Question: How can we remember to forgive the world for its defects and to forgive ourselves for our own defects?1

Sri Chinmoy: When we see imperfection, whether it is in ourselves or in others, it is always advisable to forgive. If we do not forgive, it is like placing a heavy load on our shoulders. If I have done something wrong and I do not try to forgive or illumine myself, my mistake will only gain added importance in my life. Each time I think of it, 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 it, the heavier becomes my load of anger and resentment. If I place something heavy on my shoulders, how am I going to run towards my goal? I will see that others are all running very fast while I can hardly walk!

If we do not forgive others when they do something wrong, if we harbour undivine thoughts against them or want to punish them, we will never find satisfaction. Forgiveness is illumination. We have to feel that by forgiving others we are illumining our own expanded self and satisfying our own highest reality. On the physical plane, I know that I am incomplete unless I have all my arms and legs. I need everything in my body in order to be complete, perfect and whole. Similarly, I need everyone in the world in order for my larger self to be complete. Whom am I forgiving if not my own enlarged reality?

In forgiveness, 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 in me that is inspiring me to raise my consciousness to the higher 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.

  1. MUN 309. 9 August 1974.