Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
For me spirituality, divinity and goodness are based on the foundations of selfless love, compassion and forgiveness. Yes, faith, patience, wisdom, prayers and meditation are most important but they are a part of the selfless love, already mentioned.
Compassion and forgiveness walk hand in hand. You cannot be a compassionate human being and not be forgiving by nature. It is like practicing the art of non violence with inherent hate and anger brewing within.
If one claims to have compassion, which means empathy and consideration, and still holds on to a grudge or the desire for violent justice or hate, then there is something amiss in one’s understanding of compassion.
First of all, what is the meaning of forgiveness? According to me, it means to understand that circumstances made an individual behave in a manner to cause hurt, grief or exhibit signs of ingratitude, and the individual comes from the right place but those circumstances got the better of the individual forcing the person to behave in a manner not befitting the individual’s True Self.
When you give the other person the benefit of the doubt or another chance or comprehend the individual’s set of circumstances or state of desperation or mind frame, you usually have a more humane approach to the person and what has caused one grief or angst.
That means you have in a way either put yourself in the other person’s shoes and also embraced your heart to the philosophy that we all are human and being human, it is not uncommon for one to slip or mess up or behave in a manner that could cause hurt to somebody else.
I have hurt many people and thus in a strange way, I have learnt to be more open to somebody else’s flaws or when somebody hurts me. So in a strange way, by default, falling has made me compassionate when seeing somebody else on the spiritual mat.
Also, if one believes in God, then the philosophy of the Laws of cause and effect, Karma, becomes mandatory, because, if one believes in God, one has to then unconditionally believe that our God is a Just God, and if you believe in a Just God, then there is no escaping from the Laws of Karma.
So, if somebody has hurt me or deceived me, I would like to believe, that somewhere, in some lifetime, I have initiated this relationship of hurt and deceit and thus I am being paid in the same coin to balance my karmic account. Or maybe it is a test to see how far I have walked on the spiritual path or may be to see that I can put into practice all that I preach. And boy, do I preach.
Also when we forgive, we in reality are doing ourselves the greatest of favour’s as when we forgive, we let go of hatred, anger, violent thoughts, sadness, being upset, irritation and all these negative emotions which are like a virus, a form of cancer, that not only eat away our peace of mind but our very health, personality, joy and darken our soul and our aura. Not to forgive means to live a life carrying a cross which eventually will break our spiritual backs and also take us away from selfless love and compassion, two pillars that are so dear to The Lord.
When we hold on to a grudge, pain or hate, we are building further Karma with the individual. When you give a poor person, even a beggar, a little money, and if you seek something in return, maybe appreciation, gratitude or even blessings, you begin a chain of Karma with the individual, even if it is generated only through thought and not necessarily always been explicitly expressed, which will necessitate one to come down again in the body to balance off the debt. So says the Law of Karma.
It is only when you give selflessly that the Law of Karma does not apply. The good deed will be passed on without the individuals being involved. The Laws of Karma are so fine tuned by God and Goddess with ample time at His and Her disposal.
Now imagine when one is seeking justice or revenge or in the sludge of not being able to forgive, logic demands that the individual will have to return, put a halt to his or her spiritual journey, just in order to seek a balancing of accounts. What a sad reason to encage one’s being into the trap of mire and illusions.
Let us do ourselves a humongous favour and release ourselves from the cesspool of cause and effect and also from the claws of hate, revenge, harshness, sadness and entrapment.
Obviously to forgive does not mean you allow people to take advantage of you. Be aware and cautious. In no ancient text has it been advocated that to be spiritual one has to leave possession of our senses and common sense.
If we cannot forgive, what right do we have, to seek forgiveness from The Big Boy up there. Logic demands that if you believe an eye for an eye, then, be ready to lose an eye, or both, or worse, metaphorically your spiritual vision.
Forgive. It is the most humane as well as the most sensible emotion to harbour. Do not let the wrath of our Lord descend, as The Big Boy will only be serving you a dish, which you would want to be dished out to somebody else.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha