Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Three More

 Hari OM

Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!

We have begun to look at what can counter the negatives in our personality. First we saw determination; it comes first because, without the determination to change, we will remain exactly where we are.

One of the great liberators of our personality is FORGIVENESS. ( क्षाम/kshaama). To pardon an apparent offence or debt without calling for any punishment is forgiveness. In a forgiving mind, little harm arises, hatred and disgust are defused. The forgiving personality has no bitterness but is merciful and compassionate.

Real forgiveness is extremely difficult.  Many, out of politeness, shrug their shoulders and mutter "it's okay" - then go away and fester in the juices of their hurt and self-pity. This is because the little ego is jumping around and stamping its feet! Equally as many will not even make this false attempt. To forgive, we have first to see what it is that we think caused us pain. Have we taken the event out of context? Have we misread something? Is it that we have let a little thing go in the beginning and now it has become a big thing? 

At all times we need to consider, too, that whilst we may be melting away in some minor fury, the person or persons to whom our ire is directed may not at all have any concern! Whether or not there was any genuine offence, we have to make the decision to not let it cause us any more pain.  To do this we need to engage in honest forgiveness.

There must be a truthful pardon of whatever it is we felt hurt by. Imagine the offence to be like a promisory note which you no longer wish to call in; instead, tear it in two and burn it.  Make it so that you have no idea of 'being owed'. The practice of forgiveness means the letting go of any sense of grudge as well as a determination not to take on any further complaint. To forgive at this level strengthens and ennobles you; it saves your emotional energy, reduces the cost of hatred and eliminates the waste of the spirit. Resentment no longer blisters the heart or displeasures the mind.

If there is a behaviour or language which is persisting and causing discomfort, this needs to be addressed. One who is in a state of forgiving is better able to say "Halt! This is no longer acceptable, it is causing pain. The past errors are forgiven, but please refrain from doing this gain." This is the strength which comes from balancing our personality.

Esteem enables the setting of boundaries, informs better choices. Forgiveness is a powerful weapon in your arsenal! The other may distrust it due to so many false forgiving in the past.  Do not carry that.  Ensure your heart is clear of grudge and no longer is your mind twisted with thoughts of why or how.

Conversely, it is imperative that we seek forgiveness when we become aware of any offense we may have caused, any infringement of law or damage to property or person. We may not know, of course. When we do, we must certainly ensure that it is known that we are sorry and will endeavour to avoid such behaviour again.  The greatest forgiveness of all, however, is the forgiveness of ourselves. Somehow, somewhere, we get a voice in our head that we are guilty of this or that, or that we are unclean in some way…. All manner of nonsense gets written into our 'scripts'!  To forgive yourself is also to reach out for the hand of The Lord and confess the worry. The forgiveness flows down and we can begin to destroy these inner barbs.

Indeed, forgiveness is a powerful thing..

Already with determination and forgiveness we have seen that several of the negatives have been redressed. The positive is always the stronger path, but it can be the more difficult as it requires an inner courage which we so often lack

Thus we must cultivate PATIENCE. Not just with others, but ourselves also. Each day as we seek to bring in positive changes, we are likely to be challenged by Maya in all her mischievousness. It is an uncanny fact that when we seek to follow a new path, the old path will manage to throw bricks over and attempt to turn us back! This is where we need to exercise the technique of titiksha; FORBEARANCE. This is the ability to contain our temper and allow clemency for those things and people who continue to block us. It is endurance for the long haul of life; it is tolerance of others' errors and ignorance; it does not seek retaliation and harbours no resentment.

Titiksha holds mercy, sympathy, compassion, patience, forgiveness and strength of will.  It is stoicism; self-restraint and the ability to be untouched by nonsense talks, insults and other such vexations.

Titiksha is supported by the other parts of the shamaadhi-shatka-sampatti.  Lord Jesus and Lord Buddha were the very embodiments of titiksha. Follow their example! Develop your titiksha, strengthen your patience and reap the rewards.

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Hari OM
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