Kshama is derived from the root by the addition of the suffix ang
Kshama means patience, forbearance and pardon.
�Kshama shatro ch mitre ch
yatinamev bhushanam� - Hito
To pardon an enemy or a friend both,
is the jewel of Yetis.
�Kshama virasey bhushanam� -
Forbearance is the ornament of the brave.
eminent English poet writes:
forgive thy mortal foe
give him blow for blow
him seventy times and seven
the souls in Heaven
both forgivers and forgiven.
Uttama Kshama is the first
Dharma out of the ten Dharma of Jains. Ordinarily it means
not to cause misery to any living being, or not to get angry on any
unpleasant and unwanted happening. Forbearance (Kshama) is the
inherent virtue of soul. When the soul degrades from its real attributes
to ill nature, such a soul is called attached (raagi) or full of
malice - ill-will (dwaish), etc., because soul is simple and
forgiving by nature. Rightly has it been said: �To err is human; to
a man blind and maddens him, for �when eyes are blood shot, vision is
limited�. Overpowered by anger, a man may commit anything right or wrong,
and fails to make distinction between proper and improper, truth or
untruth, and good or bad. In short, the Jain Acharyas have
proclaimed anger as leading to degradation.
anger and getting stable in one�s real nature, is Kshama, Kshama
is soul�s inherent wealth. Being endowed with this real wealth, this
living being (jeeva) is called forbearing in disposition.
Narendra, Devendra and Amrendra in this world (lok) and
heaven (Parlok) worship a living being crowned with forgiveness
after salvation. In Baras - Anupaikkha this very Kshama has
been described as below:
puno, bahurangam jadi havedi sakhadam, kundi kinchivi koham, tas Kshama
The conduct of a man, who does not get the least
enraged even on finding obvious reasons for exciting anger, is in keeping
Uttama Kshama Dharma. To
forgive one with evil perception (Mithya-Drasthi),
or him who utters unpleasant words and makes efforts to cause anguish and
torture without any reason, is the first category of
To pardon one who nourishes thoughts of oppressing and killing with no
reason is the second category of
�Kshamti iti Kshama�
one who practices forgiveness (Kshama)
under all odds is entitled as possessor of the virtue of supreme
forgiveness (Uttama Kshama).
visimakroshadisambhave kalushyoparam Kshama.
Not to develop malice or ill-will
despite confronting with unbearable causes of anger like defiance, chiding
and bodily torture is Uttama Kshama. It has been well said;
�The easiest and cheapest way of avenging an offence is to slight it,
ignore it, forbear it, �forgive it, or, if possible, to forget it.�
While describing the true nature
of Kshama in his book �Sarvarth Siddhi� Acharya
Pujya Pad Swamy has stated
vyapadnadinan snnidhane kalushyanutpti kshma
ill-natured persons heap abuses, ridicules, disgrace and beatings on the
monks, who enter other regions to discover the cause of the real state of
the body and indulge in twisting and torturing their body, the
non-appearance of ill-will in these monks� minds is Kshama. This
very thing has been said in this commenting remark of �Niam-Saar�:
satmurtsya parambrahmrupni mamapkarhaniriti paramsamrasi vsthitirutmkshma
stable in supreme equanimitous thoughts on getting threat of being killed
by persons given to evil perception (Mithya-Drasthi) for no reason,
considering oneself formless Parma Brahma is Uttama
Kshama. The following example reveals this very thing.
There was a
saint named Aek Nath. He had a vow of bathing in the Ganga daily.
His ideology of forgiveness and renunciation was highly talked of in the
city. One Pathan also used to live in that city. Once he thought to
test the saint. His house was on that very road by which the saint used to
go for bathing in the Ganga. The next day when Aek Nath was
returning after having a bath in the Ganga, the Pathan chewing a
betel leaf, spit down from above his rooftop. Its shower fell on the body
of Aek Nath also; hence the saint went back to have a bath in the Ganga
again. This process was repeated a hundred times on that one day.
Ultimately when the saint was returning after his one hundred and one time
bath, the Pathan came down from his house top and falling down at
his feet, started weeping and begging pardon, for his mischief and
ill-doing. The saint said, �I am grateful to you for your good deed,
because daily I used to bathe in the Ganga only once, but today I
am lucky to bathe a hundred and one times due to you.� Great men have
great thoughts. They never give up their celestial virtues. Saint Aek Nath,
who belonged to this noble category, took this ill deed of the Pathan
as a virtuous deed and pardoned him. On this earth there is no other
greater virtue than Kshama. One, who is crowned with all the
virtues, Kshama has been stated the embodiment of ascetics (Tapasvi);
such as -
Kokilanam swarorupam, narirupam pativrata
kuruparan, Kshama rupam tapasvinam
of a nightingale is her own melody; the emblem of a lady is her chastity,
the emblem of the wretched is their ignorance and the emblem of ascetics
is forgiveness. The following memorable words are worth noting: �Humanity
is never more beautiful than when praying for forgiveness, or else
Ashadharji has stated about Kshama:
kshamyati kshamopyasu pratikatum kritagasa
The persons who observe Uttama
Kshama towards those, who commit crimes against them, even on being
capable of quick retaliation, are regarded by saints drinking the nectar
of forbearance (Kshama-amrit) to be the destroyers of sins.
persons think thus: �Though I have committed no crime against him, even
then this man is showering his anger over me, abusing me; I am innocent.
Considering this I must pardon him. He has accused me, yet no harm comes
out of it to me. On the contrary I must take pity on him, in spite of his
being angry; because this poor fellow is reaping sins by falsely accusing
me. This sin will bring him innumerable sufferings. He has only abused me
and not beaten. Even if he had beaten me, then it must be thought that he
has not wounded me; on being wounded it must be thought that he has not
parted body from life; even if he had parted body, then one must
understand that he has not harmed my Kshama virtue. One who thinks
in this or bears the miseries befallen on him with forbearance (Kshama),
no troubles and misfortunes will visit him again. �Just as at the time of
repaying debts one has to return the money of the money lender; similarly
I had committed sins in my previous birth and now I am reaping their
fruits in the form of sorrow, which is proper. If I suffer it with a
spirit of forbearance, I shall become happy on getting rid of the debt of
my sins.� Thinking this no anger should be displayed.
gifted with forbearance (Kshama) never feels the prick of sorrow.
Abuse him, as much as you can, have ill will against him as much as you
like, even then he does not give up his Kshama virtue. In this
respect the following remark of a great scholar is noteworthy: �If you are
wronged, be bravely revenged. Slight it, and the work is begun; forgive it
and it is finished. He is below himself who is not above injury.�