Compassion is not limited to the flower; it comes from the flower but it is not of the flower. It comes through the flower, the flower is just a passage, but it comes really from the beyond. It cannot come without the flower, the flower is a necessary stage, but it does not belong to the flower. Once the flower has bloomed compassion is released.
This insistence, this emphasis, has to be deeply understood, because if you miss the point you can start practicing compassion, but then it is not a real fragrance. Practiced compassion is just the same passion with a new name. It is the same desire-contaminated, motivation-corrupted energy, and it can become very dangerous to other people – because in the name of compassion you can destroy, in the name of compassion you can create bondage. It is not compassion, and if you practice it you are being artificial, formal, in fact, a hypocrite.
The first thing to be remembered continuously is that compassion cannot be practiced. It is this point where all the followers of all the great religious teachers have missed. Buddha attained compassion through meditation; now Buddhists go on practicing compassion. Jesus attained compassion through meditation but Christians, the Christian missionaries, go on practicing love, compassion, service to humanity. But their compassion has proved to be a very destructive force in the world; their compassion has created only wars, their compassion has destroyed millions of people. They end up in deep imprisonments.
Compassion frees you, gives you freedom; but that compassion has to come only through meditation, there is no other way to it. Buddha has said that compassion is a byproduct, a consequence. You cannot catch hold of the consequence directly, you have to move; you have to produce the cause and the effect follows. So if you really want to understand what compassion is you have to understand what meditation is. Forget all about compassion, it comes of its own accord.
Try to understand what meditation is. Compassion can become a criterion as to whether the meditation was right or not. If the meditation has been right, compassion is bound to come – it is natural, it follows like a shadow. If the meditation has been wrong then compassion will not follow. So compassion can work as a criterion as to whether the meditation has been really right or not.
Even a meditation can be wrong. People have a wrong notion that all meditations are right. It is not so. Meditations can be wrong. For example, any meditation that leads you deep into concentration is wrong, it will not result in compassion. You will become more and more closed rather than becoming open. If you narrow down your consciousness, if you concentrate on something and you exclude the whole of existence and become one-pointed, it will create more and more tension in you. Hence the word attention: it means a tension. Concentration, the very sound of the word, gives you a feeling of tenseness.