31 March 2014


There are two dimensions of forgiveness :

1.Giving forgiveness and
2. Seeking forgiveness.

The question is what is forgiveness ? and what is its place in different religions ?

Forgiveness is associated with spiritual and emotional healing. It is essential to spirituality and prerequisite to salvation. Importance of forgiveness has been emphasized  in all the world religions. In other words it is an essential aspect of all the world religions.

“ Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other. ( Ephesians 4:2) is an essential aspect of Christianity.

Islam also teaches that God is Al-Ghaffur "The All-Forgiving", and is the original source of all forgiveness. Forgiveness can come either directly from Allah, or from one's fellow man who received the wrong. In the case of divine forgiveness, the asking for divine forgiveness via repentance is important. In the case of human forgiveness, it is important to both forgive, and to be forgiven. Forgiveness often requires the repentance of those being forgiven depending on the type of wrong committed by the wrong doer.

According to Hinduism individual is responsible for one’s own life and the pain in others. Performing Prayaschit for one’s wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness is very much a part of the practice of Hinduism. Forgiveness is one of the characteristics of one born for a divine state ((Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, verse 3).

In Jainism, forgiveness is one of the main virtues that need to be cultivated by the Jains.  Kṣamāpanā or supreme forgiveness forms part of one of the ten characteristics of dharma. In their daily prayers and samayika, Jains recite Iryavahi sutra seeking forgiveness from all creatures while involved in routine activities.

In Buddhism, forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being.[18] Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our mind karma. Instead, Buddhism encourages the cultivation of thoughts that leave a wholesome effect. "In contemplating the law of karma, we realize that it is not a matter of seeking revenge but of practicing mettā and forgiveness, for the victimizer is, truly, the most unfortunate of all”.

Practice forgiveness

Mere reading about forgiveness one cannot change oneself. You will have to practice accordingly. When you are forgiving someone for his/her wrong doing then you are empathizing or identifying yourself with the person.

A kind hearted person can only forgive others. Kindness, compassion, mercy, sympathy all are the expression of forgiveness.

Forgiveness works as glue that binds people together and exonerates
 Personal differences. Whenever you want to repair your broken relationships with your relatives, family members, friends and colleagues, who have offended you at some point of time, employ the strategy of forgiveness.

It helps in seeking of happiness

If you want to be happy practice forgiveness. Both seeking and giving of forgiveness will make you happy. It is essential for the person who wants to live in harmony.

In the present socio-economic situation everybody is running after money, engaged in competitiveness and selfish interests.  In competitive situation person is busy in winning over others or his group. Competition causes the do and dies feeling or attitude- or winner or loser mind set.
This is the main reason of mental disturbance, depression and unhappiness.


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