Inspired by my reading of "Vaisnava Compassion" by HH Satsvarupa Maharaja
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."-Jesus Christ, The Gospel of Thomas
We carry within us the most divine of possibilities, and by the process of Krsna Consciousness, we come into full bloom, into the full potentialities of ourselves and what we are capable of doing in service to the servants of the servants.
The great catch is that also within us is Krsna Himself, and as He has said, He will preserve what we have and carry to us what we lack, so in actuality our abilities to serve and to love in our divine nature and connection with Krsna is unlimited.
We know that unless we bring these divine potentialities forth from within us, we will be stuck on the wheel of samsara, forever witnessing the snake of the material nature eat its own tail.
In relating to compassion, we must learn and strive and struggle to open our hearts to the living inhabitants of this world, big and small. If we do not cultivate this sweet flower, then we've barely begun on the golden path of devotion to Krsna.
In his article "Attracting Krsna's Compassion", Maharaja states it plain: We must come before Krsna in a state of complete poverty, in a state of complete dependence at His lotus feet, and in this way we will actually receive His mercy.
This is heavy. I've had close associates in my life get on my case for showing overt dependence to those I love and need. The values of our contemporary society force us to stand independent, without the emotional connections we survived on as a child.
The problem is that trying to stand on our own leads always to tears, fears, and failure. It is truly an act of the greatest surrender to live and give our life in such a way that we give up all independent aspirations and become fully dependent on Krsna.
"Spiritual poverty refers to the awareness and admittance that we have no spiritual qualities. The scriptures are full of lists of devotional qualities-devotees are completely attached to Krsna, completely honest, meek, humble, clean, surrendered, nonenvious, well versed in the scripture, and simple. We must face that we don't actually possess these qualities. When we face that fact, we can before God as we truly are: without anything."
It takes a hell of a lot of courage to explore and even experience our own deficiencies. In my own life, it's become pretty clear that I have only the slightest idea and realization of these key devotional qualities.
My only hope is to somehow put myself into an environment where I can be constantly humbled, in both pleasant and unpleasant fashions. This is my only worth.
This spiritual poverty is actually so glorious, if we can actually accept it with open arms and with diminishing returns from our false ego.
It may be a sign of weakness in material estimations to show over-dependence to those who have the ability to protect and/or exploit us, but it can give us the greatest strength to actually develop the qualities of a Vaisnava if our relationship with Krsna becomes a desperate state of reliance, confidence, and trust.