The main focus of the Mahayana path, and especially of the Madhyamaka schools, is the realization of the union of compassion and emptiness. This is so because, from the Mahayana point of view, the relative practices of loving kindness and compassion lead one to the ultimate truth of realizing emptiness. Because the state of genuine compassion is difficult to reach, it is important for us to look into our hearts and discover what compassion towards sentient beings really is. The practice of compassion can be viewed as even more important than the generation of bodhichitta, the heartfelt wish to establish all beings in the state of enlightenment, since there is no bodhichitta without compassion. Thus, it is extremely important for Mahayanists to first contemplate the nature of interdependence and the karmic chain of cause and effect, and then to cultivate compassion and loving-kindness, which are the main practices of the relative truth.