Paryushan Parv, the festival of forgiveness is here.I do not know much about the background to this festival, what I do know is that a lot of my Jain friends seek forgiveness on the last day of this festival.
Forgiveness is probably the most difficult and yet the most beautiful of all the virtues. We all are burdened with a lot of grudges; grudges which we hold for years, grudges against people, society and sometimes even against self. Often, these harm us more than anyone else. And yet, they hold us captive. Sometimes we take a few hours to forgive and move on. But sometimes, an entire life passes by with us holding a grudge.
When someone does anything wrong to us, cheats us ; we often keep the rage burning within us and wish worse for the other person. We are stuck between emotions of love and hate. Forgiving someone makes us feel weak. We feel as if by forgiving the other person, we are accepting the other person was never wrong. The event may be as insignificant as our maid breaking our most cherished glass or as gruel as someone murdering an innocent in the name of honor; forgiveness is often the last feeling we naturally have for the other side. Be it at the workplace or at home, we often feel every right to get angry on the other person. Forgiveness never is the first thought..
And yet, forgiveness is the most beautiful virtue. Gautam Buddha states that forgiveness takes us a step close to inner peace. By letting go, we accept the present and are not stuck in the past. He who can forgive is stronger than most souls around. Not just forgiving others, but also seeking forgiveness wholeheartedly makes us free of guilt and helps get rid of the past injuries.
All this is easy to read, preach and write about; but practicing forgiveness is like meditating. It takes years of patience, determination and the right attitude to develop. I, for myself, have embarked on this journey and hope to complete it ; however unclear the path may be.