The real freedom starts only when you are free for. You can sing a song and you can dance a dance and you can celebrate and you can start overflowing. That’s what compassion is. Man lives in passion. When the mind disappears, passion is transformed into compassion. Passion means you are a beggar with a begging-bowl; you are asking and asking for more and more from everybody; you are exploiting others. Your relationships are nothing but exploitations — cunning devices to possess the other, very clever strategies to dominate. When you are living in the mind, in passion, your whole life is power politics. Even your love, even your social service, even your humanitarian works, are nothing but power politics. Deep down, there is a desire to be powerful over others.
The same energy, when the mind is dropped, becomes compassion. And it takes a totally new turn. It is no longer begging; you become an emperor, you start giving. Now you have something — you had it always, but because of the mind, you were not aware of it. The mind was functioning like darkness around you, and you were unaware of the light within. The mind was creating an illusion of being a beggar, while all the time you had been an emperor. The mind was creating a dream; in reality you never needed anything. All had already been given. All that you need, all that you can need, is already the case. God is within you, but because of the mind — mind means dreaming, desiring — you never look within, you go on rushing outwards. You keep yourself in the background, your eyes are turned towards the outside, they have become focused there. That’s what the mind is all about: focusing the eyes on the outside. And one has to learn how to unfocus them from there — how to make them loose, less rigid, more liquid, so that they can turn inwards. Once you have seen who you are, the beggar disappears. In fact it had never existed; it was just a dream, an idea.
The mind is creating all your misery. With the mind gone, misery is gone, and suddenly you are full of energy. And the energy needs expression, sharing; it wants to become a song, a dance, a celebration. That is compassion: you start sharing. But compassion has two faces. One is inactive compassion: the meditator sits silently in his cave, showering his compassion over the whole existence. But it is a very inactive kind of compassion. You have to go to him to partake of it, he will not come to you. You will have to go to the mountains to his cave to share his joy; he will not come to you. He will not move in any way, he will not take any active step. He will not flow towards others, he will not seek and search for the people with whom he can share his dance. He will wait. This is a feminine kind of compassion: just like a woman waits — she never takes the initiative, she never goes to the man. She may love the man, but she will never be the first to say “I love you.” She will wait; she will hope that one day or other, sooner or later, the man will propose. Woman is inactive love, passive love. Man is active love, man takes the initiative.
And in the same way, compassion has two possibilities: the feminine and the masculine. From Dharmarakshita, Atisha learned the feminine art of being in love with existence. One more step was needed: Dharmarakshita told him, “Go to Yogin Maitreya” — these three masters were all living together in the same vicinity — “Go to Yogin Maitreya and learn how to transform the baser energy into active energy, so love becomes active.” And once love is active, compassion is active, you have passed through all the three dimensions of truth — you have known all. You have known utter emptiness, you have known compassion arising, you have known compassion showering. Life is fulfilled only when all these three have happened.
Because Atisha learned under three enlightened masters, he is called Atisha the Thrice Great. Nothing more is known about his ordinary life, when and where exactly he was born. He existed somewhere in the eleventh century. He was born in India, but the moment his love became active he started moving towards Tibet, as if a great magnet were pulling him there. In the Himalayas he attained; then he never came back to India. He moved towards Tibet, his love showered on Tibet. He transformed the whole quality of Tibetan consciousness. He was a miracle-worker; whatsoever he touched was transformed into gold. He was one of the greatest alchemists the world has ever known. These “Seven Points of Mind Training” are the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet — a gift from India to Tibet. India has given great gifts to the world. Atisha is one of those great gifts. Just as India gave Bodhidharma to China, India gave Atisha to Tibet. Tibet is infinitely indebted to this man.