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Thread: Forgiveness. What's it?

  1. #1
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    Forgiveness. What's it?

    Dear HDF

    My question is after watching the On going Mahaa Bhaarat war in Surya Putra Karna.

    Sriman Naaraayan in many occasions either directly or subtlety conveys, punishment is a kind of help to the wrongdoers and to the society. I am told by Sri Vaishnava Gurus, What ever Sriman does is beneficial to us and not harmful.
    Not just VA, other schools too preach the same.

    If punishment is a help then what is forgiveness? Is punishment and forgiveness one and the same?
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste,

    Instead of answering your question, I will try to give you some philosophical background and let you make the final decision.

    According to our belief system, the Divine set the universe in motion with the law of Karma to provide balance to all activity. The second thing we accept is that we are not the doers but implementing the will of the Divine. He works through us.

    If a person does something wrong to me, should I seek revenge and punish him or forgive him. This has two angles. One that the law of Karma is dispensing a proportionate response to his wrongdoing. If you don't seek revenge and forgive him, I would think that the law of Karma would still punish him. This might take the form of the Divine assigning the task of a proportionate response to someone other than you; or the person may suffer internally through his feelings of shame and guilt; or the bad deeds may be allowed to accumulate until such time that the Divine chooses for the response to be administered. So, there are a number of scenarios in which a spiritually elevated person may forgive the wrongdoer, but the law of Karma will catch up with him sooner or later and the punishment will be meted out either physically or psychologically. How does that sound? Does it explain some of your dilemma? What are your thoughts on this topic? We can discuss and reach some conclusion!

    Pranam.

    PS, As far as punishment goes, our ego has a way of tricking us. Sometimes we may choose to forgive a wrongdoer but then proceed to ignore him. In this case we do punish the wrongdoer through ignoring him but get the superficial satisfaction of knowing that we did not respond to his provocation. So, ignoring someone becomes a form of punishment meted out silently and is no better than a direct altercation even though the person taking the high ground may think so to boost his ego.
    Last edited by Believer; 28 June 2016 at 11:39 PM.

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    Post Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste Believer ji

    This is one thing that constantly intrigues me.

    What is the right course of action when you are facing adversity. I read Raamaayan, Mahaa Bhaarat. Both epics convey every action results into equal and opposite reaction. Here the word opposite should not be seen as opposite in the true sense. In practise If I do good, there's no guarantee I will get good rewards. Depending on the beneficiary of the good deeds done by me, results will vary. Because of Kaikeyyi, Dashrath had to die even though he didn't killed poor old couples child intentionally. Will you say he shouldn't have honored his promise, in order to keep his words he ended up hurting 3 non related souls. Later he died. FOR what? To honor his words given to Kaikeyyi?
    Leave old stories. let's take our lives as an example. In a hypothetical sitiation If you be kind to a serial rapist, there's no guarantee that he 'll be polite with your dear ones. I know you aren't a woman, but for the purpose of discussion and to drive point to the home lets assume that you are a young pretty girl walking lonely in a wolves crowded area. What should you do if a mad wolf pounce. Assume you are over powered and the damage is done. Should you forgive and wait for the nature to take actions. Or you do something to fix the issue.
    What is nature. It's you me and that wolf. Ok. I 'll add Sriman Naaraayan into the list. Sriman Naaraayan didn't take weapon(s) but he guided people to restore justice.Likewise whether it is Raamaayan or Mahaa Bhaarat each and every situation portrayed tells that a wrong is a wrong. Procrastination only messes things.

    Whats my final conclusion. If some one has to be punished, not punishing is a SIN. If Dharma raja hadn't indulged in gambling Mahaa Bhaarat wouldn't have taken. But if all other Paandava brother s had declined to respect the words of Dharma Raaj, they would not suffered...
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    In practise If I do good, there's no guarantee I will get good rewards.
    I do hope you mean that there will be no instant rewards. Somewhere along the line, either in this lifetime or in one of the future ones, you will be rewarded. That is the basic law of Karma. If you don't accept that, then you have to re-read all your books.

    We all react at different levels as our spiritual levels are different. If I were the girl in your scenario, I will walk through that neighborhood with a loaded gun and would be quite willing to use it too if I was driven to that. Someone with more common sense would avoid walking through such a neighborhood. Spiritually elevated people would dress and walk differently from the glamorous people and not draw attention. Besides such people would be spending most of their free time in the service of Bhagwanji and would likely not get into bad situations.

    In common everyday situations that we householders run into, we react to different provocations at different levels. That again is due to our egos. A spiritually evolved person would not be perturbed by petty insults or backbiting or rude behavior offered. being relatively devoid of ego he would not feel hurt and just go about his merry way. But a shallow person like me would take offense to every little thing and end up picking verbal fights a hundred times a day with his coworkers, with his family members and with himself.

    Regarding administering justice in a civil society; we do tend to live by laws and the law enforcement authorities do administer punishment for every crime to keep things under control. Should we at personal level also punish everyone doing something bad to us? To me, the mundane situations do not require any reaction, the violent ones are dealt by the law enforcement and some are handled by ourselves. As I said the basic law of Karma states that there will be a punishment coming for every base activity. The question becomes who will enforce that punishment. Would that be me carrying a loaded gun to protect myself and to offer a proper response to criminals; do I leave that to the law enforcement and do I have to react to every verbal insult/provocation/bullying? To me every forgiveness is temporary. The forgiver buys some peace of mind and spiritual credits for his action; but the creator will definitely have the wrongdoer punished by someone at the appropriate time. Not doing so violates the very foundation of our faith. More later if the discussion continues.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste Believer ji
    Does the law of land look into past karma(accumulated across different different births) of the individual before delivering justice?Not all are blessed with loaded gun yet or have the access to secure environment. They are forced cross dangerous environment packed with wolves and monsters. Life demands it. Guys who walked into Hotel Taj on that fateful day or the young Delhi girl who boarded the bus on that night never knew their karma. Law of land believe that they were innocents. Going by your aarguments I am forced to believe, it was the result of their karma. If so Afzal Guru or Kazab or that juvenile kid should be presented with either Awards or we should replace Sriman Naaraayan with their photos. Didn't they sacrifice their lives in order to deliver justice to 180+ families or a send of early morning wrapper less gift to that Delhi parents.

    The M.B and Raamaayan speaks about undertaking right actions at the right time. Dashrath was empowered, Yudishtar was empowered. Even Duryodhan was empowered. If we think we aren't empowered to choose the right action then our understanding is flawed one. There's is nothing called action less period to buy it. Do the right thing every time and always.

    My view based on what i read, understood and implemented is that Forgiveness is a SIN that disturbs the equilibrium. Cane your misbehaving child or else you 'll end up creating monster.

    And that's a bigger and unpardanable SIN. The misbehaving child could be yourself or your environment based on the context.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste

    I didn't mean by instant reward. When I wait for 20+ years to secure a degree, I understand there won't be instant results.Teaching poor kid is good but if you knowingly offer knowledge and spaces to a Monster its bad. Bigger question is how to foresee. That's where parenting comes into play. I can go on for ever solving the puzzle. But the bottom line is Right actions at right time. Not postponement.

    One can twist my statement to offer a self contradicting view.

    I rest my case.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste,

    If I understand correctly, you are saying that the scriptures show us that there should be swift and proportional punishment for every transgression. Add to that the general philosophy of forgiveness, and it all becomes confusing.

    Here is my take on the subject:

    If Dharma is being flouted, as in Mahabharat, then we have to rise and oppose it with all our might.

    If things are happening at a personal level, then there is room for forgiveness or no response. You might say something innocent which is taken as an offense by me. Either I can let it go or decide to teach you a lesson. So, I sit there like a coiled snake waiting for an opportunity to get back at you. As soon opportunity arises, I heap insults at you or even get physical. That type of behavior on my part does not seem right.

    If someone tries to get physical with me, my instant reaction would be to fight back. It appears that I have to protect myself by either fighting back or leaving the scene if possible to let things cool down. I don't have a definitive answer to what is the best option in a situation when you get physically assaulted. It is not a Dharmic transgression, rather a personal attack. Maybe somebody wiser can provide a solution in untwisted, simple English.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste,

    I think Believer has already tried to convey the right answer to the question. My take on this is this :

    a) Forgiveness is at personal level for personal damages. If someone attacks me, I am within my legal rights to start a counter-attack on him in my defense and it is within Dharma to do that i.e. in that action I don't accrue any sin if my counter-attack is just to ensure my safeguards. However, I have another option to forgive him and suffer the pains afflicted on me without attacking him. This too is within my legal and Dharmic rights but here I accrue merits of choosing forgiveness over my right of counter-attack.
    b) However, if my chosen action of forgiveness or counter-attack affects larger section of people, say my family and I am supposed to save them from unjustice then the scenario changes. If someone attacks my wife / daughter and I chant the mantra of forgiveness and see them suffering at the hands of the miscreant then I am a coward and am acting against my Dharma. I have to save them either by persuading them to behave, taking the help of law / society or with a counter-attack if there is no other option to save them. I cannot take the shelter of Ahimsaa to hide my cowardice. That is not permissible.

    Take the case of Arjuna. His family and his people depended upon him to save them against the misdeeds of the Kauravas. He reasoned with Lord Krishna that this bloodshed was no good and therefore therefore he won't fight against his own relatives and Gurus. That was his mistake because being a Kshatriya (having the responsibility of saving others from misdeeds of miscreants), it was his dharma to save people dependent upon him at any cost. Arjuna doesn't accrue sins but merits even though in the battle he kills his elders, his own relatives and even his teacher. Why ?

    "Because he never wanted a war. It was forced upon him. He didn't kill because he wanted to kill anyone, he killed anyone who came in the way of saving his people from Kauravas. It didn't matter who the person was."

    ****************
    The laws of Karma work for every person individually and for society as an entity. If I do anything wrong to you, I have already accrued bad karma that I must suffer. If you attack me in your self defense, no sins accrue to you but if you forgive me, I still get the results of my bad Karmas and you get the merits of your good karms i.e. act of forgiveness. Whether you decide to forgive or you decide to attack me in self-defense decides your karma and not mine. If I do anything wrong, I am already in soup of bad-karmas. You may not punish me but I will be punished anyway and that is for sure.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste Believer ji and Devotee ji

    I will read the replies carefully and then post my reply.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Forgiveness. What's it?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    ....he (Arjun) killed anyone who came in the way of saving his people from Kauravas.....
    I hate to digress, but a clarification of the above statement is in order.

    When Kauravas refused to give the kingdom back to the Pandavas, in order to avoid a war, Pandavas countered that Duryodhan give them just five villages to rule so that each brother will have a place to live. They decided to fight only because Duryodhan refused to give them even a square inch of the territory. Even then Arjun got cold feet at the battleground and had to be exhorted by Shri Krishan Himself through the narration of Bhagwad Gita before Arjun finally decided to fight. This seems like Pandavas were less concerned about their Dharma and the welfare of *their* people (in the whole kingdom) and more with their personal needs. They were perfectly willing to accept an unjust solution to avoid a physical skirmish. This does not sound good but that is what the historical records state. Pandavas must have had some other compulsions besides the desire to not spill blood that initially made them present unjust proposals. Any comments?

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 30 June 2016 at 03:16 PM.

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