Radhanath Swami on ForgivenessForgiveness is absolutely crucial, if there is to be any peace of mind or harmony in this world. If we cannot forgive then there is no possibility of any relationships surviving at any level.

Even health research has proved how maintaining the qualities of resentment, hatred and vengefulness can create deterioration in every aspect of our life. If we were to pick a burning, hot ember of coal in our hands and hold on it day after day, week after week, year after year with the intention of throwing it at our object of our abuse, then who would suffer? By holding on to that burning fire, in fact, we are torturing ourselves. If we keep that burning coal in our heart, it will burn to ashes all our virtues, spiritual qualities and will make us simply miserable. If we withhold the free choice to forgive someone, then we simply remain a victim of whoever has hurt us or abused us. As we give the gift of forgiveness, we’re healed.

According to the great saints of all traditions, love can be defined as the capacity to endlessly forgive; Forgiveness actually means to be well-wishers of our persecutors, and think in terms of their welfare.

One great thinker has said that if we do not forgive we are breaking the bridge, which we must cross in order to be forgiven for all of the improper things that we have done.

In the new treatment of the Christian scripture, Lord Jesus Christ in teaching his devotees how to pry taught, “My Lord please forgive me as I have forgiven others who have trespassed me. “When he was on the crucifix beaten, tortured and blasphemed, just before he entered into a state of Samadhi, his last prayer was- “My dear Father, please forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is the spiritual principal one should ideally follow.

It is said that forgiveness is the fragrance that a sweet smelling flower like a rose or a violet leaves on the heel that has just crushed it.

However opponents of this ideology will state how easy it is to talk about forgiveness theoretically, but can one be forgiving when our mind and hearts are turmoil over various apparent injustices to ourselves. It is important that we understand, on a philosophical level, the phenomena that is taking place.

The Bhagavad Gita explains that there are eight principal categories of elements within this material nature from the gross elements to the subtle elements- earth, water, fire, air and ether, which compose the gross body. The subtle body, which cannot be perceived in anyway by the senses but still exists, comprises of the mind, the intelligence and ahankara- the false ego. Then there is the higher nature- the jivatma- the soul, which is the source of life, the source of consciousness that animates and witnesses through this body. We are that eternal soul and we cannot be burnt by that fire, cannot be withered by the wind, cannot be drowned by water, cannot be disturbed by words, and cannot into pieces by any weapons. It is simply an illusion and an untruth that makes us take seriously the ‘phenomenal’ events that come upon our mind, body and ego. These in reality have nothing to do with us. But as conditioned souls, we are habituated to enjoy through this body and therefore any infliction that interferes with enjoyment of the body, mind and ego causes us terrible pain.

In the beginning, we may forgive on a superficial platform but actual forgiveness comes from the heart and that may take time. The Lord understands our intentions and purpose even if we don’t have the power or ability to forgive with ease. We may be too hurt to forgive but we know that by forgiving we will be relieved of the poison of this hatred or resentment or guilt. We will be forgiven if we forgive. So we will try not to inflict our ill will upon that person but we pray to be relieved of this disease, and try to cleanse our hearts through prayer and chanting God’s names.

– Radhanath Swami

81 Responses to “Forgiveness”

  1. July 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Life is difficult, such teachings of Radhanath Swami always help us to see life in proper perspective and live optimally. I can’t imagine living a sane life without these teachings.

  2. July 18, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Thank you Maharaj…your words flow from the heart!

  3. July 18, 2010 at 11:22 am
    Y.Raja Shekar

    Forgivieness is the most wonderful Godly quality which if we can practice, our path to spirituality will be sucessful. Great souls exemplify this time and again.

  4. July 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    deepti chhabria

    a soul nourishing article. thank you very much!

  5. July 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm
    suresh kanakraj

    nicely quoted, it is very true that if one practices the art of forgiving everybody then there will be no need of any tranquilizer to have a peaceful sleep, it takes a real test and tolerance to follow, hope one day i could reach near to it,

  6. July 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you swami ji for showing the positive side of forgiveness.

  7. July 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you maharaj for teaching us one of the most important principle in life “forgiveness”

  8. July 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Awesome, How can a mundane person like me understand the ecstacy in forgiving. Radhanath Swami is a realized soul.

  9. July 20, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Forgiving others is actually a service we are doing unto ourselves.

  10. July 21, 2010 at 8:45 am
    Gaurav Bhardwaj

    One who has genuine humility can forgive. Like Radhanath Swami.

  11. July 21, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Dashrath Wasmatkar

    I remember one quote of Radhanath Swami that I like very much “Forgiveness is a bridge that we must cross in order to be forgiven”.

  12. July 22, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Hariiii Bol

  13. July 22, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Radhe shyam

  14. July 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    too good……

  15. July 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Only a Great can Forgive ! Following in footsteps of Jesus Christ & Srila Prabhupada ; Radhanath Swami is also such a Loving,Kind & Forgiving Saint !

  16. July 23, 2010 at 5:09 am

    forgiveness is such an essential quality in our spiritual life. it needs a lot of tolerance.

  17. July 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    How true! The world needs this!

  18. July 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Forgiveness is the best gift we can give ourselves!

  19. July 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    forgiveness is the first step towards developing love

  20. July 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Radhanath Swami gives a nice example: When we hold anger and grudges against others, or seek revenge for the hurt we have been caused, it is like holding burning hot coals. We feel like throwing it at the person who has hurt us, through our thoughts, words or actions. But whilst holding those coals, who gets burnt first?

    We actually hurt ourselves and others when we cannot forgive. No one is happy in such a situation. So forgiveness is actually something that benefits you and your well being.

    There is no loss in forgiveness; it is a healthy way to deal with conflict and the only permanent solution that allows relationships to progress. Without forgiveness relationships are full of fear and lack of trust. They therefore cannot be deep and meaningful relationships.

  21. July 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm
    Yogita Jagannathan

    Yes too difficult to implement but yet crucial for spiritual advancement. Radhanath Swami’s quotes on such topics are really thought provoking and heart transforming.

  22. July 26, 2010 at 1:43 am
    meera singh

    thanks radhanath swami for wonderful teaching

  23. July 27, 2010 at 1:11 am

    very good teaching by Radhanath Swami

  24. July 27, 2010 at 7:50 am

    thank very much.radhe radhe.

  25. July 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you Maharaj for the wonderful teachings and for always inspiring us in our Krsna Consciousness.

    Hari Bolll…

  26. July 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm
    Raj Narang

    I Very much appreciate teachings of Maharaj, that may be difficult to follow, but the only thing is that the deep desire to follow should be developed into our heart which will surely give us the determination to follow.
    Thank you Maharaj for everything that you have given us .

    Hare Krsna….

  27. July 29, 2010 at 12:03 am

    This is so true,finding it very difficult to practice.I seek blessings of all the vaishnavas that my extremely rigid mind and ego can seriously comprehend the beautiful message of Maharaj!

  28. July 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks a lot !!!

  29. July 30, 2010 at 4:41 am
    rajesh karia

    forgiveness is next to godliness, thanks and regards rajesh karia

  30. July 30, 2010 at 7:18 am
    Venkata Buddhiraju

    In this article Radhanath Swami very beautifully explains how a person holding grudge against someone and not willing to forgive him actually suffers more pain and frustration.

  31. August 1, 2010 at 2:10 am
    Vinay Malani

    Forgiving definitely becomes much more easier after having read Radhanath Swami’s teachings on the same. To do so on a consistent basis will be the real challenge. But if we keep hearing from Radhanath Swami, we can overcome this challenge.

  32. August 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm
    Manish Advani

    Radhanath Swami is amazing. He makes us realize if we donot forgive then we won;t be forgiven cause even we have shortcomings and thats the reason of we being in the material world.

  33. August 2, 2010 at 2:21 am
    Aekta Brahmbhatt

    Radhanath Swami teaches the most crucial quality, forgiveness. Its so important for spiritual growth.

  34. August 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj has taught each teacing by his example. Thank you Maharaj!

  35. August 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm
    amrita vilasini


  36. August 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Each and every word that comes out of guru maharaj’s mouth is so powerful.
    How nicely He described what Love is!! – capacity to endlessly forgive.
    It is hard to forgive those who really hurt us, but Guru and Krishna would definitely help if we atleast try from our heart.
    Thank you maharaj for this wonderful definition.

  37. August 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    Rajesh Lad

    Hope i am able to forgive and be forgiven.

  38. August 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm
    Manish Raikundalia

    One of the virtues which I wish I can carry with me at all times. Thank you Maharaj.

  39. August 5, 2010 at 5:07 am
    priya aiyar

    To err is human,to forgive is divine. I agree with Maharaj that when we don’t forgive we are breaking the bridge we ourselves have to cross.We lose our chance o being forgiven. Thankyou Maharaj for teaching us this ‘Vaishnava etiquette’.

  40. August 6, 2010 at 11:59 am
    bhakti karia

    very inspiring article which gives us the right perspective to various issues in our day to day lives, regards, bhakti

  41. August 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    rajesh karia

    nice article, thanks, rajesh

  42. August 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    illuminating article …

  43. August 7, 2010 at 2:55 am
    Shikhar Maheshwari

    Radhanath Swami is revealing the key to successful relationships here. In this world where peole are conditioned by there shortcomings, mistakes are bound to happen and misunderstanding are always going to exist. To overlook those shortcomings and mistakes is the attitude we need to develop towards fellow living beings in order develop vision to see the ALL PERFECT Supreme GOD.

  44. August 7, 2010 at 7:04 am

    So true Maharaj.

  45. August 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    very heart touching teachings by Radhanath Swami, really Guru is required at every stage in our life and it is impossible to understand this kind of subjects without the guidance of a teacher. Thank you Radhanath Swami

  46. August 26, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Very inspiring article.I pray one day I can truly imbibe this quality of forgiveness.

  47. September 15, 2010 at 4:54 am

    thank u v inspiring

  48. November 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

    really amazing and inspiring

  49. November 9, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Thank U Maharaj

  50. November 29, 2010 at 7:17 am
    Neha Karvir

    Forgiving is so very difficult. Sometimes due to hurt caused by others we never realise that we are again hurting our ownselves by not forgiving the other person. Its always better to forgive than holding a grudge…Thank u Maharaj. U make our lives simpler by your quotes….

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Radhanath Swami Quotes...

"It takes hard work to make something wonderful"

"Not a moment in human life passes that you are not accounted for"

"Compassion brings fulfillment to the heart. Selfish desires simply agitate the heart."