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What Forgiveness Is And Isn't

A Lama Marut's Teaching Snippet

Snippet's Duration: 6 Minutes

To forgive is to let go of grudges and bitterness of an incident or a person. To forgive is to excuse for a fault or an offense. To forgive is to renounce anger or resentment against.

Forgiveness is having the power to look at the problem differently and change your mind.

1. Forgiveness isn't Forgetting.

Thomas Szasz said the Stupid - neither forgive nor forgets; the Naive - forgive and forgets; the Wise - forgive but do not forget.

You should not forget after you forgive someone. You should just accept what they did and learn from it.

2. Forgiving isn't about whether or not that person deserve Forgiving or Not.

This is most what keeping us from actually doing the forgiving. Lama Marut gave the example of "The Fantasy Of Forgiveness".

Forgiveness is Preemptive (initiated by oneself) and Unilateral (performed by only one party of several).

You are not forgiving them (the other party) for their sake. You are forgiving them for your sake, as you want to live a happy life. Therefore you cannot live a happy life unless you have forgiven them.

3. Forgiven isn't an Act of Weakness.

If you think it is an act of weakness, then it should be so hard to do it (the act of forgiving).

Gandhi said "The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong". It takes strength to forgive. Also do not think the forgiving is the act of accepting defeat. Do not think it they are right and I am wrong. It forgiving isn't about losing or winning.

4. Forgiving isn't the thing that you do once in a while.

The act of forgiving should be on-going. Forgiveness is a skill. Like any kind of skill, you have to practise it. It is like going to the "Forgiveness Gym". You practise forgiveness all day long.

Is it possible to be really happy without forgiving?


Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920, Budapest, Hungary) is a psychiatrist and academic. He is the Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. A pioneer of satyagraha, or resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Bodhicitta is the intention to achieve Buddhahood as fast as possible, so that one may benefit sentient beings. Bodhicitta also means the aim to bring happiness to all sentient beings and to relieve them of suffering.

Updated On: 18.09.01