What is Forgiveness ?
Probably a conscious decision to release any feelings of revenge towards any person who has harmed us or whom we feel, has harmed us. But are we sure, that, that person has really harmed us? Generally, and most of the times, what has actually hurt us is nothing but our own expectation(s). Expectations occur due to attachment towards someone or some inanimate thing and most of the time towards oneself, one’s thought and own possession. Jainism asks us to reflect upon the attachments and aversions and also to be devoid of them.
Gandhiji has quoted “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” saying that if we keep punishing, those we deem cruel, then we are no better than the bad guys ourselves.
Forgiving also helps us to break the cycle of inflow of new karmas. As otherwise this vicious cycle of getting back at each other will never end and rather it is noticed that everyone undeniably wants to have the last word. But if act of forgiveness is practiced, it will truly break this cycle. We don’t need other people’s character to have bearing on our character rather we should practice to be good even to those who are not good to us. If we accept fruition of karma with equanimity, it will act as Samvar, the stoppage of influx of karmas. The same can be well understood by recollecting the incident when cowherd pierced the ears of Mahavir Swami deeply by hammering the thorns, even under this excruciating pain, Mahavir Swami neither budged from meditation nor evoked any feeling of anger or aversion towards him, but he remained in equanimity and accepted as fruition of his own karma from his past life.
Forgiving other is undoubtedly forgiving oneself and freeing ourselves from our previous karmas and those expectations we have from others. Basically, when someone is doing something in a way, we want it, we are happy but when otherwise, we are disturbed and angry. And that’s when we have a choice to make between Reacting or Responding i.e. react with spiteful retaliation or respond with acceptance or forgiveness. Expectations are like weeds, which grow on their own and Forgiveness is like seeds which needs to be nurtured and cultivated in such a way that it entwines within ourselves while doing every activity. Forgiveness not only frees others but most importantly it frees us from all resentment, bitterness, displeasures, aversions etc.
The secret of long lasting, sustainable relationship is forgiveness – to ask for forgiveness & to forgive.
When you say sorry when you are wrong – you are honest.
When you say sorry when you are not sure – you are wise.
When you say sorry when you are right – you value the relationship more than being right.
Forgiveness immediately enables us to realize the mind is not determined by the external circumstances (EGO). Unless we forgive, we are still locked by the environment. Forgiveness is the first step in the process of mind control. Let us keep working on our spirituality.
Let us move on, until we reach that platform where forgiving becomes a 2nd nature. Forgiving should become a natural process and then we shall be free.
We appreciate this.
Thank you so much for such a beautifully written article. I was thinking to say sorry from Last few days but was waiting when, after reading this I am gng to forgive and ask for forgiveness immediately and let myself free!