Oct 252019


Life is built by walking the rope between success and failure, good, bad, right, wrong. Falling through the gap can be liberating…

Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,

First fill your own house with the fragrance of Love.

Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,

First remove the darkness of sin from your heart.

Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,

First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen.

Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,

First bend down to lift someone who is down trodden.

Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.

-Rabindranath Tagore 

What really is forgiveness? If we outwardly forgive someone of their “wrong doing” perhaps an element of our ego creeps into the equation. When we forgive someone we assume that they were wrong and we were right. But these assumptions of wrong and right are a product of our society, education, families and many other factors. There is no real truth in any assumption.

Again, if it is us who is seeking forgiveness for something we feel guilty for then this of course is an egoic act. We need the other person to tell us they are ok. We need them to make us feel better.

If forgiveness is only enhancing our ego, then what alternative is there?

We could be indifferent but indifference could err on the side of uncaring. We could just ignore, but then is the problem really resolved or just underlying somewhere? 

We could be accepting, whether we are the one seeking forgiveness or forgiving, we may be better placed to just allow the water to pass under the bridge. Bringing up old problems might make the other person feel guilt or animosity. The kindest act on both parties would be to accept and move on. 

If the rift has caused you both to drift apart and after sometime you are reunited, perform maitri, well-wishing thoughts towards the other regardless of looking to give or receive forgiveness. Maitri can always be done, whether you see the person or not. 

The act of acceptance and moving on is the truest form of forgiveness, neither holding tightly to our superiority nor pushing away the negativity we are responsible for. Forgiveness can exist as the in-between state, as the observer and non-judging. We should let go of any expectations of being forgiven, and surrender to the pursuit of accepting things as they are.