Is it compassion to suffer with the suffering one?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readOct 11, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Acharya Ji, would it be an act of compassion, to suffer with the one who is already suffering?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It depends totally on you. There can be no principles in this matter.

The one who is suffering, is suffering, because he is deluded.

Remember that suffering is always a choice.

The one who is suffering is suffering because out of delusion, he has chosen suffering. He must be having his reasons. Everyone, who chooses anything, always has some reasons to quote.

The fellow who is suffering surely must be having some reasons to offer.

And now, you too start suffering along with him. You too have a certain reason to offer.

The reason is compassion.

What do you think, the other fellow, the one you intend to help, is an utter fool? He too has his reasons. Do you know what he is suffering for? If you will ask him, “What are you suffering for?”, he will say, “Love.” So, he is suffering for love, and you are suffering for compassion, and seeing the two of you suffer, a third one comes to rescue both of you. And what is he suffering for? Wisdom. And then a fourth one? What’s his reason? Responsibility. And then a fifth one? We never suffer without reason. It’s just that our reasons are a bit stupid.

Nobody likes to be proven stupid in front of the mirror. We always find something to justify ourselves.

If we are in sorrow, we would always have an excuse to offer.

Rare is the one who admits, that his sorrow is his own doing. Very rare.

And this rare one, is the spiritually initiated one.

It might surprise you, but most of our suffering is a result of our efforts towards goodness. Be good, do good. Be nice, help others.

Listener (L): So, to stop suffering, we must stop doing good to others?

AP: Examine what your goodness is all about. But, see how you come up with another display of the same tendency. You would remain stubbornly fixated to your definitions of…

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