The Art of Forgiving

Hello dear readers, how is everyone holding up? All’s well here and I hope y’all are okay as well. It is just the beginning of the week and I am all charged up, no it’s not that I watched some kind of motivational video but I was fortunate enough to listen to one in person last weekend.

I have a weird habit of checking my emails even on weekends, and when I did so again last weekend I checked this fantastic email from one of the ashrams that we attend where they mentioned a special lecture by a Swami from Australia.

I jumped out of bed in joy and vowed to attend the lecture no matter what. And I did. The Swami was to speak about Panchasheela: Five Precepts, I had Googled a little about it, but I have to say that the Swami spoke in great depth about the topic leaving me absolutely mesmerised. He talked about the five elements that are essential for success in spiritual life.

The first among them is the art and the practice of forgiveness. The Swami talked about the importance of forgiveness and mentioned that life will present us with many circumstances where it will be very difficult to forgive people, he advised that we must forgive regardless, even though we may not be able to forget.

Courtesy: Pexels

He was spot on when he mentioned that life will always surprise us with challenging circumstances where we may find it increasingly difficult to cope, and it may also seem to be a herculean task to forgive all the people who actually did cause us harm. The Swami said that forgiving is actually an act of strength and not of weakness and once we do forgive we will see that it is us who gets lightened more than the other folks.

He then narrated the fable of a Brahmin who got really jealous of Thakur Shri Ramakrishna’s progress in the temple of Dakshineswar in Calcutta as a priest so much so that one day he took him to the riverside and beat him up mercilessly, Thakur even got bruises on his body and was knocked unconscious soon. The latter didn’t protest, didn’t even attempt to. At that moment the Brahmin thought he won but later in his life, he suffered many blows and died an untimely death.

It was only after the Brahmin’s death that Thakur divulged the way he was treated, but said that he had forgiven the Brahmin long before. So, why is it essential to forgive? Mainly because it helps us progress in our spiritual life and secondly because it helps us to be the bigger person.

I can say that in my personal life there have been many such occasions where I have been insulted and ridiculed at no fault of mine, yes, those have been difficult to digest, but after hearing Swami’s lecture I have decided to forgive one and all, and yes I do feel better.

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Gairika Mitra

A writer embarking onto a journey into spirituality, it has literally changed my life overnight! I write twice a week and would love to keep y’all abreast.