In continuation to our discussion, let us discuss about Forgiveness today.
Why practice Forgiveness? Why is Forgiveness important?
There are multiple perspectives, various benefits and rationale behind practicing forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness heals us of anger, resentment and other painful emotions. It is therapeutic. It helps us stay happy and healthy.
Lord Jesus had preached forgiveness and had asked to even love thy enemy. It is not an easy task to love your enemy. Therefore, Lord Buddha made a statement, “If you are not saintly enough to love your enemy, at least forgive and forget for your own health and happiness”! He recognized that in order to love your enemy, you have to be a saint. But we are not saintly enough. Hence, he said, “at least forgive and forget for your own health and happiness”.
It gives you inner peace and a renewing effect. In case you are suffering from any psychosomatic ailment, you can reduce the effects or heal faster by forgiving. Thus, it’s a smart thing to do!
2. Mahatma Gandhi said that forgiving is an attribute of a strong person and that a weak person cannot forgive. Therefore, by practicing Forgiveness Sadhana regularly, you slowly become internally stronger and stronger.
After spending all his youth in prison, Nelson Mandela, on his release in the year 1990, re-quoted the old idiom “let bygones be bygones”, which shocked the whole world. He made it clear that he would not seek revenge and waste time in that direction. He was even ready for negotiations.
3. If there is no peace there cannot be any spiritual progress! When trapped in the turmoil of emotions and thoughts, you cannot get connected to the higher! Lack of forgiveness means you are unable to let go of the past, let go of the person or the event or the situation. If you do not let go, you cannot move forward. There will be no peace. So, no spiritual advancement! Now check, who is affected? Eventually, you will dry up like a dry wood without forgiveness.
4. If you are constantly thinking of the person who wronged you and that situation, you are affecting yourself and the people around you. You are automatically perpetually under the control of the situation and the people you are not able to forgive. To the extent you are not able to forgive, to that extent you are exhibiting immaturity.
Therefore, when in an unpleasant situation, there are two important things to be considered. The first is to forgive and the second one is to learn the lesson, “why this happened?”
5. There is a reason for everything that happens. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said that in God’s world there is nothing which is without a purpose. According to the Law of Karma, no one is responsible for a difficult condition that you are facing. The situation only helps you to learn your lessons. There is a purpose and therefore, you must forgive. The situation will change once you learn the lesson, once you forgive!
6. The divine has provided us this life, the teachings, the progressing evolution, human heritage, etc. Our life is so comfortable because of the co-operation and contribution from many people, like, parents, teachers, friends, society. Therefore, we must live with an attitude of gratitude.
7. If you look at it from the growth or evolution point of view, vicissitudes in life make you stronger. When you go through a difficult situation, when you go through struggle, whether you succeed or not, you develop. You either succeed or do not succeed! But not succeeding isn’t failure! You need to continue to put your effort. This struggle and effort itself will evolve you; you will get upgraded.
8. From a higher viewpoint, difficult people are like dumbbells. To develop muscles, you exercise with weights. These difficult or nasty people are also like weights because they strengthen your inner muscles. Thus, you need to not only forgive these people, but be very grateful to them as they help you evolve, develop your inner muscles and hasten your spiritual progress.
9. Do not try to change people, accept them as they are. Only then you will have peace.
You must wish good and bless others that they improve. If required, you must take right action as well. Tolerating injury is also “himsa”. There are limits to everything. You must learn to take right kind of action. That is what is “Ahimsa”!
10. Forgiveness in not condoning others mistakes. Taking right action if required is different from taking revenge. You cannot think in terms of either/ or, where you either forgive and ignore the faults completely or take action but do not forgive.
“Loving-Kindness” does not mean that you only deal with people with politeness and courteousness without taking any action. It means you do take action when required. However, in every case, whether you take action or not, you must practice inner forgiveness for your own good health and happiness.
Nevertheless, take care that the action is not taken out of anger, vengeance, revenge or to show strength. That can be excessive! You have to properly validate and take the right kind of action. That is, using right kind of force, right amount of force at right time. Have patience, let people grow at their own pace.
There are three facets in practicing forgiveness:
1. Forgiving others who have caused pain to you.
2. Asking for forgiveness from those who got troubled by you knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.
We need to ask for forgiveness sincerely. That is, we must put effort not to repeat the mistake.
3. Forgiving yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself.
Remember that everybody makes mistakes, no one is perfect. Evolution implies process, time and mistakes. Let us not be exacting on ourselves. Avoid remorse or guilt. Let go of past omissions, commissions and mistakes. Forgive yourself. Have good self-esteem, without which you cannot move forward.
How to practice forgiveness?
Imagine the person or the people involved in an unpleasant situation. Recognize and respect the divinity in them. You then forgive them, bless them with peace; let go and release. The procedure or audio track for doing it is available on YPV Sadhana App. Practice Forgiveness Sadhana once or twice daily.
Forgiveness takes you to a higher emotional state. With consistent practice, you can maintain that state. It will even help enhance and sustain your immune system. Do not wait for hours, weeks, months, years or till the end of your life. Forgive now!
Use the YPV Sadhana app. Initially, it is easier to practice forgiveness using guided audio. Eventually, you must learn to do instant inner forgiveness to yourself and others. Instant inner forgiveness means, slowly with practice, forgiveness becomes your second nature. Remember, by not forgiving, you are carrying unnecessary baggage. It only delays your progress!
You can utilize our 3 daily Facebook live sessions at: www.facebook.com/ShriNJReddy
Morning 7.15 AM, Afternoon: 1 PM, Evening 6.30 PM, daily up to 7th May 2020 to sustain and upgrade Immune System in the present condition which is the need of the hour.
For quick and easy understating and purpose of each of the YPV practices, refer to our study video for practitioners: https://youtu.be/QKKhnX5LiKw.