Amma Bhagvan Sharnam: Bhagvan Says To Forgive to be Forgiven

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bhagvan Says To Forgive to be Forgiven

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The following was published in the Krupa Darshan, December 2001 Pancharatnas - The Five Jewels - Part II' To Forgive to be Forgiven by Parama Pujya Sri Akshayamati Bhagavad Dasaji

In one of the Mahavakyas Sri Kalki Bhagavan says, "If you suffer and forgive, you shall abide in Me and I shall abide in you and your human nature shall become Divine"

Religions and seers from times immemorial have been stressing on the importance of forgiveness in attaining spiritual growth. It has been people's timeless discovery that if you fight fire with fire, you can only end up with ashes. However, people have hardly understood what "forgiveness" really meant and the importance of its actual implementation in everyday life. Further more, in the highly competitive and achievement oriented world of today, man can be pardoned if he takes the whole concept of forgiveness to be too esoteric for his colloquial comprehension. Everybody feels that it is something very extraordinary.

It is at such a time that Sri Bhagavan reveals the know-how and the mystery behind forgiveness in the simplest of manners ever explained, probably in the entire history of mankind. Let us now explore this.....

What is Forgiveness?

An internal "happening", where, you no more carry the pain or the hurt that someone has caused you. There is no inner judgement, condemnation or a feeling of taking revenge (even at the thought level). The incident or the person does not keep haunting you. There is only understanding and love when you remember or see that person, not any kind of malice or hatred. You are totally at peace.

One has to understand "To forgive does not mean to forget". In short, the person is no more controlling you.

Why should we Forgive?

There are many that refuse to forgive. They feel an act of forgiveness from a person implies being weak and afraid. And that, when other people know of this, they would take you for a ride. Fortunately, this is not true!!!! So, let us now understand the necessity of forgiving and what happens when forgiveness is absent in our lives.

1. Sri Bhagavan says in one of His Mahavakyas:

"Remember, every time we met, I judged you as a friend, but did not sit in judgement over you. You passed judgement over yourself even as you passed judgement over others. Not able to forgive yourself, you sought repentance, not able to forgive others, you sought revenge. Thus, you have been caught up in the cycle of births and deaths. On my part, I have been keeping my word".

As we see in this Mahavakya, we are caught up in the cycle of births and deaths on account of our inability to forgive, both others and ourselves. This world is a school designed for our learning; we have to repeat our visits on earth if we fail to learn and evolve.

2. If we don't forgive, we carry the other person in us and he/she is controlling our lives though we are physically faraway. We are not able to forget the situation or the person. Whatever we might be doing, the past keeps continuously haunting us and as a result we loose peace of mind and are not able to carry on our works efficiently. In a way there occurs "failure of intelligence".

3. Also, when you have an intense charge, strangely, you meet the same kind of people wherever you go, until and unless the charge is gone. For example: "A" hates people who are angry and very critical (he has a charge). In his life he will meet people who are short tempered and critical. So, until you have completed your learning, life keeps throwing similar situations or people.

4. As the external world is only a reflection of the internal world, intense feelings like hurt or hatred result in financial problems, health problems and failures in life.

5. And lastly, even Sri Bhagavan cannot give us grace as our hearts are filled with hatred and have no space for the Divine Grace to flow though Sri Bhagavan very much wants to help us.

Knowing the grave loss we incur with lack of forgiveness, one will understand the necessity of forgiveness. For, wherever there is forgiveness, miracles are natural happenings. The doors of Grace are opened. (However, one should not do it in the expectation of a miracle).

How to Forgive?

By EXPERIENCING the pain or hurt in its totality. Not by escaping it, justifying it, being indifferent to it, etc., but by experiencing the pain just as it is. To experience the pain, one has to relate to it in all its rawness and nakedness. It is there and that is it. Absolutely no excuses or justification for it's presence in our lives. It is only in such a perspective that we actually EXPERIENCE the pain. In this process, the paid would disappear and forgiveness "happens". Hence, forgiveness is a happening when you experience the pain fully.

Rajat is deeply hurt. His teacher was very harsh on him today, when he failed to give a correct answer at the inter-school quiz contest. Rajat felt that he had tried his best, but luck was not with him. Rather than understand him, his teacher was behaving rudely and insensitively to him.

Self-pity overpowered Rajat. He really felt what was happening was very unfair on him. He tried to pinpoint exact reasons why his teacher was behaving this way towards him. Was it because someone was poisoning the teacher's ears against him? Was his teacher unforgiving because Rajat had not responded to his teacher's suggestion that he take tuitions from her? Or was it because the teacher was favouring his archrival at class, Milind? So many thoughts came into Rajat's mind.

Why should we Forgive?

There are many that refuse to forgive. They feel an act of forgiveness from a person implies being weak and afraid. And that, when other people know of this, they would take you for a ride. Fortunately, this is not true!!!! So, let us now understand the necessity of forgiving and what happens when forgiveness is absent in our lives.

What was the Consequence?

The normally alert and sharp Rajat began to lose concentration in his class. He became hypersensitive and irritable. He was constantly depressed and low in energy. He was miserable and unhappy. He tried to forget the event, but it seemed to come back to him with greater venom. He seemed to be getting caught in a vicious "chakravyuh".

Now, suppose that Rajat understood Sri Bhagavan's Mahavakya on forgiveness, let us see how he would behave.

When the teacher scolded him, he was hurt. Instead of indulging in self-pity, blaming the teacher, reacting or suppressing the feelings, he sees the fact that he is hurt and experiences the pain completely. As he is experiencing the hurt, he feels terrible; he might also weep and his chest might pain, but as he experiences the hurt totally, the pain goes to a peak and lo and behold the pain vanishes and forgiveness happens. There is no residue left and hence Rajat is able to respond to the situations without any prejudice, judgement or pre-conceived notions.

Let us look at another example. Once a devotee of Sri Bhagavan was preparing dinner for some guests. As she had to go out on some important work, she told the servant maid to prepare the dough using the mixer. Unfortunately, by the time she came back she found the rubber of the mixer burnt and the preparations half-ready. She was terribly upset and angry at the servant maid's negligence. She was about to yell and even beat up the maid when she suddenly realized the mahavakya of "forgiveness". She immediately sat down and started experiencing the hurt and anger in her, continuously praying to Sri Amma and Sri Bhagavan to give her the strength to experience. As she fully experienced the pain (remember, it is not indulgence), the pain vanished and in its place there was only joy and a feeling of strange love for the maid. She went up to the maid and told her to be careful the next time and asked her to get it repaired. Unfortunately, it was a festive day with all the shop establishments remaining closed. So she just went to the kitchen, praying to Sri Bhagavan in abject helplessness. To her amazement, the mixer started working. It was a Miracle!!!

In just the same, we come across innumerable situations where we are hurt. We are unable to suffer (experience) our situations totally. Strangely, however, everybody feels he/she is suffering the pain. Sri Bhagavan tells us that what we perceive as suffering is usually our attempt to run away from the pain. If we learn to "suffer" correctly, it is in the nature of creation that forgiveness has to occur.

At this juncture, one might ask, shouldn't we be practical. Say, somebody cheats Gaurav, is it that Gaurav has to simply suffer and forgive! Sri Bhagavan says forgiveness is an internal process. It should not be confused with the practical actions one may have to take, in the external world.

What Gaurav needs to do is to experience the hurt and anger within him. As he experiences, he comes to peace with himself and hence would spontaneously respond to the external situation without any inner grudge or judgement. One has to remember that any action coming out of hurt or judgement can only lead to more miserable situations. You don't respond; you only react or control your emotions.

Thus, while suffering a situation internally, one can be very functional in the external world as well. It is not enough if you know this intellectually. The teaching has to be implemented in your real lives.

Remember, Sri Bhagavan will never tell you to do this if it is impossible.

Initially, it may be a little difficult. Once you get the hang of its however, you will enjoy doing the same.

So don't just think about it. Do it now and here in every event that life blesses you with for your learning's and then witness the miracles unfold......

Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?

Namaste Amma Abhagvan Sharnam

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