Forgiveness

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“21 – Forgiveness is praised by the Christian and the Vaishnava, but for me, I ask, “What have I to forgive and whom?”

When we ask forgiveness of the Divine, does He always forgive us?

Sri Aurobindo himself gives us the Divine’s answer: “Forgive whom and what?” The Lord knows that all is Himself and therefore that all actions are His and all things are Himself. To forgive, one must be other than the one who is forgiven and the thing to be forgiven must have been done by someone other than oneself.
         The truth is that when you ask forgiveness you hope that the dire consequences of what you have done will be wiped away. But that is possible only if the causes of the error you have committed have themselves disappeared. If you have made a mistake through ignorance, the ignorance must disappear. If you have made a mistake through bad will, the bad will must disappear and be replaced by goodwill. Mere regret will not do, it must be accompanied by a step forward.
         For the universe is constantly evolving; nothing is at a standstill. Everything is perpetually changing, moving forward or backward. Things or acts that set us back seem bad to us, and cause confusion and disorder. The only remedy for them is a radical forward movement, a progress. This new orientation alone can annul the consequences of the backward movement.
         Therefore it is not a vague and abstract forgiveness that one should ask of the Divine, but the power to make the necessary progress. For only an inner transformation can wipe out the consequences of the act.”[1]


“When a child has done something wrong, see that he confesses it to you spontaneously and frankly; and when he has confessed, with kindness and affection make him understand what was wrong in his movement so that he will not repeat it, but never scold him; a fault confessed must always be forgiven. You should not allow any fear to come between you and your child; fear is a pernicious means of education: it invariably gives birth to deceit and lying. Only a discerning affection that is firm yet gentle and an adequate practical knowledge will create the bonds of trust that are indispensable for you to be able to educate your child effectively.”[2]


“I never feel that I am forgiving. Love does not forgive, it understands and cures.”[3]


“When love is there, the need for forgiveness does not exist. There is a complete understanding.”[4]





See also