To celebrate forgiveness as a
festival is a symbol of the growth of spiritual purity. It is said - 'A
forgiver sleeps soundly and peacefully; but the night of an unforgiving
person passes in mental tension and uneasiness. It seems as if his bed was
strewn with thorns.'
Forgiveness is not merely a matter
of oratory, it is treasure of the inner soul as well. The sweet taste of
sucrose can be felt only by the tongue. But the sweetness of forgiveness
lies dormant in the inner self. Forgiveness breeds peace and harmony.
The 24th Tirthanker, Lord
Khramami savjivanram, savai jiva
Miti mai savbhudaisu , vairam
majham nr kainr vi
The beauty of a man's eyes lies not
in 'kajul', but it lies in applying the (aniana) of
friendship to our sight. '0 sarva asha mam mitram bhavantu
- said the
great Vedic sages - May we attain friendship everywhere. The same feeling
finds expression in a line of the verse 'mairi bhavna� (My Ambition
Metri bhav jagat mai maira sab
jivon sai nit rahe
Indeed, friendship is the happy
outcome of forgiveness, and the nectar of forgiveness lies at the root of
noble virtues like gratitude, humility and friendship.
Non-violence derives a new life
from forgiveness. Forgiveness thy name is non-violence. The letter 'ksh'
in the word 'Kshma' has a knot at its root. In Sanskrit language
the word 'ma' means negation. Hence, the message of forgiveness is
not to maintain in the mind any knot like the letter 'ksh'
Forgiveness does not denote
cowardice rather it symbolizes bravery. The unwilling submissiveness shown
by a weaker person is helplessness; it is called cowardice. But the
forbearance shown by a valiant and brave person is true forgiveness. The
former is surrender; the latter is victory. The former type of forgiveness
is like that of a dead bodies wrapped in coffin, which is passive
submission, not active self-willed pardon.
Forgiveness is life. It is a normal
process of peaceful co-existence in daily practical life. The rules of
walking to the left on the road and stopping at the red signal which are
strictly followed in big cities, denote forbearance for one another.
Forgiveness puts a check on road accidents. It shows the right path of
'Live and Let Live' to one and all.
In the absence of forgiveness the
wild axiom, 'The bigger fish swallows the smaller fish' will hold sway in
the world. If the weaker and stronger beings coexist in human society, it
is simply an outcome and unique gift of forgiveness alone.
Do not give mere vocal expression
to this inherent virtue of soul through outbursts on loudspeakers by
organizing grand functions in support of forgiveness simply for public
show. Let forbearance become a practical aspect of your daily life
bringing peace and harmony in human society. You will then realize that
the good results which you cannot achieve by the use of brute force i.e.,
subduing an enemy by wielding the sword; the same thing you succeed in
doing by the use of the invincible peaceful weapon of forgiveness.
Forgiveness turns a foe into a friend forever. It is a common saying, 'The
victories of peace are more renowned than the victories won by war.'
The sword is a harbinger of enmity
and bitterness. It is a weapon of violence. On the contrary, forgiveness
is a blissful message of friendship and love. It is a part and parcel of
non-violence. The sword creates discord, while forgiveness brings concord.
Such is the unique power and miracle of spiritual force achieved through
Forgiveness reveals high morale. It
is a jewel worn by noble souls. Forgiveness promotes the feeling of
harmony and amity. Anger is subdued by forgiveness. The ill feeling of
bitterness persists in the heart of a person devoid of forgiveness like
non-washable marks carved on a stone slab. But forgiveness blots out
bitterness from human heart like transitory ripples on water.
Forgiveness is a virtue of
humility. It is an ornament of social courtesy. Forgiveness is sinless. It
is chaste. Forgiveness is woodland of peace, where perfect calm prevails
and austerities are performed.
Forgiveness teaches us non-violence
and through non-violence we should learn to practice forbearance. The
axiom - 'prasparograho� can be proclaimed only by a devotee of
non-violence, who is anti to the law of the jungle 'Tit for Tat'. The
slogan 'Live and Let Live' is as much an expression of non-violence as
that of forgiveness. Forgiveness aims at prolonged happiness and long life
for others and freedom from mental tension for self.
Forgiveness and Forgiving
The 'Paryushan Parva' - the
observance of the ten universal supreme virtues -commences with the first
virtue forgiveness. It culminates in the forgiving ceremony; as if
forgiveness works as a coherent link between the beginning and the end of
'The Festival of Self-Uplift'. Water is to drink, not to fill pitchers.
Its coolness is needed for the throat, not for the pond. Likewise, the
soothing drink of forgiveness is meant for the soul. It is not a trick
meant for social manipulation and exploitation of injured feelings. So far
you have learnt lessons in forgiveness and cried slogans in support of
forgiveness times without number. Now put to practice in daily existence,
what you have learnt; so that the ever growing crowd of criminal cases in
the law courts may lessen, and conferences preaching universal brotherhood
may replace the army battalions posted on the borders.
Only the enlightened souls can
convey the message of forgiveness. The ill-bred wretched fellows whose
hearts are palpitating with rancor fail to understand the significance of
this celestial virtue. One given to forgiveness resides forever in the
Garden of Eden, whereas a man bereft of the virtue of forgiveness always
burns in the dry forest fire of ever simmering rage. In truth,
'Forgiveness' is a superb word found in' the spiritual dictionary of some
highly cultured societies alone.
Miriam savbhudaisu vairam majham
nr kainr vi
Lord Mahavira preached and
professed in black and white through the scriptures, the message of
universal brotherhood. The prophet laid stress on the well being of all
men, birds and beasts. The holy soul counseled mankind to sustain no ill
will for any living being in thought, speech and action.
The U.N.O. observes a day for
universal brotherhood. Does it not signify that we live in an environment
of racial hatred and territorial discord between nations throughout the
year? The message of Jainism is that we should observe not days, but years
and centuries of universal brotherhood and mutual love among all human
beings i.e., practice forgiveness for all creatures including the 'mute'
beings of the animal kingdom. To limit the feeling of fraternity, which is
a perennial spring of humanity to certain days, is to limit the joys of
Love begets love; hatred begets
hatred. Friendship enhances fellow feeling. A true friend stands by his
friend both in weal and woe. He shares both his joys and sorrows. Mutual
distrust, ill will, jealousy, malice and bitterness today dominate the
world. Terrorism has become the order of the day. By our sincere
dedication to forbearance we should try to reverse the present barbaric
social order of the world and turn the human society into a model homeland
for all living beings -'Where the head is held high; where the mind is
The panacea for all ills of mankind
lies in the motto 'Forgive and Forget' i.e., disarmament, not in the arms
race and accumulation of more and more deadly weapons or manufacturing
atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, which can annihilate the whole mankind in
the twinkling of an eye. If the whole world has to survive under one roof
of the blue sky, it must get rid of the brute and mad craze for war and
Ne hi verainr vera shamyati
I.e., Enmity cannot put an end to
enmity. Violence cannot root out violence. Forgiveness is a cry of the
To sum up, the contrary of
revenge is forgiveness, which makes a man brave, fearless, virtuous,
courteous, happy and prosperous. It has been said:
Yadi kamysai satyam hridayen
Karysthim samam sarvaivyvahar
I.e., If you want to win eternal
glory, treat all with forgiveness.
Paksha vyo yathopari vyasm sharm
I.e., Just as the birds spread
wings over their young ones to provide them safety and happiness, you
should also rear in your heart the feeling of happiness, joy and affection
for all men, birds and beasts.
Hence, O Mortal Man! Ask
forgiveness, ask forgiveness and ask forgiveness from all with a feeling -
'Welfare of all living beings, and peace and happiness for all creatures'.
Forgiveness makes a man not only meek and tolerant in nature by
overpowering wrath and purging the soul of all other passions, but it also
works as a tonic to promote good physique and mental health.
Bahye vidhanam pratipdyate ut,
I.e., Religion is an internal and
main remedy to cure diseases. All external treatments are mere subsidiary
causes. In short, 'To err is human, to forgive divine.'