Free Press Journal

The significance of forgiveness in spiritual growth


To forgive someone and to ask for forgiveness, are the most important aspects for your spiritual growth. It is not just saying the words ‘I am sorry’, or ‘I have forgiven you’. It is an emotion which is felt deep within you, and when real forgiveness happens there is a change in that relationship. This is the test of forgiveness. If your relationship has not undergone any change, rest assured you need to work on it a bit more.

Lord Krishna in Bhagwat Geeta describes one of the qualities of a devotee… to be one having a forgiving nature. Forgiveness is a quality which always succeeds an event of pain, hurt or injury. This quality is there in all of us, but we tend to push it under the carpet. Many a times our ego does not permit us to tend to these emotions.

We do not realise that by forgiving someone genuinely we only heal ourselves and lessen our karma baggage. It not only takes away the hurt and the pain caused to us by the other, but it extinguishes the past injury. It ceases to obstruct our spiritual growth, and accelerates a new beginning with that person. It washes away the negativity within us which would otherwise eat into our vitals and affect our thinking process.

Hoo pono pono meditation is one of the best techniques used for forgiveness. It just includes four sentences as a) I am sorry b) please forgive me c) I love you d) I thank you. You do not have to say this to the person directly. It is like a mantra which could completely change our perception of what has been and hence what will be. By forgiving you are not giving in but letting go of that emotion which is so power packed that it compensates for the powerlessness which we feel when we are hurt.

By being angry we invite the faults of others upon ourselves. By imbibing this quality, we learn to see others, who hurt us with new eyes. We may not attain the ultimate stage of forgiveness but at least it will start the process. But if   you’re willing to let go of your baggage keep practising it, as it sets in motion and triggers a change in the brain.

Surprisingly, people who are forgiven may never even realise or recall that they had wronged us. In fact, for them our behaviour may appear rather strange. They may never know we have forgiven them. And they need not even know because it is not for them that you have done it, but it is for your own growth that you need to forgive. Forgiveness is not a favour to others, in fact you are helping yourself.

Forgiveness is the quality of the ‘CREATOR’ then why should the ‘CREATED’ have any other quality…. and if he does he requires to rethink. The image of a forgiving God is best epitomised by the divine words, FORGIVE THEM OH LORD FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO. This is my tried and tested formula. Learn to forgive other faults.