Radhanath Swami on the Art of Forgiveness

0 Posted by - November 25, 2013 - Radhanath Swami


Forgiveness is a quality that is absolutely crucial for any peace of mind or any peace and harmony within this world because in today’s age there is rampant inclination for quarrel and hypocrisy. If we cannot forgive then there is no possibility of any relationships surviving on any level – whether it is husband and wife, friend and friend, neighbor and neighbor, between various academic groups, or between nations.

The nature of this world is it is under laws. Just like there is the law of gravity, by which everything in nature goes down. A structural engineer’s whole service is to somehow or other battle against the law of gravity – to build the structure that will stay up despite the natural tendency to collapse. And there are so many impediments to keeping it up. Similarly, there are so many stimulants in this world to drag everything down, especially our consciousness and our relationships. Without the quality of forgiveness everything sacred in life must collapse.

Maintaining resentment, hatred and vengefulness affects our own heart. Someone hurts us and we are angry; we feel that our rights have been violated. It is like picking a burning hot coal and holding on to it day after day, week after week, year after year, with the intention of throwing it on the object of our abuse. Who suffers? We suffer. If we keep this burning blazing fire in our heart, it will burn to ashes all of our virtues, all of our spiritual qualities. It will make us simply miserable. Holding on to these evil intensions towards others is factually – not figuratively but factually – from an emotional, physical and spiritual point of view, like keeping toxic poisons within our mind.

Any doctor knows that emotional turbulence, especially the poison of hatred and ill intentions toward others, creates emotional and physical disease. Forgiveness is the art of liberating ourselves from that toxic deadly poison that destroys our spirituality, our emotional content, and our health, and also potentially of all those who are around us. If we withhold the free choice to forgive someone, we simply remain a victim of whoever has hurt us or abused us. We are really only a victim until we can get that poison out of ourselves through the art of forgiveness.