“Forgive others and seek forgiveness too…”

Swami ji said …

Saints, sadgurus, self-realised souls, Messiahs of God, and The Son of God – all have underlined and emphasised on the importance of ‘forgiveness’ – developing within us the skill that we find most difficult to relate with – the ability to forgive. We must forgive not only others, but also seek forgiveness for the sins and wrongs committed by us – the lies, deceit, and falsehoods we speak – without as much as flickering an eyelid. There could be a few instances when we might have unknowingly hurt someone by saying or doing something that could have been deemed insensitive by them, but, which from our end was not meant to be a double-edged sword. However, can we say with one hundred percent certainty that our intent is pure and there is no vicious, hidden intent to hurt someone knowingly? What about the times when we rehearse the hard-hitting words we plan to hurl at a person to get back at someone who had hurt us? “”क्या हम में से कोई ऐसा कह सकता है कि हमने कोई झूठ, गलती या पाप नहीं किया है?”” It would not be possible for any of us to say so. We are human, after all, aren’t we? – we would counter-question.

If we were truly sensitive to the principle of forgiveness and understood its humane aspect – the underlying goodness that it has in abundance for us – we would perhaps practise it religiously – with a sense of fierce purpose – every single day. We just need to understand that forgiving the person who has hurt us intentionally or unintentionally benefits us the most. The burden of carrying the heavy weight of anger and hatred for those, who have hurt us emotionally their barbed attacks, is lightened to a great extent, the moment we talk ourselves into forgiving them. How liberating, releasing, and freeing it is to experience that feeling of forgiving others! We can actually feel the shackles of all those negative emotions that had chained us tight within them – snap and being replaced with the most positive emotions possible – love and joy being the major ones – when we forgive those who we feel have wronged us.

So busy are we counting the mistakes and the number of times ‘others’ have offended us that we fail to realise that the same rule applies to ‘us’ too. If we are aware of our whereabouts in life, we will realise that we are no less than them. What about the countless times we’ve hurt others? Do we reflect on the innumerable times we’ve made it a point to hurt others where it hurts the most ? Are we filled with a feeling of regret for doing so and repent about our wrongdoing ? Do we make a genuine effort to seek God’s forgiveness sincerely from our heart and soul – pledging not to repeat this ill-habit ever , not to sin again , cleanse ourselves ? ‘माना गलती हर किसी से होती है …पर जब तक हम अपनी गलती को मानने को तैयार नहीं होते – तब तक हम उसे दोहराते ही रहेंगे। Yaad rakho – ‘ ‘Galti’ ko ‘gunah’ ban ne mein zyaada der nahi lagti hai …’

We need to remember that if we continue to remain blind to our mistakes and errors, the probability of turning into repeat offenders cannot be overlooked. ‘हमें कभी भी अपनी गलती को मानने में देरी नहीं करनी चाहिए…गलती करने का पश्चाताप हमें ज़रूर होना चाहिए…’ Failing to do so could make it very difficult to stop ourselves from hurting others repeatedly.

Acknowledging, admitting, repenting and seeking forgiveness from our Creator for every wrong done by us – makes us aware of the wrong done by us. We begin to understand that asking for forgiveness would entail making a conscious effort to stay away from a particular sin in future ; gives us that glimmer of hope ; a golden opportunity to turn into better individuals – who take upon themselves the responsibility of implementing God’s divine teaching from early on in life.

When we forgive others, we feel within us, the same love and grace for others – that God has for us – when He forgives us for our sins and wrongdoings. We also succeed in breaking free from the chains of bitterness and anger that had bottled up within us and had held us back from expressing forgiveness for others. Instead, we experience peace and joy, and build stronger relationships with those around us.

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