Transcribed talks by Ratnaghosa
Talk three of six on patience or kshanti
Patience is the most common translation of Kshanti and indeed people often think of Kshanti as patience. However the word Kshanti has many meanings and the Perfection of Kshanti (Kshanti-paramita) has many different aspects to it. One very important aspect of Kshanti is giving up any desire for revenge or retaliation. To give up any desire for revenge or retaliation means to forgive.
According to the Oxford Universal Dictionary, forgiveness means, “to give up, cease to harbour resentment etc”.
If we give up resentment against someone, then we no longer have the desire to retaliate or seek revenge. In short, we have forgiven them. This is the forgiveness aspect of Kshanti. It is not easy to forgive, especially if someone has really caused us harm intentionally.
It is not even easy to forgive when we feel offended even though no offence was meant. To forgive is to let go of feeling hurt, to give up our grudges. To forgive means to extend goodwill to those that we feel are opposed to us, those who have offended us, those who have hurt us, those who don’t like us, even those we regard as enemies. Forgiveness is truly an act of self-transformation.
When we forgive we transform a negative mental state of resentment and anger into a positive mental state of goodwill.
Forgiveness is what we are aiming at in the fourth stage of the metta bhavana meditation. To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget. We cannot simply choose to forget. If someone has really acted unskilfully towards us, it may be imprudent to forget anyway.
For example, if someone has shown themselves to be incapable of keeping a confidence, then it would be best to remember that and not share confidences with them, until such time as you felt they had changed. However if you’ve just had a row or misunderstanding with someone, it is probably best to drop it, forget about the details of who said what and just get on with improving the relationship. Continue reading
We’ve all heard it a thousand times,“You need to forgive and forget.” But is this truly how we feel? When someone really hurts you, do you still want to forgive that person? Forgiving seems almost unnatural, right? Here are a few reasons why you should forgive someone even if part of you doesn’t want to.
1. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was OK, and it doesn’t mean that person should still be welcome in your life. Forgiveness just means that you’ve made peace with the pain, and you are ready to let it go.
2. Forgiveness is not something we do for others – it’s something we do for ourselves. Not forgiving someone is the equivalent of staying trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime. As I wrote earlier, you make the choice to either dwell on the pain cause by others or you want to forgive and move on.
3. Gandhi once said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” It takes a strong person to face pain head-on, forgive, and release it.
4. Forgiveness isn’t always about others – it’s also about forgiving yourself. Guilt never makes anyone feel better. So always remember to forgive yourself and move on.
5. To forgive someone is the highest, most beautiful form of love. You might just find that you get a sense of peace and happiness in return
If none of the above appeals to you, then you might want to take the advice of Oscar Wilde:
“Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much.”
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To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson