“Through compassion knowledge”: in these three words the spiritual and philosophical content of Wagner’s Parsifal receives its most concise and incisive formulation, and one of captivating actuality. Peter Berne traces its origin in medieval grail symbolism and ancient Indian thought and analyzes how it finds expression in Parsifal. Berne examines not only the libretto but also the music. The impartiality of his approach is captivating and reveals an abundance of exciting discoveries. His findings are readily comprehensible for scholars and for those interested in music, and can be read with great pleasure.