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.
Atisha learned compassion from Dharmarakshit, 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 as 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.
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 was 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 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.