Question: What should one's attitude be to bad things that one did before? What is your view regarding guilt?

Sri Chinmoy: You should feel that the past is buried in oblivion. If you cherish the idea of guilt when you have done something wrong, you are being sincere, but this act of mere sincerity, does not help. Yes, you have done something wrong, but by thinking of your mistake and having a guilty consciousness, you do not get light or wisdom. Suppose you have done something that is not right. So from now on, you will try to do the right thing, the divine thing. This minute you have used for a wrong purpose. Then use the following minute for a divine purpose. If you do this without thinking of the previous minute when you did something wrong, then what happens? Your positive strength, this will-power you have used to do the right thing, will have all its power. But if you think of the past minute with a sense of guilt while you are doing the right thing now, then half your power is again lost in darkness and only half can be utilised for the right action.

If you cherish or brood over your misdeeds, then you are strengthening your guilt unconsciously. You should feel, “If I have done something wrong, I am ready to face it. If I have done something wrong, then I have the capacity to do the thing right.” By focusing all attention on the right thing, you are adding to your positive strength.

The sense of guilt, the constant feeling of self-reproach is, unfortunately, all-pervading in the Western world. If my source is God, the absolute infinite Light, then some day I must go back to my Source. During my stay on earth, I got unfortunately some unhealthy, unaspiring and destructive experiences. Now I have to get rid of these unfortunate experiences in my life. And for that I have to concentrate only on the right things, the divine things which will fulfil me, and not on the things that have stood in my way.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Beyond Within — A collection of writings 1964-1974, Agni Press, 1975
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