As shared by Siri Gian Kaur Khalsa in 2014
“The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe.”—Guru Har Rai Ji
This is Guru Har Rai’s explanation of why he helped save the life of Shah Jihan’s son with the Guru’s special herbs when that emperor had been so cruel to his great grandfather, Guru Arjan and to his grandfather, Guru Hargobind.
The Guru demonstrated that the negative actions of others shouldn’t dictate grudges, blocking or retaliation from a Sikh. So, just as a sandalwood tree perfumes the axe which cuts it, the Guru returns good for evil. That is true compassion flowing from pure integrity. Compassion and peace pervaded his Guruship, even though he had to deal with so many vile situations!
COMPASSION! If someone were mean to you, would you have compassion to see the difficulties that have formed their meanness or their as yet un-evolved consciousness? Compassion springs straight from the deepest part of our unencumbered heart, and it goes way beyond the limits of our mind.
“The only beautiful thing which makes you human is compassion. Think about vengeance, lies, truth, God, greatness, think of anything, if you take compassion out of it, everything becomes bitter. Compassion is a value of life; it is power; it is God and meditation; it is truth. Compassion gives you the strength to go through suffering and yet, feel no pain. There is absolutely no grace without compassion.”—Siri Singh Sahib (July 11, 1986)
It flows from our holding steady in the neutral, expansive Consciousness of the Guru—of our Soul which is experienced as Cherdi Kala. Compassion is sourced from true love of the SELF within oneself as it naturally connects with everyone, regardless of what we believe they have done to us, to themselves or to others.
It is the opposite of narcissistic self-love. The Source of compassion knows the Real Truth behind every situation—far beyond what our mind can pick up. Compassion is pure, totally humble, neutral, often unemotional expansive love that does not expect a return, or to be rewarded—no “hooks.”
It is meditative-level forgiveness and non-attachment, and the compassionate perspective is from neither a high nor low position, but from the deep recognition that “the other person is you.” It is being fully Present in the Soul Space or radiant body; it is holding the actual healing space. In that “place” we just KNOW how we can best help this person, no matter how crazy that may seem to our mind.