the word kshamaa is derived from sanskrit verb ksham which means the ability to absorb and dissolve all assaults. the word kshamaa is also one of twenty-one names of earth in the vedas. it means for one to be as forgiving, as all-absorbing, as the earth that withstands and forgives all tampering and digging into.
why do we celebrate kshamavani?
kshamaparv inspires us to live with tolerance. it teaches us to find the reason behind our anger, realize the consequences that could happen from that anger and to soothe that anger with forgiveness. the significance of this festival is to forgive ourselves for the intentional and unintentional faults done by us and others and move on.
every person goes through some hard experiences and truths during their lifetime. sometimes the other person is at fault and still he/she says bad words to us, insults us. sometimes they say things that we could never expect coming out of that person; at that moment, it is very natural to get mad at that person, but at that time we shouldn’t take his words to heart and forgive that person. we should know that that person is human too and making mistakes is natural to us. forgiveness helps in 2 ways – one is to free the other person of guilt and other is developing a peaceful environment around and a place for you in that person’s heart.
to celebrate forgiveness as a festival is a symbol of the growth of spiritual purity. it is said – ‘a forgiver sleeps good and in peace; but an unforgiving person passes his night in mental tension and uneasiness.’
how do we celebrate kshamavani?
confessing his/her own errors and apologizing for these to other people irrespective of religion, he/she feels relieved of the burden hanging on his/her head. on this auspicious day, we should dedicate our heart and soul to ‘live and let live’ believing that all creatures in the world are equal. indeed, this annual function is not merely a traditional ritual, but also a first step on the path to attain liberation or salvation – the final goal of every man’s life.
we should not give mere vocal expression to this inherent virtue through outbursts on loudspeakers by organizing grand functions in support of forgiveness simply for public show. let forbearance become a practical aspect of your daily life bringing peace and harmony in human society. you will then realize that the good results which you cannot achieve by the use of brute force can be achieved by forgiveness.
what is forgiveness?
the rule of walking to the left on the road and stopping at the red signal denotes forbearance for one another. forgiveness is the other name of ahimsa as it shouts loud ‘live and let live’ and helps in pacifying anger and making us religious minded. forgiveness helps in letting go of pain and transforming oneself from a victim to a survivor.
lord mahavira said we should forgive our own soul first. it is the path of spiritual purification. mahavira said: “the one whom you hurt or kill is you. all souls are equal and similar and have the same nature and qualities”. anger begets more anger and forgiveness and love begets more forgiveness and love.
if people wouldn’t forgive, ‘the bigger fish swallows the smaller fish’ will hold true in the world. if the weaker and stronger beings coexist in human society, it is because of forgiveness alone. water is to drink, not to fill pitchers. its coolness is needed for the throat, not for the pond. likewise, the soothing drink of forgiveness is meant for the soul. it is not a trick meant for social manipulation and exploitation of injured feelings.
kshamaa veerasya bhooshanam – forgiveness is the adornment of brave.
to forgive is to forget the hurt that one has suffered and not to have any grudge against the person. it is a promise that you would never use their past sins against them. this requires courage, faith and humility. when god can forgive us for whatever we do, why can’t we humans forgive our fellow beings.
when one asks for forgiveness, one also has to have the attitude of not repeating the act for which one has asked for forgiveness. just asking for forgiveness isn’t enough, one needs to actually change. the first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget is the happiest.
one cannot start a new chapter until we keep re-reading the last one. we cannot change the past, but we can surely change the future by forgiving.