Kshama (forbearance) and Karuna (compassion) are the same. Compassion is the quality of understanding others' sufferings and the willingness of doing something about it. But the sympathy for only your own child observing his sufferings, whether he is right or wrong, is not really compassion. That is attachment, ignorance. If you don't feel the same for the sufferings of your neighbor's child then it is just ignorance. One should have compassion for every living creature in the world. One should be willing to help the suffering and tolerate the mistakes made by others upon oneself. Even if someone has hatred and indulges in enmity towards you, you must have compassion for the sufferings of such a person. Then you will be rightly called a 'compassionate' person.
Kshama (forbearance) and daya (sympathy) are the visible versions of compassion. Compassion is the feeling inside our hearts. We cannot understand how much a person is compassionate without a visible action of forbearance and sympathy. When we see somebody forgiving a mistake which is not worth forgiving, taking pains to help us get out of suffering, we understand that this person is really compassionate.
Shrimad Bhagvat Gita says:
Atmopamyena sarvatra samam pasyati yorjuna, sukham va yadi va dukham sa yogi paramo matah.
One who sees others' sufferings and happiness as his own sufferings and happiness, that is who doesn't differentiate between the Atma of oneself and others, consider him as a yogi, o Arjun.
Yoga means meeting with God. The process by which we can meet the God is yoga and the person who is able to meet the God is a yogi. Bhaktiyoga is best path for meeting God because Bhakti pleases God very quickly. Bhakti attracts Krishna intensely and pleases him deeply.
"Bhaktya tvananyaya sakya ahamevam vidhoarjuna, jnatu drashtu cha tattvena praveshtu cha parantapa."
O Arjun, by single minded unwavering devotion (bhakti) to me, I can be known, seen and entered into.
Bhakti is the only path by which one can see his different beautiful forms, know his qualities, his pastimes, enter into his Dham (abode) and participate in his pastimes. What is bhakti? Bhakti is the process of loving Krishna, build a relationship with Krishna. When we build a relationship with Krishna, love him as our very own, as the very soul of oneself, Krishna gets delighted and gets ready to sell himself to his devotee. "Aham bhakta paradhino".
So what is the best way of rendering Bhakti to Krishna? What really, really pleases Krishna and urges him most to meet his devotee? The one who sees the happiness and sufferings of others as his own and feels the need to do something to help them or becomes happy seeing others' happiness, is the devotee Krishna is most pleased with. He is the best yogi. The one who wants to help even his enemies and delights at the happiness of his enemies, knows that the Atma inside himself and his enemy is the same, is the best yogi.
How do we achieve such a state? How do we build up such kind of compassion for others? We are mostly inclined to fear or anger towards our enemies. And when they suffer or even die, most of us feel relieved and think karma rebounces as sufferings, this is what should happen to such people. But by the mercy of Bhakti maharani, one can surpass such feelings and become so compassionate that one can bear any number of sufferings oneself and still want to help his enemies.
This is not possible by any other yoga. Karma yoga, jnanyoga have their own potencies but Bhaktiyoga is incredible and best of all. Why? Because only a bhakta contemplates on Krishna all the time and in doing so, the qualities of Krishna start appearing in the bhakta. So the compassion of Krishna is also slowly acquired by the bhakta. This is not possible by any other process.
"Krishnabhakte Krishna guna sakali sanchare". Krishna manifests all his qualities in his devotees. The more the devotee contemplates on Krishna and calls him intensely and lovingly, the more the qualities get manifested in the devotee. The devotee becomes so soft-hearted that he cannot bear seeing others in suffering. Krishna gives this compassion to his devotees. He decorates the heart of a devotee with twenty six unearthly qualities (kripalu, akritadroha, satyasaar, etc.) and makes an ornament of his devotee. Then he wears that ornament and feels proud and pleased with it. Krishna prides himself when he sees his devotees and their remarkable devotion. He is delighted when his devotee binds him in his love and makes him do as he wants. Krishna is overwhelmed by this game of love and feels pleased.
Srimati Radharani is the most karunamayi, compassion personified. She is Krishna prema-mayi, composed purely of love of Krishna. Krishna has three energy forms: swaroop shakti, jiva shakti and maya shakti. (Jiva shakti is the life energy residing as infinitely small part of Krishna inside every creature. Maya shakti is the material world made of fire, water, air, earth and space). Swaroop shakti is his pure transcendental energy indifferent from himself which is again divided into three forms: sandini shakti, sambit shakti and ahladini shakti. Sandini shakti is the energy that composes the Golok Dham and its residents, his eternal devotees participating in his pastimes. Sambit shakti is the energy that is responsible for different lilas to occur and provides the experience of deep emotions and meanings of pastimes to Krishna and his devotees. Ahladini shakti is the energy that gives happiness to Krishna and his devotees. The energy whose least spark is responsible for delusion of the whole world in search of happiness. Though there is no happiness in this world, the yearning to meet that source of happiness from which we have been separated is causing our search for happiness in this material world. This source of happiness is Radharani. She is the ahladini shakti of Krishna, indifferent from him. That is why she is the most compassionate personality. She is always giving happiness to everyone who sees her, calls her and even remembers her. And she bestows upon her devotees this quality of compassion. She overlooks the shortcomings of the devotee since she knows humans have so many shortcomings and can never be free from them without her unconditional grace.
Jivatmas are illusioned in thinking that this world holds so much happiness and love. This thought is the root of all entanglements. As soon as one realizes that the so called happiness and love are all fake and simply hipocrisy, as soon as one's definition for love changes from materialistic to spiritual, he starts freeing himself from the entanglements. He starts realising his own pure and transcendental spiritual self. He realises that the shortcomings in him are all part of his ignorance. Its not his real self. As soon as we loose the sense of 'I' in the bodily attributes, the attachment to the body starts dissolving. And the sense of 'I am your servant' becomes strong.
But radharani doesn't wait for all that. Once a devotee takes the shelter of her lotus feet and prays to her, "Hey karunamayi, o the compassion personified, o the love personified, please accept this fallen jivatma. I have no power to fight with your Maya, your delusive power. I am your servant but am constantly serving this body's senses and even have no desire to free myself from their slavery. Such a fool I am! Please please shower your mercy on me and drag my mind to your lotus feet. I am totally incapable of freeing myself from the worldly attractions. Please have mercy on me!" Hearing this Radharani's heart becomes flooded with compassion. Such compassion is not there in all the goddesses combined, though they are incarnations of Srimati Radharani herself. She says 'aham tvam sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyami ma sucha'. (I will free you from all kinds of sins, do not worry.) And gradually she frees you from all shortcomings, and makes you realise your real self.