Let’s dig the common meaning itself to get the deep meaning. It says “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others” as the meaning of compassion.
Who suffer or unfortunate according to Dhamma? From what they suffer or misfortune? Let’s discuss this in to deep.
Many beings are suffering from desire, hatred & unawareness (ignorance). They are not fortune enough to experience the true happiness or peace or liberation. So the one who get rid from the desire, hatred & unawareness knows what it is like to be with cease of suffering. How wonderful it is to experience the real happiness and peace. How liberation feels like…
The real compassion arise with that experience. Coz when someone really experienced the liberation that one know how it’s like to be in prison. We are prisoners of our own mind. We are trapped in an illusion. We suffer from desires, hatred & unawareness without even knowing it is suffering. We are really destitute. No peace at all. So the one with wisdom knows how exactly it feels like to be ignorant. With that understanding here comes the sympathy, pity & concern towards the destitute beings with ignorance.
Even the person who started as a stream enterer (Sotapanna the first level of liberated mind) experience these noble happiness from their level. In their hearts also arise compassion from the level they experience the liberation.
So in Dhamma compassion means the sympathy, pity or concern towards to the people who are with desires, hatred & unawareness, ignorance. The support for them to get rid from those destitute nature is the compassion means in Dhamma.
Listen to the Audio to understand more about Compassion.