12. Question: How can we remember to forgive the world for its defects and to forgive ourselves for our own defects?11

Sri Chinmoy: On rare occasions we see imperfections in ourselves, but we always see imperfections in others. Now, when we discover that we are imperfect or have done something wrong, what do we do? We forgive ourselves immediately, or we ignore the fact that we have done something wrong, or we decide to turn over a new leaf and never do it again. We do all these in order to get satisfaction.

If others do something wrong, if we don’t forgive them, if we harbour undivine thoughts against them or want to punish them, we will never find true satisfaction. In order to satisfy ourselves, our reality, we must forgive others, too. Forgiveness is illumination. We have to feel that by forgiving others we are illumining ourselves, our own enlarged, expanded Self.

If we do not forgive, what happens? We place a heavy load on our shoulders. If I have done something wrong and I don’t try to forgive myself or illumine myself, I will harbour the idea that I have made a mistake. And each time I think of my wrong action I will only add to my heavy load of guilt. Similarly, if others have done me an act of injustice, the more I think of this the heavier becomes my load of anger and resentment. Now, I have to run towards my goal. If I place something heavy on my shoulders, how am I going to run? I will see that others are all running very fast, while I can hardly walk.

It is always advisable to forgive others and to forgive oneself. Again, we have to know who is forgiving whom. I as an individual have no right to forgive others or even to forgive myself. It is the Divine within me that is inspiring me to raise my consciousness to Light, to higher Light, to highest Light. An act of forgiveness means a movement to a higher reality. And when we reach the highest Reality, we become one with the omnipresent Reality.

We are all integral parts of a living organism. If I have only two arms, I am incomplete; I need two legs, too. I need everything in order to be complete, perfect and whole. So I have to accept others as my very own. First I accept them and then I transform them. And whom am I transforming if not my own expanding, enlarged reality?

KK 12. Flame-Waves 4, p 43-44.

Sri Chinmoy, Khama karo, Agni Press, 1987