In Buddhism, Compassion is defined with two Chinese characters Chi, Bei; Chi means loving-kindness to help others joyfully, and Bei means to deliver others from suffering out of pity. These two aspects of compassion are selfless, non-egoistic and based on the principle of universal equality. Here at this point lies the fundamental difference between compassion and altruism. As mentioned previously, as far as the material elements of the body and the psychical aspect of consciousness are concerned, all sentient beings are identical with one another. This shows conclusively that they are of one entity and at parity with one another. Hence, in Buddhist terms, Chi is said to be pity for one and same entity. Therefore in practising Compassion-Meditation, one should dwell with full attention on the thought that since all sentient beings, oneself included are of one substance and at parity with one another, one should help them, as best as one can, to satisfy their needs: If giving charity, he does not cherish the thought that he is the giver, and sentient beings are the receivers, what is given and how much is given, thus, in ones mind no arrogance and self-conceit would arise; if charity is given without expecting fame, remuneration or anything in return and without any conditions whatsoever, this is called : unconditioned almsgiving or compassion on equality basis. If this principle of affinity of substance and equality of all sentient beings is put into practice, one would look upon others sufferings as if ones own, and compassion would be aroused spontaneously and indiscriminately. And if help is given without making distinctions of self and others, without consideration of personal gains or advantages, and without any ulterior motive, this is called The Great All-Compassion for the same entity.
In the light of the principle of compassion, at once we can realize that it is wrong to kill those living things for food to satisfy our appetites; it is wrong to take what is not our own for personal enjoyment; it is wrong to have improper sexual relations. We can realize that passionate desire for beauty and wealth is nothing but manifestation of the mind, where both the subject and the object of desire are empty and unreal; from this standpoint, all killing, stealing and debauchery committed by sentient beings cannot but be called stupidity.
Again, with our understanding of the principle of compassion, we can realize that it is foolish to say of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvaras remarkable miracles as superstition, inasmuch as both Dharmakaya of every Bodhisattva and the essence of sentient beings are of one substance and at parity with each other, and it is because of this affinity that the S.O.S. call of the one may draw the spontaneous compassionate response of the other; however, there must be no lack of sincerity, otherwise the mid of sentient beings, contaminated by cravings and defilements, would hardly be in unison with that of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and if the two minds do not meet on the common ground, it means that sentient beings are separating themselves far apart from the Bodhisattva and the two are not of one and the same essence, in that event when there is no compassion on the part of the sentient beings, naturally there will be no response from the compassionate Bodhisattva, for only the like may draw the like together; in short, without evoking compassion, one can hardly accomplish anything, and even the Dharma of Reciting Buddha can be of little avail.