Mahabharat Episode 65: Should I Forgive and Forget?
A participant of the Mahabharat program asks Sadhguru about forgiveness, referring to an incident in the epic where one by one, the Pandava brothers drink the poisonous water of a forest pond and die, until a Yaksha challenges Yudhishthira to a series of questions to spare his own life and revive his brothers. Stripping the subject of any moral or philosophical frills, Sadhguru defines forgiveness in essential terms.
Questioner: When the Yaksha challenges Yudhishthira to a series of questions to spare his own life and rescue his brothers, one of his answers states that forgiveness means to endure enmity. But how can you forgive someone who keeps doing you wrong?
Yaksha: And what is true forgiveness?
Yudhishthira: He who endures enmity truly forgives.Sadhguru: It all depends on what your idea of forgiving is. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It is very important that you never forget the sweetest and the bitterest moments in your life. You must always remember them. To forgive means you do not carry any bitterness in you, because it destroys your life. How to act with someone who commits a crime against you or someone else? You must act as it is required. You may be shocked that I am saying this. But when situations go out of control, anyway you will do it. Suppose someone walks into your house and starts slaughtering your children and your family, will you take whatever you can get your hands on and hit him or not?
Action depends on the situation. Do not decide ahead of time what you will do. That would mean you are not giving the other human being the necessary chance. Someone may do one thing today, and we may handle it one way. Someone may do the same thing tomorrow, and we may handle it another way. Someone may do the same thing the day after, and we may handle it in a completely different way. It depends on the situation.
Forgiving means that you will not act out of resentment – you will act out of what is needed for the situation. It means you will do whatever is needed with no enmity in your heart – with no stake; nothing to gain, nothing to lose. Just doing what is required – that is the essence of Mahabharat; that is the way of Krishna. Forgiving does not mean that you will not do what is needed. That would mean you have forgotten what has happened to you. Forgetting means you have poor memory – that is not a virtue. You remember every bitter moment of your life, and still you do not carry bitterness in your heart – that is forgiving.
To be continued...
The articles of this series are based on talks by Sadhguru during the Mahabharat program at the Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, in February 2012. Guided by Sadhguru, participants went on a mystical exploration into the wisdom of this immortal saga, through music, dance, and spiritual processes.