This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
Title - Sadhak and Sathi
Author - Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)
CHAPTER - 1
Forgiveness, a unique part of our religion, prevents emergence
or the rise of anger in one's self, inspite of the outside
forces that can get you angry. Forgiveness is a desirable
virtue of heroes. Real forgiveness makes a person ponder, "Even
though I have the capacity to fight with the opposing individual
or object, how can I discard this virtue of forgiveness and
resort to anger? Anger demolishes the very foundation of
forgiveness which is precisely my inborn nature, my true being."
Great saints, who uphold forgiveness with such true
philosophical thinking are real heroes in this universe.
THE GENERAL NATURE OF ANGER
Passion, Anger, and Greed are the three basic vices. They are
described in Indian culture as the gateways of hell. A Sadhaka,
therefore, who fears sin, should try to overcome these three
vices in the right spirit and sense. When a person is overcome
with anger, he forgets the difference between the good and the
bad and acts blindly without being discreet. The upsurge of
anger creates several physical reactions that develop in the
body of the angry person. His heart throbs at a higher rate,
his brows furrow, his face becomes flushed and he starts
perspiring. The person becomes belligerent, his hands and feet
tremble, and the angry person attacks the adversary with blows
of his fists or kicks. He starts to hit with anything, like a
stick, a dagger, a sword or a gun. If a man does not want to
surrender to such outside destructive forces (Tandava-nritya),
he should evaluate his anger in its very initial stage, and try
not to be dominated by it.
THE WAYS TO CONQUER ANGER
One has to pass through two stages of training to conquer anger:
1. Knowledge of the subtle nature of anger.
2. Experimenting with forgiveness in daily life.
1. KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBTLE NATURE OF ANGER
The pathway to get rid of anger cannot be traced properly
until we appropriately know what anger is. Anger is a
perverse state of the Soul. There are three causes for the
rise of this perversion:
a. The external object or person has done some wrong to us,
abused us or obstructed what we desired to achieve.
b. Rise of internal illusory Karma. Actually the soul is
perfectly pure by nature and it has the valuable
characteristic of forgiveness. However, it gets turbid or
confused when it is subjected to the rise of Karma
resulting in anger. Anger is the reverse of forgiveness.
c. The main reason for the rise of anger is the forgetfulness
of one's own nature, that is, of forgiveness. This means
the loss of faith and abandonment of the knowledge that "I
am of the nature of forgiveness." The result is an
outburst of anger on the part of the mind. Thus, the lack
of clear knowledge about the basic nature of our true self
is the main reason for the rise of anger.
2. EXPERIMENTING WITH FORGIVENESS IN DAILY LIFE:
One who has firmly resolved that this soul is of the nature
of forgiveness, has to remain awake and alert when anger
seems to overtake him. He should then ponder in his mind
this way, "This anger is not found in my original nature; it
is the result only of the rise of Karma or action done in the
past life. Why should I, then, give a place to this
extraneous emotion in my soul? This anger is unholy. It is
an enemy to my nature and it even leads to sorrow in this
Moreover, the Karma that will shape itself due to anger will
again arise and lead me to sorrow in future. I, must,
therefore, discard anger that causes loss to me in all
respects and at the same time I must get firmly established
in forgiveness, in equanimity of mind, and in the state of
the knowledge, because I have the ability to recognize anger
before it arises or immediately when it arises."
A great soul-force is created in one's self, by constantly
practicing in this way the awareness to separate the
perversion of anger from one's true self. With this
soul-force, one gets firmly established in Samadhi, a form of
unique forgiveness. Then the person is not tied by the
bondage of Karma, but experiences unique peace and
unparalleled peace of mind and heart. Be aware, O Great
Souls, that constant and patient experimental training,
through a state of awakening of the soul, is precisely the
right way to cultivate the virtue of forgiveness and to
Just as a man resolves to abstain from food at the time of a
fast, or takes another religious vow, similarly, one who
wants to root out anger, should take a vow of training
everyday, "I shall not subject myself to anger today." He
should also fix a small penance for each lapse so that
mistakes committed every day can be counted. If a person
trains himself for some time in this way consciously, his
nature will change. Such is the great power of this small
vow, and hence, its great utility to the Sadhaka.
OBSTACLES TO THE Sadhana OF FORGIVENESS
It is possible that a Sadhaka will come across certain obstacles
in the present age in which most people are averse to or dislike
religion. But a Sadhaka should know that such insults,
obstacles and the like, coming from these people averse to
religion, form a good opportunity for him to minimize his
From one view-point, it is proper for him to be thankful to
these obstacles for the same rather than get angry. When
various sorrows of mind and body or insults befall person, it is
proper for him to think thus, "My previous Karmas have come to
bear fruit. These men or animals who inflict sorrows upon me
are mere instruments. I must, therefore, keep up my forgiveness
and must not get angry with anyone."
Also, when somebody accuses a person as being low, ignorant or
pretentious, the person does not become that. Generally we
become what we think and feel. After knowing this doctrine of
truth, it is beneficial to all of us to keep up our nature of
forgiveness, even if we have to make great efforts to do so.
Enlightened meditation is quickly attained, in our path to
liberation of the soul by resorting to this virtue of
forgiveness. Evidently we experience inner bliss. An all-
round atmosphere of peace is created because internal mental
sorrows as well as external conflicts, quarrels and abuses exist
no longer. Thus, with the disappearance of anger and jealousy,
atmosphere of friendship and unity is created everywhere in the
society. As new bondages of Karma do not arise for the
individual Sadhaka, and as the former Karmas deplete and vanish,
the soul becomes increasingly purified and a great state of
May this religion of forgiveness that leads to the bliss of our
self and of others, reign ever victorious in our life.
GREATNESS AND GLORY OF FORGIVENESS:
1. Forgiveness is the sublime opening to liberation of the soul.
2. Where there is compassion, there is religion; where there is
greed, there is sin; where there is anger, there is death and
where there is forgiveness, there is the truth of the spirit.
3. The Sadhaka should give up anger, realizing that it is
unholy, contrary to the real nature of the Soul, and the
gateway to sorrow.
4. Uphold, forever, in your heart, forgiveness that leads to
peace in This Life and which is instrumental in bringing the
highest and the best state in the Life Hereafter'
5. Just as a lamp shines of itself and shows the path to others
by its light, similarly saintly souls in spite of numerous
calamities bring calmness to others.
6. Just as the earth tolerates digging, stomping and striking;
just as trees tolerate cutting, similarly only the
enlightened souls can tolerate insults and bad words. No
others have that capacity.
7. The tree of religion, that grows through right conduct and
right knowledge and is tended by self-study, austerities and
faith, will be consumed to ashes by the fire of anger. Let
us, therefore, keep anger away at a great distance.
8. Compassion, peace, equanimity, forgiveness, truth,
renunciation and non-attachment are found in the personality
of a person aspiring after liberation. He is ever alert.
9. When causes leading to sorrow arise, great Sadhakas again and
again resort to forgiveness, thinking like this, "This is the
occasion of a test of my life time Sadhana. Why should I not
be on the alert?" or, "Despite being an aspirant for
liberation, if I retort by harsh words, like ordinary worldly
people, I would be just one of them. What would, then, be
the significance of my claim of being one aspiring after
Pondering in this way, the tenacious "Sadhakas" are not shaken,
and steadfastly maintain forgiveness.
LIVING EXAMPLES OF FORGIVENESS
Shivaji was a great Hindu king of the state of Maharashtra,
India during the seventeenth century. He fought fiercefully
with the last Moslim Emperor, Aurangzeb for the freedom of
India. He was considered a great warrior, patriot, and
administrator in western India.
Swami Ramdas was the guide and preceptor of the king Shivaji.
It was with the training and inspiration of Swami Ramdas that
Shivaji attained to a great success in his life.
Swami Shri Ramdas is famous saint in the History of India both
as the preceptor of the king Shivaji and also as a great saint.
Once, during the summer, he was on his way to meet Shivaji with
his pupils. Some of his pupils entered a farm, broke off a few
stalks of sugar-cane and began to suck them. However, when the
watchman of the farm arrived, they quickly ran away. At that
time, Swami Ramdas was sitting nearby meditating upon God. On
seeing him, the watchman thought, "It seems that this monk is
behind it." Under this mistaken belief, the watchman beat him
severely and threw him out. Swami Ramdas, with his spirit of
equanimity, did not utter a single word.
Now, when Shivaji met Swami Ramdas, he saw many scars on his
body. Shivaji gathered the facts from the pupils. The watchman
was immediately arrested and brought in front of the king
Shivaji said, "Well Guruji, what punishment shall I give to this
Ramdas replied, "I myself shall punish him."
He announced his judgement in the following words, "From today,
the farm shall be awarded to this watchman. He shall be
exempted from all taxes during his life-time."
Shivaji, his courtiers, and the pupils of Ramdas, were all
stunned on hearing this judgement. They began to think. Look,
how compassionate are the hearts of great people! Swamiji
forgave fully this man's ill-deeds and also helped him in
King Ranjit Singh (1780 - 1839), better known as the Lion of the
state of Punjab, India, was well known for his kingmanship,
benevolence and military leadership.
Once, while he was walking on the outskirts of the city, a rock
hit him. The King was injured and his body-guards came running
to help him and look for the person who has thrown the stone.
After a shortwhile, the body-guards presented an old woman
before the king.
She submitted, "O King! My grandson was without food for the
last three days. As he had had no food, I threw a stone into
this mango tree, so as to get a ripe fruit to satisfy my
grandson's hunger. However, due to my misfortune, the stone
missed its aim and hit you, your honor! It was not at at all my
intention to hurt you."
King Ranjitsingh heard the old woman and said to his followers,
"Give a thousand Rupees to this woman, as well as food and
arrange to send her home in all honor!"
The soldiers and others were stunned and said, "O King, this
woman had the audacity to hit you with a stone. She should
therefore be severely punished."
The king said, "Well, brethren! If a tree which has no brain,
yields a fine fruit when hit with a stone, how can we, as
intelligent persons, punish this woman?"
This is the reason why this great, benevolent and forgiving
King attained a place amongst the noblest Kings of India.
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