I wish to extent my sincere gratitude to all of you this evening. You are so kindly attaining this festival. Prerana is a festival especially saying that narration and culture in its spiritual qualities within the root ofIndiabecause all the future leaders of society out our generation. The future world depends on the characteristics that you hold sacred within your live. Tonight I was asked to speak on the subject matter of “Forgiveness”.
Forgiveness is a quality that is absolutely crucial in order for that to be any peace of mind or any peace in harmony within this world because it is the age of Kali, an age especially characterized by the rampant inclination for quarrel and hypocrisy. If we cannot forgive then there is no possibility of any relationships surviving on any level, whether it is god brother and god brother, god sister and god sister, husband and wife, friend and friend, neighbor and neighbor, between religions, between various academic groups and casts, and between nations. The nature of this world is it is under laws. There is the law of gravity. The law of gravity means “Everything’s nature is to go down”. For those of who are structural engineers, we know your whole service is somehow or other battling against the laws of gravity. To build the structure that will stay up despite the natural tendency to collapse and there are so many impediments to keeping it up. There are so many stimulates in this world to drag everything down, especially our consciousness and our relationships. Without the quality of forgiveness as we can sacred within life must collapse.
I’ll give an example of how maintaining resentment, hatred, vengefulness affects our own heart. Someone hurts us and we are angry. We feel that our rights have been violated. We pick a burning hot anger of coal, it is just right red from within and without by fire and we pick it up with our hand and hold onto it day after day, week after week, year after year, with the intension of throwing it in the object of our abuse. Who suffers? We suffer. By holding onto that burning fire is torturing us. It is a fact. Resentment and hatred, vengefulness all of these qualities are like burning blazing fire and if we keep it in our hand, what will happen? It will burn ashes all of our virtues, all of our spiritual qualities, will make us simply miserable. Holding onto these qualities of thinking ego and intensions toward others is factually not figuratively but factually from an emotional, from a physical, and from a spiritual point of view. It is like keeping toxic poisons within our mind. It is a fact.
Any proper sensitive doctor knows that emotional turbulence creates emotional and physical disease, especially the poison of hatred and these intensions toward others. It is poisoned. Forgiveness is the art of liberating ourselves from that toxic deadly poison that destroying our spirituality, our emotional content and our health. Also potentially of all those, who are around us that we will hold the free choice to forgive someone. What actually happens is simply remaining of a victim of whoever has hurt us or abuses us. But really only a victim until we can get that poison out of that through the art of forgiveness. Health research has proved how these qualities create the deterioration in every aspect of our life. As we give the gift of forgiveness, we are -.
According to the great saints of all tradition, a definition of love is the capacity to endlessly forgive. The love of a parent is that they forgive their child and no matter what their child has done. If they cannot forgive you cannot love. Forgiveness does not mean necessarily that a person should not pay a particular price to the recipe. It is actually forgiveness means actually be the well wisher. Even if we are persecutes and forgive in terms of their welfare. Inner peace, Bhagavad-Gita teaches that to change one self. Inner peace will never ever come by changing the peace of who have cheated us or hurt us. You can try in a positive compassionate way but we cannot really succeed unless change our own attitudes and perceptions.
One greater thinker has said, “If we do not forgive we are breaking the bridge which we must crush in order to forgiven for all of the improper things that we have done”. We see in this world, in the west, divorce rate is 71% within years. We see brothers and brothers fighting with animosity, we see friends and friends, we see people of the same spiritual mission, we see nations and nations, races and races, religions and religions, and this inability to make the choice to forgive, creates pain suffering and chaos. In this world we see it can last generation after generation even centuries. People cannot forgive what someone has done to their forefathers a thousand years ago. They still hate and they still want avenge. That is the world we live.
Kali or the negativity of the material energy, these qualities of the vengefulness and avenges to destroy our own hearts and our relationships and to create chaos and pain within the world. We are not part of the solution but in the part of problems. William Bright, he said, “It is much easier to forgive an enemy that to forgive a friend”. Does it make sense? It really should not make sense. But it is the reality of the world because the most intimate relationship we have with someone the more we expect form that person. Those expectations are that they will speak in a way that I relatively perceive as for my benefit. When you put trust, faith, and affection in someone although you knew that you have the greatest power to cause them pain.
Actually, one time a police officer told me inUnited Statesthat they really not afraid of going into the Maphiadon’s and breaking things up. They may be killed or they may not. But it is something that it is not so bad. A police officer generally fear the most, is entering into a scene, whether it is dispute between loved ones. Why is it? Because it is such a rage of anger that you have just no idea you cannot even speculate of what they may do at any given moment. If the gangsters and the enemies, soldiers of the enemies you basically know what they are going to do. Without forgiveness, no relationship, can be satisfying? This is a very foundational universal principle of all spiritual teachers in all spiritual paths.
In New testaments Christian scripture where Jesus Christ teaching his devotees, how to pray. He taught, “My lord, please forgive me as I forgive others who have trust on me”. He explained that unless you forgive those hurt you, god will not forgive you. Another words in forgiving, we are forgiven. In forgiving is the ridge that we must cross to be forgiven. We should not burn down that ridge. Saint Peter asked Lord Jesus Christ, if my brother creates very sinful activities against me and hurts me, how many times I should forgive him. Should I forgive him seven times and his answer was, “You should forgive him 7*7 times”. It is said, “….”. But I say, if someone slaps on your left chick you turn your right chick and say do this too. It explains what it means? Unless you pray for love, those who persecute you, you will not be seen in a positive light by the lord. Because we like those people who like us that is not a great thing. Even the tax payers do that. To talk to only those people who our friends, it is very ordinary even in atheistic people, who have no more or do that. This is the place he said, “Be though perfect as your father in the heaven as perfect”. In relationship to willingness to make the choice to forgive, even those people who have cause us pain, and suffering. Judge not less to be judged. He did not say it. He lived it.
When he was in the crucifix after being beaten and tortured and blasphemed. Just before he entered into his state of Samadhi, his last prayer was, “My dear father please forgive them, they do not know what they do”. That is a spiritual principle. It is said that forgiveness is the fragrance that its sweet smelling flower like a rose violet, leaves on the hill that has just crushed.
In Bhagavad-Gita the Sanskrit word of forgiveness is kshyama. There it is said that kshyama is created by god himself because the supreme absolute truth is all forgiving and he has given that power within every living being because we are the parts and parcels of the supreme lord. Chanakya pandit, he said that the beauty of a Cuckoo bird is its sweet voice. The beauty of a woman is her chastity. Even an ugly person is seeing beautiful if they have knowledge. The beauty of a saintly person is in their power to forgive. Our beloved guru maharaja gives great emphasis on this that the beauty of a tapaswi or a saintly person is their willingness and ability to forgive any situation under any circumstances.
In the 9th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that qualified brahmanas are worship by the people in general in this world because they have the quality of forgiveness. This quality of forgiveness is more illuminating than the light of the sun and those who have that ability to forgive are invested with the power to access the mercy and the love of god. Now, how is it talk about it theoretically? How to be forgiving, when our mind and our hearts are in turmoil of various apparent injustices to ourselves? It is important that we understand philosophically the phenomenon that taking place and also seeing through historical examples of others, how achieved the goal of this virtue.
We are not these bodies. These bodies are temporary vehicles. We are the soul. This is the first teaching of Bhagavad-Gita.
“dehino ‘smin yathä dehe
kaumäraà yauvanaà jarä
dhéras tatra na muhyati”
As the embodied soul passed from boy hood to you hood, and old age the soul similarly passes one body to another body at death.
“bhümir äpo ‘nalo väyuù
khaà mano buddhir eva ca
ahaìkära itéyaà me
bhinnä prakåtir añöadhä”
There are eight principle categories of elements within this material nature, from gross elements to the subtle element they are as follows listed in Bhagavad-Gita are earth, water, fire, air and ether. These composed the gross body and there is the subtle body, which cannot be perceived anyway by the senses but we know it is there. The mind the intelligence and ahankar the false ego.
“apareyam itas tv anyäà
prakåtià viddhi me paräm
yayedaà dhäryate jagat”
Krishnaexplains there is a higher nature. That is the Jivatma, the atma, the soul, which is the source of life, the source of consciousness, that emanates and witnesses through this body.
When there is a affliction on the gross body and there is affliction on the subtle body, which means our false ego, we become terrible disturbed. Factually we are not the body but the eternal soul. Bhagavad-Gita explains the soul cannot be burn by the fire, withered by the wind, cannot drown by water, cannot be disturbed by words, and cannot be cutting to peaces by any weapon. We are the eternal souls and our purpose in life is to cultivate knowledge and awareness about true identity. It is simply in illusion and addiction to an untruth that makes us take so very very seriously the phenomena avenge that come upon a body, mind, and ego. It actually has nothing to do with us. But as conditioned souls we are habituated so much to want to enjoy through this body. Therefore any affliction that interferes with that enjoyment with the body, mind, and ego causes us terrible terrible pain. Have any of you ever experienced this?
Detachment is a great medicine. When we identify ourselves with our true essence. “jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa” that we are the eternal soul. That is beyond birth and death. We are the eternal servants of the god. To the degree we are not trying to be enjoyers of this temporary material energy or we are actually aspiring to serve rather than exploit it. We become transcendental to the various inevitable dualities that come upon us. We want physical pleasures and prestige. Because of the false ego we have so many expectations. In fact we think we have so many claims of what we deserve and what are rights are. That the more claims you make in life and the more you feel that you expect in life the more you are going to suffer. Because it does not matter who you are, whether you are simple filed worker in Palghar or whether you are one of the top 10 billionaires in Fortune magazine. It does not make that much difference. Things are not going to go on your way. Because we are not the controllers. That power is beyond us.
“mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù süyate sa-caräcaram”
Krishnasays in Bhagavad-Gita that the supreme lord is the controller of this material energy and they are all being controlled by material energy. That always whoever we are there is going to the enemies. If you are in business there are enemies. If you are in politics there are enemies. If you turned to spiritual life in religion there is enemies. Those people who want to exploit you, either intentionally or unintentionally but who can exploit us, who can make us a victim? Only those people who affected their conscious. If you are humble and do not have expectations, if you do not make false claims but you can actually take everything in a very gracious way. That is forgiveness.
Compassion means to see the inherent good in everyone because in fact “jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa”. Wherever there is life there is the soul and the soul by nature is pure. Within the soul there is love of god. Somehow the soul by his own free will has come under the influence of the false ego and according to the modes of nature goodness, passion, and ignorance that the false ego decides to associate with. We develop various qualities. Some people are charitable and the very concerned with the welfare of others. That is the mode of goodness but other false egos are under the control of passion. Where by hook or cook or by any means, I must fulfill my greed and lust, if not fulfilled then there is anger and may delusion. Although who are in the mode of ignorance, we out of frustration they become ego, they turned to intoxications, they turned to violence. Actually these are all various levels of disease. But the person that is diseased is the pure soul and the part of god.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains, “A person who loves god that love manifests to other spiritual people in deep intimate friendships”. In the spiritual sense friendship is not, “I’ll scratch your back but you must scratch my back”. Friendship means selfless service. “A friend in need is friend indeed”. A real friend is going to be most eagerly ready to be at your side to help you and nothing to offer in return. When the world is against you and you failed, who is there with you. Then you know, who your friends actually are. They are whether friends or not really friends. You know who your friends are, when the monsoon season storms of complexities and difficulties come into your life.
“Sruhrda sarvabhutanam”Krishnaexplains in Bhagavad-Gita I am the supreme well wishing friend of everyone. Ultimately at the time of death what can we do for anyone? It is absolutely helpless but if you just call out for god, He will be there to save you and to give you eternal life and eternal love. That’s a friend. You have nothing to offer. Those who are true devotees, they are real friends. The friendship with god, the love of god manifest through the hearts of those who are aspiring to serve. So when there is love of god, it manifests intimate friendship toward devotees and it manifests toward those persons who are in a spiritual following condition as compassion. Now there are so many varieties of spiritually following conditions. Some people may be innocent and basically good but just addicted to all kinds of immoral acts, simply because they just know no better. Other people they are engage in horrible activities, simply because they have been victimized in their own lives.
I would like to tell you one little story. In California, I know this lawyer. Lawyer means advocate. He was a very very powerful persecuting attorney. That means he work for the government in a persecuting attorney’s office. That means he guess the criminals and puts all of his concentration on making sure that person goes to jail, as long as possible. The more people you could put in the jail for the longest time then you get promotions. You can promote to be the attorney general, you can become the governor, and you may become president. So he was very successful. He just take these people and make sure that the Jury will know that these despicable and horrible people and they should be punished severely.
So this lawyer told me, do you want to hear this story? Haribol.
That lawyer was a persecuted attorney. There was a prostitute. She robbed, stole and she was very prostitution. She was selling drugs. He put her in jail, I think twenty years. It was a great success. She just sent the letter that she would like to talk to him. So he went. She said, “I do not want anything from you because it is too late. I am already here and there is nothing you could do to help me. But I just wanted to reveal my heart to you”. So he listened. She said “When I was a little girl, I was violently and sexually abused regularly. Then I got married and I have three children. My husband would beat me. He was an alcoholic and ultimately he left me and for several years, I do not know where he is. He has just gone. I am from a poor background. I have no education. Not by my will but my parents put me in the work. I have a two year, five year, and eight year old child. They were living in a gate way. In order for me to have a home for them, in order for me to have food for them, to give medicine to them, they are always getting sick, I have to work. But at the same time I cannot afford of the -. I have to take care of them all day. They need me because they were tinny children. I am wrong and evil. But the only way I could take care of my children throughout the day and the only person they have and at the same time feed them and have a place. I did not anything else to do. In a couple hours a day, I can do prostitute myself and drugs. I did not want to do it. I hate to do it. They agonize to do it. But I do not know how I have to survive. Now what? I am a prison for the next 10-20 years and my children are always sent out to some orphanage. Where they are going to probably be abused and nobody is going to care anything for them. I am a mother. I just want to you know, what my heart is gone through thinking of what is going to happen to my children. That’s all”.
He changed his life from a persecuting attorney, he decided to be a criminal lawyer. He said that he would only take cases of people he felt, even if they were guilty they will be victims and they won bad people and defend them.
So why did I told this mundane story. It has amusing because most people who are bad and who even inflict suffering upon us, they are like that. Because in the past they would victimized. They went through hellish conditions. They may have been abused in so many ways. If a person actually looks into, why a person is doing what they are doing? Even if it is a bad. If you really study that historically, emotionally, psychologically, you probably never hate the person. You feel sympathy and sorry for them and hate the acts that they are doing under the influence of the victimization upon them. That is compassion. To see the disease that people are suffering, we try to help them not condemn them.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains on the pure spiritual prospective how forgiveness is inherent within love of god. Bhakti means devotion. Pure spiritual devotion, the natural energy between the soul and the super soul orKrishna. Dainya and daya are inherent within devotion or bhakti. Dainya is humility. Humility means, I am very insignificant and god is great. I am very fallen. I do not deserve that god’s mercy is all I have to depend on. It is my great hope. I really had no possessions. I am nothing. I am simply depending on the grace of god. That is dainya or humility. What is Daya? Bhakti is the tender of affection of the heart towardKrishnaor god. Daya is that same tender of affection toward all living entities, who are all the eternal servants of the god. For bhakti is our affection toKrishnaor god and daya or mercy, compassion is our affection toward other living entities, knowing that that are part of god. When Dainya or humility mingles with daya or compassion, what takes place.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains, “We are thinking that I am very fallen, I am very unqualified, I have no right to judge anyone else. I have not right to punish anyone else. That’s not my position”. That is humility. When that mixes with affection and sympathy for other living being, kshyama or forgiveness is created. Thus forgiveness is an -, quality of devotion or love for god. You cannot be separated and one’s love for god is expressed through one’s compassion and one’s power to forgive. Where there is envy, vengefulness, hatred, you can say some name of god. It is the name of god. You are god, which is your false ego. Not the supreme lord god. The god that they worship is their ahankar, their own false ego. Their own conceptions are “I and mine”. Their own self centered selfish perceptions of life that’s why they live for. Yes, people created religions around, their false egos. People were interpret, ancient historical scriptures for the purpose of worshiping, honoring, and serving the false egos and that’s what bigotry is, that’s what hatred and sectarianism is. That’s what terrorism is about. It is not doing with god. They imposing our false ego and all of its hateful intensions, in the name of god. As the heart becomes pure forgiveness, compassion and affection manifests as our very nature.
Srimad Bhagavatam describes
“tat te ‘nukampäà su-samékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk”
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8
This is the prayer that “O’ my lord, one who even while passing through very difficult turbulent painful times of life, see that the difficulty I am going through are the reactions to my own past actions. Therefore I do not blame anyone but in that situation with folded palm I remember you. I think you and taking shelter of you. Only the person, who is willing to do that as a claim to liberation anyone else.
Srila Prabhupada made this verse very simple and practical. The acaryas take this esoteric slokas make them very practical in our life. Srila Prabhupada said, “Do not blame the instrument of your own karma”. It is a fact. Whatever coming upon us and whoever is doing it, they are just instruments of our own karma. We are to blame. Someone has to do this to us. We have to go through it. So we could thank them. I have to go through this. I have done it myself. You are just the postman delivering my own karma to me. If a postman comes and knocks in your door, showed up your mail and signed here. You open it up and it’s aver for the date for one crore rupees that you will to the state -. If you do not pay, they will come and take away your house, take away your ambassador car. Now what? Do you, just your eyes become red and you just pick up the nearest thing or look at to find the weapon and attack the postman. No. You took out the loan and you did not pay the loan. So it is your fault. It is not the State Bank ofIndia’s fault. It is not the postman’s fault. You did it. You have a date and you have to pay it and here it is. That’s what our life is about. It is the laws of nature. For every action there is equal and corresponding reaction.
Lord Jesus said in Bible, “As you show, so shall you rip”. So whatever is coming upon us, it is the destiny that we have created in our past and our future is according to how we respond to the karmic reaction that are coming today. If we respond violently, hypocritically and we are just creating more violently actions become come to us in future. If we understand, I have to go through this, I have to change this, and I should be forgiving to the instrument of my own karma. You will become purified.
There is the example of silo of grains. Sometimes people rotten grains in the silo. Then later on they put good grains. So what’s are going to come out first, if you open it from bottom. All the rotten grains are coming out. If you doing good acts now, you are putting good grains in. Rotten grains means in the past you done bad acts. Some people they do good acts and going to get good grains now but now they are doing all cruel and hypocritical things and they are putting horrible rotten grains in. That is going to come later. Why do the good things happen to the bad people? Why do the bad things happen to the good people? You can understood in this very simple way, who are being our karma. Our sufferings from our past but if we doing good now, our future is glorious. Another might have done good before and they are living on the top of the Malbarhill but if they are doing cruel and sinful things their future is very bleak and horrible.
Srila Prabhupada said, “Do not blame or be disturbed by the instruments of your old karma”. This is the scientific reality of nature. We can be detached from the ego and actually be able to be forgiving and compassionate. Srila Prabhupada explains inKrishnabook, a very important statement. “One’s greatness has to be estimated by one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations”. From a spiritual point of view this is the meaning of greatness. This is mahatma, great person. Greatness has nothing to do then how you score in the cricket match. Greatness has nothing to give of how many votes you get in the election. Greatness has nothing to do with, where your family range in business in India’s industry, how much profit make, how much MAs or Phds you may have, even how nice you speak. Greatness has to be estimated by one’s ability to tolerate the provoking situations. This tolerance is none different than forgiveness. To tolerate means to forgive.
An example in Srimad Bhagavatam of the supreme Lord’s forgiveness. You know the story of Bhrigu muni. In Naimasharanya the sages were wondering, who is greatest of the three gods. Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara. So they decided Bhrigumuni, he has the courage to test them. How many of you wanted to test them? He was really a brave soul, Bhrigu Muni. Very powerful sage. So he goes to his own father, Lord Brahma and Lord Brahma was saying, “Oh, my son has come. He is so happy”. Bhrigu muni just did not even say a word to him. According to the culture, you are supposed to touch the feet of your father and offer him nice words. But in this case, he did not notice his father. So Brahma became very angry but he held his anger in. Bhrigu muni said, “Yes, I – and he reacted in a negative way”. So he left. Then he went to his older brother Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was happy to see his brother Bhrigu. He said, “Bhrigu, you have come to Kailash Dham and I am happy to see you. He came to embrace him and Bhrigu said, “Do not touch me, you filthy person. You do not contaminate me. Put crematory ashes of dead bodies on your body and you have snakes on yourself and you associated with the ghosts and all kinds of ignorant people. Keep away from me”. Then Lord Shiva picked up his trident. Then he bestowed himself. So Bhrigu Muni thought you did not tolerate, very well.
Then he went to Vaikuntha, Lord Vishnu was lying down and Lakshmi was massaging His lotus feet. Bhrigu comes in and Vishnu said, “Bhrigu muni, you have come. Welcome”. Bhrigu muni, he fend to be very angry and with red eyes went right up to Vishnu and kick with his foot right on the chest. So Lord Vishnu, He said, “O’ Bhrigu please have a sit. I am sorry, my chest is so hard because your feet is so soft and lotus like but my chest is so hard. I am sorry. I must have hurt you. Let me massage your feet”. They Vishnu started very very lovingly started massaging his feet. So Bhrigu Muni thought “A greatness of a person is one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations”.
So Bhrigu Muni went back and reported that to all the sages and they all unanimously began to chant the holy names of the lord. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
Lord Sri Ramachandra, when He was living in Chitrakuta. Tonight we are very honored by Sriman Aravinda Mafatlalji. I have been many times to his wonderful project in Chitrakuta. He has a beautifultempleofSita Ramon the bank of the Mandakini Ganga close by and he does so much seva to the saddhus by feeding them Prasad and taking care of them and to the poor people tens and thousands of free cataract eye operations every year. People who otherwise go blind and he was doing it all in the name of god and in the service of Rama and the service of the people. So years ago, Mr. Mafatlal took me to a rock the place between Chitrakuta and the place called Sati Anusuya. It was a big rock. I am going to tell you what happened on that rock.
Even today, these little footprints of crow are on that rock. That is the rock of forgiveness because that crow was actually Indra. Indra took the form of crow some saying it was the son of Indra. What he did is, when Rama sitting with Sita devi and this craw started clawing Sita in a private part of her body. The crow just clawing. She was bleeding. Rama did not like that he did that to Sita. So He took a piece of kusa gras and threw it at the crow and it turn into a flaming arrow. That crow was just flown away. But wherever he went that kusa gras was following right behind him. He went all over the universe trying to escape and he was going to Indra and Brahma and so many people saying, “Help me”. They said, “No no”. It is the weapon of Rama. There is nothing we can do. So finally that crow came back to that rock and fell in repentance at the feet of Sita and Rama and begged “I’ll never do this again. I am sorry”. Lord Sri Rama forgave him. He said, “I learn through that arrow”. So he put it just one of his eyes. He was delivered.
The supreme Lord is all forgiving. Let us take example of Sishupala. The day Sishupala was born before he knew how to speak, he was blasphemingKrishna. It is true. He did not even know words. He was just growing like an ass just to blasphemeKrishna. As he was learning the alphabet letters, he was demoniac exclusively for the purpose of better equipped, to blasphemeKrishna. He hatedKrishna. He was envious ofKrishna. He wanted toKrishnato be destroyed, everyday of his life. Krishna was always tolerating him an forgiving him and little later Rukmini, whom Sishupal wanted to marry, she wrote a letter toKrishnawith such love and devotion. She said, “Oh my lord, please, please this jackal Sishupal wanted to take me away but you are the great lion. Please rescue me”.
So, out of her loveKrishnacame and took he away, right in front of Sishupala. We say in the west, “He added salt to the injury”. Sishupala was fume with envy and hatred. Yet,Krishna is all forgiving and tolerated. Then at the Rajasuya yajna, he was blaspheming Krishna so bad that Bhima, Arjuna they were just ready to destroy him butKrishnasaid, “No, no”. “Do not disturb him. Let him be. Ultimately just to cure him of his envyKrishnadid a surgical operation with His Sudarshan Chakra. Yudhisthira was asking Narada Muni later that Sishupala was most envious and demoniac person but I saw when Sudarshan Chakra ended his life, I saw his soul in the form of light enter into Krishna. That means he attain liberation. Narada Muni said, “Yes, he was thinking ofKrishna”. Because he was thinking ofKrishnahe was liberated. Actually the supreme lord has the power to forgive anyone and every one of any sins, abuses, and blasphemes, we have done against you. However many of the laws of nature, we have broken. The lord can forgive us, in a moment. This is the essence of the Bhagavad-Gita.
mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja
ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo
mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù”
If He just forgive us without our turn to him in surrender and love then we would never learn the lesson and thus we would never enter into the land of pure love. Love cannot be forced. Love has to be the independent expression of our free will.Krishnasays in Bhagavad-Gita, “Abandoned all varieties of religion that means do not worry about all the rituals and all the sectarian concepts, just surrendered to Me”. This is a universal principle. Just surrendered to Me. I shall relieve you from your all sinful reactions. Do not fear”. If we fear the repentance of our misbehavior. Not just that we beat ourselves and head with guilt. But repentance means “I know it is wrong and I am not going to do it again. I am going to do the right thing”. Then it is the Lord’s promise and He forgive us and restore our eternal and natural goodness.
Krishnais bhaktavaschal. When he did pleased by our intensions by the purpose in which we are living. Then that affection eradicates all of our past karmas and awakens our innate natural ecstatic love.
Krishna is bhaktavaschal. When he pleased by our intensions by the purpose in which we are living then that affection eradicates all of our past karmas and awakens our innate natural ecstatic love. ButKrishnais supremely forgiving. That is the teachings of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Holy Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Purans that the Supreme Lord is all forgiving for those who honestly and sincerely following His will and depend on His mercy. I’ll speak couple of stories because I know it is getting late. This is the universal principles. I’ll tell a story from the Christianity.
InItalynear the city ofBhuruziathe place called – and that is the birth place of a very popular saint named Francis. He was the son of a wealthy merchant and his father was very very offset when he took his life of renunciation. But he did it any way. Sometimes that happened. Upon the call of God comes into one’s life, one must respond. Some people are called to be kings and some people are called to raise wonderful god conscious family and some people are called to live a life of poverty in renunciation to have the opportunity to completely focus all one energy on serving to wide family of humanity. That’s really, why people renounced. But a person renounced simply because of frustration and uselessness, that’s not renunciation. It is not real. Sometimes people frustrated that how things are going on life that I am just going to take sannyas. I am just going to become saddhu and get out of miserable and entangled world. Real renunciation, even if a person has all opportunities in front of them for prosperity and success, they are willing to give up the concentrated focus on his small family to put all of their human energy to serve, to ride family by enlightening them and educated them in spiritual principles. But he started very nice sack of renunciation.
On day he was walking from Bhuruzia to a very very famous temple, it is still there today of the saint Maria of the Angle. I do not remember the Italian but that’s the English. He was walking from mile to mile and it was freezing cold out. It was early spring. It was raining. It was snowing. They were walking with one brother Leo. He asked to his brother Leo, “I want to write down whatever I say”. What is the perfect joy? They were walking, probably night time, he said, “If our brother, the other saintly monk, if they give excellent sermon or speeches glorifying our god, I do not consider that perfect joy”. “If our brother they give sight to the blind, they give ability to the lame to walk and to run, they give the ability to dumb to speak and depth to hear and even if they raise a dead man that to live, and I do not consider that is perfect joy. Our brother even if they are so deeply learned but they know all philosophy and they know all the science and they memorized expertly all the holy scriptures, I do not consider that perfect joy. Even if our brother can prophesized that’s going to happen and tell the future and understand astrology and understand the intelligence and the mentality of species of life and reciprocate with all species in that way. I do not consider that perfect joy”.
Brother Leo was saying, “What is perfect joy”? He said, “If we can preach the message of god and convert every human being in the entire world to our faith, I do not consider that is perfect joy”. So finally brother Leo honestly, he said, “Francis, please tell me what perfect joy is”? He said, “When we get to our destination Saint Maria of the Angle and it’s the middle of the night in freezing cold, with covered with mud, if he remaining on us, may even knowing on and we are starving of hunger and thirst and we knock on the door. Oh’ desperately we knock on the door and then our brother answers the door and he said, “Who are you?” We said, “We are your brother, this is Leo and I am Francis. We come to be with you to have convenient with you. Please give us shelter. Then he looks up with cone in his eyes, he said, “You are not my brothers. You are liars. You are despicable, low grade thieves pretending to be saints. You are exploiting and torturing poor people. You are deserved to be punished. Get out from here. Then he slammed the door in our face”. Francis said, “I consider that if we bear that and thank god and forgive that man that is the perfect joy”.
Then we will suffer so bad the rain turn to fell and we are dying and we are freezing, we are starving, and we are desperately knocking on the door again and he comes to the door and he said, “Oh, you are that”. We said, “My brother, we are your brothers. Please show mercy to us, show kindness to us, we are starving, we are freezing, we are dying, then that man becomes so angry, he picks up a big heavy stick with many nuts on it and then comes out and scream at us and grab us by the neck and heat us with every nut of that stick until we are laying in this snow bloodiness and he just leave us there, freezing, beaten, and blasphemed. In that state, if we could remember our lord and think, “My Lord I have tolerated that all of this and forgiving this man as an offering my love to You. Brother Leo that is the perfect joy. Because the entire good and glorious thing they are all meant for god. What it is meant for us? To expect and bear whatever may come into our life and remember the lord, love and forgive our brother under all circumstances as an offering to the lord. That is perfect joy”.
There are so many examples. Let us take from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Maharaja Ambarish. I’ll summarize.
Durvasha muni was a great mystic yogi. He came to Ambarish’s house. Ambarish was a simple householder with the wife and the children, he was also a king. He was living in the Madhuvana forest the Vraja doing tapasya. He fasted, the dvadashi fast for one full year. Then Durvasha Muni come and Ambarish said, “Please come in and I’ll feed you”. Durvasha Muni said, “Let me take my bath in Yamuna first”. Ambarish, he was taking his time. As he was in Yamuna, he went into his meditation and he was taking a long time. So the brahmanas and the ministers of Ambarish said, “In order for your fast for a year to be affective, which is actually being done for the welfare of all living being. You have to break it immediately”. Ambarish said, “How can I eat before my guest? It is not a manner not etiquette. But they said, “Taking one drop of water charanamrita is simultaneously breaking fast and not breaking fast. Jut gets a drop of water of charanamrita”. So he drank it.
Now Durvasha Muni, while in the Yamuna could understand that he drank a drop of water. He was curious. He just ran to that place and started criticizing with the harshest like words. You are just the fraud; you have not control over your mind. You have no control over your senses. You are a hypocrite. You are taking something before your guest. You are deserved to die. All Ambarish was doing to serve him and here he deserves to die. That is the reversal. He said all good intensions but he was totally misunderstood. Durvasha muni take that hair from his head and from that hair comes out a fiery demon. A massive monster made of fire and he comes right to Ambarish to destroy him. Ambarish was not afraid. He was not revengeful. He simply folded his palms and pray to the supreme lordKrishna, “My lord if You want me to die, then I simply remember You, I am ready to die. If You want me to live then I have no fear of this or anything else. I am your property as do You like. I am Your servant”.
That was his love. Then Lord Vishnu sent His Sudarshan Chakra and that Sudarshan Chakra first sent the fiery demon to a distant place and then went after Druvasha muni, who started running to a distant place. When he understood he could not run faster and he started crying. He went to Indra Loka, he went to brahmaloka, he went Maheshloka, he was going to so many lokas and everyone was saying the same thing. “Vishnu’s chakra, nothing we can do”. He went to Vaikuntha loka and went to Vishnu and fell at His feet and said, “Please forgive me. Keep this stuck away”. For one year he was running away from chakra. The chakra was always an inch behind him. He did not -, he just stopped the heat. He was crying, weeping, saying, “Krishnasave me, please”. Here he is a great renunciate. He does not have wife. He does not have children. He does not have home. He does not have a job. Here he is running for his life for a year in great anxiety. Here is Ambarish, he had wife, children and lived in a palace. He had so many political and social obligations.
When that demon came to get him, he was peacefully “KrishnaI am your. Do as you like”.
“gåhe thäko, vane thäko, sadä ‘hari’ bole’ òäko,
sukhe duùkhe bhulo nä’ko, vadane hari-näm koro re”
It does not matter, whether one is a householder or renunciate. What is important is our devotion, our faith and our – and how we take shelter of the lord and how sincerely chant the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
So Vishnu Said to Durvasa, “Nothing I can do”. Durvasa said, “It is your chakra, why you nothing can do”? Vishnu said, “Because you offended My devote”. “sädhavo hådayaà mahyaà sädhünäà hådayaà tv aham”. “My devotees have given their lives to Me, therefore I given My life to My devotees. My devotees do not know but Me. Therefore I know no one but My devotee”. Even I have no power to forgive you. Only Ambarish Maharaja has the power to forgive you.
So Durvasa Muni as fast as he could right back to Madhuvana and what do you thinking Ambarish Maharaja was doing? He was standing for that whole year waiting for Durvasa Muni to come back because Ambarish did not eat, he just take a little water all year because he felt it is not proper etiquette to eat before my guest. So he has not eaten ate. This is standard of integrity. Durvasa Muni fall at his feet and said, “Please forgive me”.
Ambaris Maharaja prayed to lord, “Who am I to forgive? My Lord, please forgive him”. Then the Sudarshan Chakra went awat. Ambarish Maharaja was feeling in his own humility “Because of me you have been put through all that trouble. I am sorry. I beg forgiveness, to you. Please come and take Prasad”. That is the quality of forgiveness that is demonstrated by the great scholar. That means that is my intension.
In Mahabharata, it is described the Pandavas were exiled to the forest Duryodhan with that envious – try to kill them betray them and cheated them of all of their rightful property and their service to humanity. He took everything away. They meant to living in the palace. He is a king and queen. They distinguished to forest.
One day in theforestofKandiya van Draupadi, she was weeping at Yudhisthira, “You are not to be king like tolerate. Bhima is never satisfied. You should be on the throne. This is unbearable, we should go and we should do something to Duryodhana. What did Yudhisthira Maharaja say in return? He said, “If we become envious, that we have caught the contagious disease of Duryodhana. No. To be forgiving the real victory. Yudhisthira Maharaja praised him. When we are abused and cheated and we have the power on the core of our heart to pray for the welfare of that person and forgive that person. That is victory. That is the greatness of the person. Duryodhana is sitting on the throne, that’s not great. But to have compassionate forgiveness that is greatness. That was Yudhisthira maharaja’s compassion.
His grandnephew Parikshita Maharaja was cursed to die in seven days for a very slight mistake that he made. Parikshita Maharaja did not take revenge. He did not feel just like – his heart. He thoughtKrishna; it must be Your arrangement. Not a blade of grass move without the sanction of the Lord. This is not a curse. It is a benediction. This is an opportunity to perfect my life in seven days. That is a great person.
Nityananda Prabhu, he would beat on the head with a hard pot by Jagai and Madhai and intended to kill him. His body was covered with blood. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu came with His Sudarshan Chakra to punish these miscreants. Lord Nityananda Prabhu with tears with compassion his eye, he prayed to lord “Please do not harm to them. Actually whatever good spiritual activities I have ever done, let all my credits go to forgiving them”. These miscreants chased after him twice that to intent to kill. Now he is covered with blood, praying “Please forgive them. Please give them Your mercy”. If you are going to kill them, You might to kill all humanity, because in Kali Yuga, everyone is more or less like them”. By the mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, by seeing the quality of his compassion and forgiveness these two, who were the murders, cow slaughters, mlechas, and thieves, their hearts transformed and they became humble saints. That is the power of the forgiving of the Lord.
I am going to end to my spoke with one more story. Which has such deep influence in my heart personally. When first heard this story many many years ago, which transform my whole prospective of life.
There is the story of Haridas Thakur. He is the Namacharya. The supreme Lord empowered him especially the people by his example, what consciousness that we should take the name of god. According to Brihada Naradiaya purana,
“harer näma harer näma
harer nämaiva kevalam
kalau nästy eva nästy eva
nästy eva gatir anyathä”
In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy Kali but one way that anyone and everyone can attain perfection through the chanting of the names of Lord Hari. Chanting God’s names.
“nämnäm akäri bahudhä nija-sarva-çaktis
taträrpitä niyamitaù smaraëe na kälaù”
Lord has many names. According to different scriptures and religion. But each and everyone of these authorized name, the lord has invested with all of His power and all of His mercy out of His grace. “kali-käle näma-rüpe kåñëa-avatära”. The name of god is the incarnation ofKrishnawith all the powers to deliver us as an Avatar.
“kaler doña-nidhe räjann
astihy eko mahän guëaù
kértanäd eva kåñëasya
mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet”
In this age of Kali that we are living in is like a vast shoreless ocean of fault. We all have these experience with some extent. But in this age of Kali there is one supreme benediction. It is the benediction that make Kali a more desirable time to live than Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga an Dwapara Yuga, which are the ages of religion and prosperity and piety, why? Because there is one benediction that very special in this age of Kali. That anyone without discrimination, whatever race, whatever educationally income, whatever nationality, whatever economic situations, anyone can attain the supreme perfection of liberation, prema bhakti, love of god, simply by chanting the holy name. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
But the most important question is how to chant the holy names to actually access this grace. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught in a verse, which is like the golden rule of the Gaudiya Vaisnava. Golden rule in the western scripture says, “Do onto others and you do not want them to do to you”. Now that same principle is very deeply propounded in this verse. “tåëäd api sunécena” one should be more humble than the blade of a grass. You can grapple on the grass and you could do so many things on grass.
InIndiathe grass on the railway stations, you know what they do on the rail way tracks. The grass is humbly accepted. You humble like the blade of grass. You could be tolerant like a tree. To offer all respect to others and expect none in return. The responding in this spirit that we could access the mercy of the holy name. “ye yathä mäà prapadyante täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham” To the extent we are by these qualities as our aspiration in our life to that degree we will experience god and the supreme purification of god’s presence when we cant god’s name. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us,
“tåëäd api sunécena
taror iva sahiñëunä
kértanéyaù sadä hariù”
He also empowered one personality to teach us this principle by his example and that was Haridas Thakur. An amazing thing this is five hundred years ago, where sectarian Brahmanism were very prevalent in thelandofIndia. According to Bhagavad-Gita, “cätur-varëyaà mayä såñöaà guëa-karma-vibhägaçaù”. That every living being whatever their particular status in society that they be their work in spirit of devotion they can attain their ultimate perfection. But when classified according to their spiritual occupational duty according to their quality and not according to their work.
So Haridas Thakur was from a family that was socially condemned as untouchable. From other religion other than Hinduism that hated Hindu. He loves Krishna and he always chanting the name ofKrishna. So many things happened to him. He was so much prosecuted. But he was always the well wisher. A prostitute came being paid by an envious land owner to disgrace him in the middle of the night and he stays three days and told her I’ll fulfill your desires but I have to finish my bow of chanting name. I can do anything else just wait here and she waited and he chanted three nights. Do you ever end? As soon as I’ll end.
Just by sitting with him and hearing his chanting, she became so purified, she just repented. I came to ruin your life. I came to make you fall down into a neurosis relation and then guards were coming beaten you and poisoned you and tortured you. He said, “I know that. I knew that before you came. I fact I was going to leave but I stay throughout today just to deliver you. Just forgive him and just chantKrishna’s name. I’ll leaving you can help my little Kutira and Chant Hare Krishna and worship Tulsi. She became a saint by the power of his humility and forgiveness.
When he left there, he went to Shanti pur, where he was speaking about the glories of the names, there he said that the real goal of chanting god’s name is pure unalloyed love of god and liberation, mukti is evincive – byproduct of prema bhakti. Just like before the sunrises the darkness is dispelled. Similarly before love of god, actually that wakens our heart to attain mukti or liberation from all sufferings. When Gopal Chakravarti, he was a very young and very handsome and very successful upcoming politician and he was very learned in the scriptures and he could not tolerate. He said, “Nonsense, what you are saying. You are blaspheming mukti. I curse if what you are saying is not true, if it is not true that mukti is an insignificant by product of bhakti, then may your nose fall off”. Haridas Thakur suggest that my nose fall of if it is not ture. He said, “It is true, what all the saints and the scriptures says”. Then that man was so antagonistic, Haridas Thakur forgave him. But because his inimical hatred, he got leprosy and his nose fall off. But he delivered by the forgiveness by Haridas Thakur.
Then he left that place and went to Kuliya gram. There, whoever he would meet he was just chanting in ecstatic love, there tears in his eyes in ecstatic symptoms and he was just, anyone who saw him they loved him so much and they wanted to chant God’s names. So thousands of people were chanting. So the Kazi, who was a government officer from another religion, could not tolerate. He went to the king and said, this man must be punished. So the king said, “I hear by Vishnu the want but he is arrest”. So the local people Haridas Thakur being arrested. It was horrible. They were stuck. They loved him dearly and now nothing being compassionate humble person, who going to be arrested and tortured. But wonderful story. When he came to the prison, there were many good people, who are prisoners simply because they were practicing which was not popular to the government. They were just praying for one thing, “If we just come upon the glance of Haridas Thakur, our suffering may be resolved”. So when he came in, they were looking at him. As they were looking at him, they were just rememberingKrishnain such a wonderful way that tears were in their eyes and symptoms of ecstatic love were on their body. Haridas Thakur looked at them and smiled and said, “I’ll give you the benediction, let me always remain as you are”. They were depressed. We are prisoner for the rest of our life. When Haridas Thakur saw, they did not like it benediction. He smiled and said, “You do not understand my benediction is good. When I smiled, it is a good benediction”. He said that meant now you are remembering Krishna and absorbed inKrishna, then you will always be in this way, where are you may be, imprison or out of prison. Give up your sinful activities. If you give up your sinful activities, you are forgiven all your sins and always be in the company of the devotees of the lord, who are helped you to nourish your spirituality and avoid mixing too intimately with people who will lead you on the wrong path. Become attached to hearing the glories of the lord in chanting the glories and names of the lord. In this way you will attain the ultimate perfection of life. All is remain like this and you always live withKrishnaand besides that within two or three days, will be released from prison. Today you are very happy and always be.
Then he was taken before the King and the kazi. The king said, why do not you follow your own religion? Why you are doing so low class religion of chanting of these god’s names? What are you doing? Then Haridas said, “Yes, just see the power of maya, the illusionary energy of the lord. How she victimized the king? There is only on god. Who is that god? That is the god, who is within the every living being, who is the witness and be merciful father and mother of all living being. That one lord is only present and only potent and witness of all of our actions, all of our words, and all of our thoughts and who is supremely kind and merciful.
In Koran that god is called the prime in the name of Alha. In the puranas that lord is known asKrishnaor Rama. He has many names that he sustained personal. Why should we so foolish? In the name of religion, do not respect god when he appears in a different way to someone else. But every living being who turns to god, is attracted to core into their nature. I am indistinctly attracted to the beauty and the pastime ofKrishna. Therefore I must chant the names ofKrishna. I cannot stop chanting the names ofKrishna”. They said, “You do not repent. Just give up this and turned to your own way, the ways of your birth in our religion, then we have to punish you. What is your decision?” Haridas Thakur said, “If a brahmana which converted to your religion, the punishment you gives to the brahmana should give that person that you should do for me. Besides that if you should kill me and cut my body into millions of pieces, everyone of those pieces will be chanting the holy names of Krishna”. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
The king was very impressed. But he said to Kazi, “What should be done?” The Kazi said, “Kill him. He should be tortured. Beat him to all twenty two market places until his dead”. So the executioners are brought him and dragged him by the hair and brought him to the public in the market place and they started beating him with sticks, pounding him and the pious people they could not tolerate that. People were falling at the feet of the executioners and said, “Please stop this. He is a saintly man. He is kind and loving. What has he done? He is not a criminal. Why are you doing this?” They were just throwing to a distant place by cruel executioners, who were big and powerful strength to murder people.
Other people were coming and trying to bribe the executioners. Sometimes that happens inIndia. They were trying to bribe. “We will give you anything and everything we have but just stop beating him”. They were take aside and they beat him all day long. Then Haridas Thakur was chanting constantly the name ofKrishna. Because he was so deeply take the shelter of the supreme lord, he was in ecstasy. The ecstasy of his inner heart, the harmony with god through His name were so deep, he just did not mind the sever infliction on his body and blasphemies upon his ego. He had no false ego.
You see, if you have the boil. If you touch it that will hurt, the pain is more. If you looked at that, even the breeze touches that it will be severe pain. If you do not have the boil breezing and you touching, nothing but very nice. But only if there is infection there is pain. If our ego just filled with the boil like pus of selfishness, then if someone say something against you like anything, it is just pierce in that boil. But if you not have false ego, there no pus, then people can say anything and we are just happy and chanting god’s names “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
So Haridas Thakur went to all 22 market place and executioner were -, they were turned to Haridas Thakur and said, “Do not you understand? Are you a stranger or what? There has never been a man in the history of this town that ever survived this type of beating beyond two or three market places. You survive all 22 and not only that the whole time you chanting god’s names and you are looking at us with love. You are looking at us with compassion. You are looking at us with sympathy”. The whole time Haridas was being beaten, as he was chanting that was contemplating there in his heart, which reveals the inner heart of the great soul. He was praying, “My Dear Lord Krishna, please forgive all these men, who are beating me and trying to kill me. Do not consider an offence. Give them Your mercy. Give them Your love”. That prayer of forgiveness and mercy the supreme from the core of his heart to all 22 market place of sever blaspheming and beating.
Later on Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed that Haridas when you are being beaten I sent my sudarshan Chakra to kill those executioner. But there was a problem, because you are crying in your heart in love and compassion to them and begging for forgiveness. My Chakra had no power to touch them. Your prayer of forgiveness for them was so great, I could not hurt them. Your prayer of compassion was more powerful than My laws and I could not tolerate seeing you beaten like this. So I personally incarnated in an invisible way and made My body over your and I took all those beaten upon Myself.
Then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu opened up his cloth and showed Haridas Thakur the wind of purple black and blue marks on His own beautiful golden body that He took to protect His devotee. That is the reciprocation of love between the Lord and His devotee. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. He said to Haridas Thakur, “Because of your qualities of compassion, forgiveness and humility, I am eternally prisoner in your heart and I am always subordinate in your love”.
The executioners said to Haridas, “Because we are not able to kill you, now the kazi is going to kill us”. Then Haridas Thakur said, “These are the men, beat me all day to intent to kill. I am very sorry. I do not want to cause you any problem. If my being alive is inconvenience to you, then I’ll die”. – as I die. Then he went into the Samadhi. There was no heart beat, no pulse and no breath. He was clearly dead. So they succeeded. They picked up his dead body brought him before the king and Kazi. They said, “Burry him”. The Kazi said, “No do not buried. He does not deserve to be buried. Throw him in the riverGangeslike a piece of trash. So they threw him. Then he went under water and flowed to the down stream and then he came back to the consciousness. He rose from the dead. Then he came right out of the bank and through the bank and where do you think he went? He went right back into the town. Not like secretly or silently but loudly chanting god’s name blissfully. He went right back into the town, right back where the Kazi, the king and the executioner were standing. They looked at him and the executioners fell at his feet and said, “We understand you are really a saint. Please forgive us”. He blessed them.
Then the king came and fell at his feet and said, “Please, you know whatever happened due to our karma please do not mind. I was wrong. I misunderstood, I took keep you the ordinary person but now you have proved yourself to be a true genuine saint of the one true god of all religions. Please forgive me”. Haridas Thakur just lovingly embraced and forgave him. Then that king fell at his feet and begged him for mercy and said, “Haridas Thakur I now made a proclamation, you can live anywhere you want, you can do what you want, you can go anywhere you want, and I’ll always protect you”.
Haridas Thakur blessed and forgave him. Then he walked away. There was an assembly of brahmanas. Some of them did not like Haridas Thakur because he was not a brahmana, why people were following him. When they saw this happened, they became very serious. Then he lead them in the chanting of the names of the lord and they were all blissful. Then they sat down and they asked Haridas Thakur, “Why did that happen to you”? Haridas Thakur revealed his heart. He said, “I heard blasphemy of god and His devotees. Therefore actually by my karma, I deserve so much worse than being beaten in 22 market places. That was just the small sample token of what I really deserve. But by god’s grace they only gave me a little and by god’s grace I was staying. Now I am purified of that offence, so I am very grateful and happy.
“tat te ‘nukampäà susamékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk”
Haridas Thakur embodied that principle. He was very grateful in every situation in life. He was not expecting something grate for himself. But he was satisfied in every situation. He never blamed anyone for anything that came upon himself that he saw as the instruments of the karma and he think god in every situation for having the opportunity to turn to him. Ask the estimated by one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations. What does it mean to tolerate provoking situations? To maintain the consciousness of forgiveness and compassion. That means to pray as a well wisher of everyone, our friend, our family member, god brothers, and god sisters, and even our competitors and our persecutors. Then every situation to think of as an opportunity to sincerely take shelter of the mercy of the Gaur, to remembering him, and chanting His holy names. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
Sukadeva Goswami spoke in Naimasharanya to 88,000 risis without microphone or sound system. So we can see how Kali Yuga is progressing as far as our power.
Devotee: Maharaja you tell that we should forgive whatever bad things upon us. But as in my case that generally we tent to forgive where our correspondence is there, but when we does the more unpalatable things to us. Then we become anger like, whatever previous things happened like forgiven that things also comes bad … How to avoid such cases?
Maharaja. I am just answer your question in the last two and half hours. I have telling you subjects of everything. But in essence we should not leave our discrimination in the sense that with the child that is naughty and offence the parent. The parent is the well wisher and forgive but at the same time forgiving as well wisher just distinct to the child for the child’s welfare. It is not a matter of hatred, vengeance but to the welfare. So similarly in certain situation to protect the innocent as well as to how to rectify the person just as the necessary. But one thing come upon us personally. We should understand really that it is an opportunity for me to passed through my karma and become purified by turning to god in that situation. In that spirit in that life and become to very meaningful and very deep spiritual experience.
Devotee: Hare Krishna maharaja. You mentioned that, it is the difficult to forgive friend by any means. Many times it happened that one person thinks that he had committed mistakes and other thinking that he had committed mistakes. Who should forgive whom?
Maharaja: Ideally both but we may not have control over the other but we do have control over ourselves because we deal with ourselves. These are not impossible query that we are speaking tonight these very very practical and essential for anyone who is truly striving for spiritual purification.
Devotee: Hare Krishna Maharaja. Is it necessary for one to be a devotee to practice forgiveness?
Maharaja: There are different levels of forgiveness. Certainly any descend person can give that forgive. However the true definition of forgiveness, the deepest sense of forgiveness is to be an instrument of god’s forgiveness because only that type of forgiveness can actually heal our own heart and other. Only a devotee can express that spiritual forgiveness. Other forms of forgiveness are very good but they are relatively superficial because they are not on the level of the soul and the level of the mind and therefore cannot be complete and cannot be spoke because the mind in a selfish superficial, so that of comes out form his superficial. But when comes through the knowledge of the soul and the power of god, then that forgiveness is very very powerful and healing. We want to chant the names of god and purify our heart to really access that power of soul.
Devotee: Hare Krishna Maharaja. As you mentioned in your lecture that because of perfections we suffer. When people have lot of expectations from us and we have lot of expectations from our loved ones or others and we see, our expectations do not get fulfilled, then we suffer. So how to come on that platform that not to expect anything form others.
Maharaja: At the beginning, by cultivating humility that is really essential pride that “I deserve so many good things from so many people. If you are actually humble then grateful for whatever happens, to grateful for whatever comes. If you expect something then even if you get it and you are not really happy because you expect, why? But if you do not feel that you deserve it and you get it, you are grateful and gratitude is real happiness. That our gratitude and happiness is relatively superficial. Actual happiness is an expression of love and gratitude is intriguing within love. Gratitude is the happiness of the heart. If you get what you are expected at the most if you get some flickering pleasure in your mind and senses. But to the degree you expect, how can be you grateful? We think we deserve it. In fact we deserve more.
If you are humble, we are grateful for any goodness, any nice things then anyone -. If you are humble and you are even grateful to god, but does something else is not like to us because there is an opportunity in that to learn something and to become purified. That’s what real happiness is. But we should try to cultivate humility and purify our heart through the process of bhakti because that develop you within.
Devotee: Sometime someone causes you so many pain that even if you forgive that person the memory of that incident coming back to your mind. How do you deal with this situation?
Maharaja: That is torture. Real forgiveness must come from the heart. In the beginning we may forgive on a more superficial platform and that’s why forgiveness comes from the heart and that may take time. In traumatic experience as we have been hurt, it may even take a long time to forgive. But we should have that aspiration, we should have that prayer.Krishnais bhavagrahi. He understands our intensions and progress, even if we do not have the power or the ability to do it.
“ananyäç cintayanto mäà
ye janäù paryupäsate
yoga-kñemaà vahämy aham”
The Bhagavad-Gita teaches us that “One who aspire to surrender to Me, to take shelter of Me, to that person I preserve what you have and I carry what you lack”. We are too high, we never power to forgive. But we know it is a right. We know by forgiving, I’ll relieve the poison of this hatred. I know it will be pleasing before god and I’ll be forgiving, if I can forgive. So therefore we do not shy to be inflict by the will of on that person. But we pray to be relieved of this disease. We pray to god for that power and we go to saintly people and reveal our hearts to them and ask them to help and we try to cleanse our hearts, through prayer, through chanting god’s names and meditating on the Lord. Then in this way because of our attentionKrishnawill help us.
Thank you, I spoke very very over time and I beg you forgiveness for that.