We need to forgive ourselves to give ourselves to Krishna
When we commit some serious mistakes, we may beat ourselves down with guilt, “Why did I do such a thing?”
Certainly, we need to take responsibility for our mistakes. Simultaneously, we need to forgive ourselves; otherwise, beating ourselves down can dishearten and disempower us so much that we may become dysfunctional.
Gita wisdom helps us to stop using the past as a stick to beat ourselves perpetually. How? By revealing the vision of an eternally loving God, Krishna. He always stays in our heart as our friend, and he guides our wanderings through material existence (Bhagavad-gita 18.61).
We are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution towards Krishna. We become prone to mistakes because of our disconnection from Krishna – indeed, disconnection from him is our greatest mistake. And an unforgiving attitude towards ourselves creates a negative self-obsession that perpetuates our disconnection from him.
Thankfully, whatever our past mistakes, Krishna is still ready to help us transcend the factors that disconnect us from him. We are finite souls who are presently controlled by the nature of our material bodies (18.59-60). And that nature can sometimes make us do wrong things. But above material nature reigns Krishna (18.61). And we can go beyond the travails of material nature towards eternal peace by surrendering to the Lord of material nature (18.62). But we need to surrender with our entire being, with all our emotions (sarva-bhavena) – that is, without letting our conditionings hold us back.
Such surrender is integral to bhakti-yoga, which is a time-honored process for offering ourselves to Krishna in a mood of devotion. If we beat ourselves down with relentless self-recrimination, aren’t we devaluing the very thing that we are meant to offer?
Therefore, we forgive ourselves so that we can give ourselves wholeheartedly to Krishna, thereby transcending our past.
Think it over:
- Why is an unforgiving attitude towards ourselves a mistake?
- How does relentless self-recrimination interfere with our devotional offering to Krishna?
- How does giving ourselves to Krishna help us transcend our past?
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