Part II

SCA 618-623. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Germany in February 1990.

Question: What is the connection between compassion and forgiveness?

Sri Chinmoy: Compassion and forgiveness are two different things. Let us say a mischievous little boy strikes you unnecessarily hard. You can strike him much harder, but you do not. Why? Because you have forgiven him. Then you see another little boy, all alone. He is unable to cross the street by himself because he is afraid. At that time you go and help him. You wait for the light and you take him across the street. This is your compassion. So this is how you can separate compassion from forgiveness. Somebody needs your help, and you have the strength, you have the capacity, to be of service to him. At that time you are showing your compassion. Somebody else is unable to conquer their wrong forces. There you are offering your forgiveness. These two divine qualities are of supreme necessity every day in our life. The Supreme has Compassion and Forgiveness in infinite measure. With His Compassion-Eye He follows us everywhere. Again with His Forgiveness-Heart, He forgives all our wrong thoughts and actions.

Something more I wish to add. We not only have to forgive others, but we also have to forgive ourselves. If we do not forgive ourselves all the time, we shall be displeased with ourselves. We have to forgive ourselves with the proper understanding that we shall not make the same mistake again; we shall go forward. Let us say that a few months ago I did something really wrong. Now I shall pray to God for forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. God has already forgiven me because of my sincere prayers, but I am not forgiving myself because I have no idea that God has forgiven me. So I am the culprit. God has already forgiven me, but I have not forgiven myself. If we do not forgive ourselves, then we are unable to go forward. We are only looking backward. We have to forgive our past; otherwise we cannot enter into the future.