Those actions which degrade us in life hereafter are being performed by them. They have not given up violence. They have no compassion for living beings. They enjoy not the company of the holy men and do not accept their ancient teachings. By looting the house of others or breaking them down, He fills his own belly.

He does that by which he earns bad name hereafter. Violence has not left his mind and he has no compassion. Oh Parmanand! he does not enjoy the company of Saints or follow their teachings.

Parmanand Sarang, 1253-6

A compassionate person is very anxious in his heart to do good to others and he wishes well to all within the will of the Lord.

The observance of truth, contentment and compassion is the basis of purity. One should efface himself and become the dust of the feet of others. But it is not every one who can get this wealth. He gets it who enjoys the Grace of the transcendental Lord.

Truth, contentment and compassion are the basis of purity. Give up ego and become the dust of others through the Grace of the transcendental One.

Sri Rag M5, 51-10

He only can understand this compassion who considers all living beings as his own self. One can reach this stage only by dying while living. Guru Nanak Sahib says such a man receives honours at the door of the Lord. This stage is easily reached by one who dies while alive.

He who dies while living receives compassion inside him and knows all. Oh Nanak! All glory to him. He recognizes himself in all beings.

Sidh Gosit M1, 940-17

When one sees the Lord as pervading all, controls the senses, listens to the melody of Nam, practises contentment and has compassion for all living beings, then his vows are fulfilled.

When on the day of Ekadashi one sees the Lord in every direction, when he controls the senses and listens to Lord's Name, when he is content in his mind and showers compassion on all living beings. Then, in this way his vows are fulfilled.

Gauri M5, 299-3