As all the teachings agree, compassion is so intimately linked to wisdom that when we develop wisdom, compassion arises naturally, as fragrance and beauty arise from a flower.
The two are almost interdependent: the lotus and the quality of the lotus; the rose and the quality of the rose; art and the quality of beauty; wisdom and the quality of compassion.
Without wisdom, whatever feelings we may experience—warmth and sympathy, love, or a strong desire to help others—are not truly compassion in the Buddhist sense of the word.
Those feelings are all in the realm of the senses, while the great compassion that flows from wisdom is not based on the senses alone, but on prajna, the full comprehension of selflessness.
Compassion arises in response to the power of wisdom that transcends the concept of self and other, and draws from wisdom its uniquely effective qualities.
Compassion is the bow and wisdom is the arrow that penetrates to the heart of reality.
TNMC Annals 48 P232