We all have heard the virtue of forgiveness a number of times. But we all know how difficult it is to forgive someone especially those who have intentionally tried to make our life miserable. Our mind continuously keeps us reminding of those terrible moments in which we were put by them.
Our heart burns in anger. We are desperate to seek revenge. We eagerly want them to be subjected to great misery like us. And we use all logic to justify these emotions. But little do we realize that these thoughts and emotions are not harming the person who violated us but are instead making our life utterly miserable.
Feeling of hatred, revenge, vengefulness affects our heart. It is compared to holding a burning charcoal with a hope of throwing it on the person who harmed us. We hold it for days, for weeks, for years little realizing that the burning charcoal is burning us and not others.
The person may have wronged us once or twice or may be few numbers of times. But we are punishing ourselves daily. In fact, we have voluntarily given the control of our lives to them. Its an unwise decision.
But as soon as we take a conscious decision of forgiving those who wronged us, we liberate ourselves from the deadly toxic poison which is slowly devouring us. Forgiveness is an art of letting go the feelings and thoughts of anger, bitterness, resentment.
Forgiveness does not mean we are condoning the act of the perpetrator. It also does not mean we are allowing ourselves to be exploited again by the same person who wronged us. We should always keep a safe distance from the wrongdoer and if we have to deal with them then we should be extremely careful.
When we decide to forgive, we decide to close a bad phase of our life. We release all our negative emotions. We feel relieved. Our mind attains peace. We decide to march ahead in our life.
If we study the life of great personalities, we find that they forgave people who did great harm to them. Lord Rama unconditionally forgave Kaikeyi who had not just deprived him of the throne of Ayodhya, who had not just forced him to live in forest for 14 years, but it was only because of her that Lord Rama’s father, Dasharatha, left his body. Lord Rama later even beseeched his father to forgive his wife, Kaikeyi, and Dasharatha immediately obliged.
Forgiveness is a divine quality and so the scriptures glorify it. Srimad Bhagavatam 9.15.40 tells that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is immensely pleased with those who are forgiving. Forgiveness not just liberate us from intolerable negative emotions, but it also helps us to win the heart of the Lord.
When we forgive, we find we have so much time and so much energy to pursue our dreams. Our life is Lord’s gift to us, we should not waste it. We should utilize this beautiful gift in doing wonderful things for the pleasure of the Lord.
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Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at ISKCON Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at https://discoverursupersoul.com/.