6. In Praise of Compassion

58 You long bound yourself to compassion in order to free
all those in the world who were bound by defilements.

59 Which shall I praise first, you or the great compassion
by which you were long held in samsara
though well you knew its faults?[16]

60 Although you preferred the delights of solitude,
compassion led you to spend your time among the crowd.

61 Like a mighty dragon drawn from its lake by a spell,
compassion led you from forest to town
for the sake of those to be taught.

62 Though abiding in deep tranquillity, the development of
compassion made you take up even the musical art.[17]

63 Your powers, your lion’s roar
and the manifestation of virtues are but glitter
rubbed off the nugget of your innate compassion.[18]

64 Your compassion was kind only towards others,
but was cruel towards her own master.
Towards you alone, O Lord, compassion was pitiless.[19]

65 That same compassion
had you cut into a hundred pieces
and cast you like an offering to the four quarters,
all for the sake of others.

66 But clearly compassion always acted in accordance
with your will. For although she oppressed you,
he did not transgress against your desires.