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Lam-rim Topics : Compassion

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Last Updated Jan 9, 2011)

Compassion Quotes

Compassion is of the Utmost Need

The following quotes were arranged and composed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery, 11 August 2011. Scribed by Ven. Holly Ansett, edited by Nicholas Ribush.

These ten compassion quotes are available as a frame-ready document from the FPMT website. Alternatively, click on the image below to download the page of quotes to display on your wall.

1) The Destroyer Qualified Gone Beyond One (Bhagawan) said, “The bodhisattva does not follow many Dharmas. The bodhisattva holds one Dharma well and realizes it well. The whole Buddhadharma will be in the hand of that person.” What is that Dharma? It is great COMPASSION. (From the Chenrezig Sutra Well-Condensed Dharma.)

2) What differentiates Buddhism from other religions is COMPASSION for every single sentient being.

3) What really pleases all the buddhas and bodhisattvas is COMPASSION.

4) COMPASSION is what makes all sentient beings happy.

5) STRONG COMPASSION is the foundation that causes you to achieve full enlightenment most quickly. If you want to achieve full enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings from suffering and bring them to full enlightenment, the quickest way is to generate strong COMPASSION.

6) Chandrakirti said, “At the beginning, COMPASSION is like a seed; in the middle, it is like water; at the end, it is like a ripened fruit. Achieving the result of full enlightenment is all due to COMPASSION.”

7) Even for non-believers the best thing and only way to create merit (good karma) is COMPASSION, as well as making offerings and prostrations to holy objects and circumambulating them, even by chance. What gives all beings a happy, satisfied, meaningful and successful life is COMPASSION.

8) From the Sutra Request by Lodro Gyatso:

“The thought of complete enlightenment, preserving Dharma, practicing Dharma and having love and compassion for living beings: these four dharmas have infinite qualities—the limit of their benefits is not seen by the Victorious Ones. It is said that preserving Dharma and protecting the lives of living beings has limitless benefits.”

This shows that if we have COMPASSION for sentient beings, from those we can’t see with the naked eye but only under a microscope up to creatures the size of a mountain, then the Buddha has never explained the limits of the benefits of the compassion we generate for them. It’s the same as saving the lives of human beings, animals and insects; we must understand that it has limitless benefits.

9) A Kadampa geshe said, “Holy beings of the land of Dzambu (this world) respond to harm with good actions.”

When ordinary people are harmed they retaliate with harm. Holy beings repay harm with positive actions. Whoever sees the enemy as the virtuous friend is happy wherever that person is.

The great Indian scholar bodhisattva Shantideva said in the first chapter of his Bodhicaryavatara:

“I bow down to the body of him in whom the sacred precious mind is born.
I seek refuge in that source of joy, who brings to happiness even those who harm him.”

10) The extensive benefits of bodhicitta, which are like the sky and the depthless ocean, are also the benefits of generating great COMPASSION for all sentient beings. Without great COMPASSION there is no way achieve bodhicitta, which has limitless benefits.

The conclusion is that COMPASSION is the most important practice in life.

This advice has been given so that all your life activities will become the cause of enlightenment. Please read this especially when you have problems, relating it to those problems. This is the best psychology, the best Dharma advice and the best medicine


The Best Happiness
Rinpoche commented on the best happiness.

People use the word “happy” a lot, but what they think is happiness is not real happiness, it is suffering. Therefore, I mentioned that the best happy life, living with compassion, has great meaning. With compassion you can really have a happy life. Happiness can be on different levels. If sentient beings have compassion then they are able to achieve enlightenment and liberate sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings.  


Object of Cherishing
The following quote is from Rinpoche’s book, The Door to Satisfaction

As soon as your object of concern changes from yourself to someone else, your heart is released from the bondage of the self-cherishing thought. As soon as you change the object of your cherishing, there is peace in your heart.

Loving Kindness
The following are a series of quotes by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Each one of us is responsible for all other living beings’ happiness, besides our own. As a result, your loving kindness is the most wish-fulfilling thing in life, more precious than anything else in this world. That makes for a most satisfying, fulfilling life.



I will bring all sentient beings to enlightenment by myself alone.


Solving Problems

The way to solve problems in your life is to open your heart to others and think differently. This has a better result and brings more peace and happiness into your life, especially ultimate happiness, which you will experience forever, and that you can give to everyone who is suffering and who needs your help.


Cherishing Others

If you cherish another person, another sentient being, there is enlightenment, and you cause that being to achieve every happiness. If you don’t cherish that being, there is no enlightenment for you. Therefore, this person, this one sentient being, is the most precious thing in one’s own life. Therefore, what is called “I” needs to be let go of forever. And what is called other, even one sentient being, is to be cherished forever.


If you follow self-cherishing thoughts, those thoughts become your identity. Then anger, pride, the jealous mind – all this negative emotional stuff arises. When you let go of the “I” and cherish others, negative emotional thoughts do not arise. That’s very clear. Anger does not arise for those you cherish.


The sun of real happiness shines in your life when you start to cherish others.


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