Once a sevadar who had had a dispute with another sevadar came to Sardar Bahadur Ji and demanded: “Maharaj Ji, I want justice.” Sardar Bahadur Ji smiled and said, “That commodity is not available here.” The sevadar insisted, “Hazur, I have already told you what happened and what is needed to set things right. Now I beg you to give me justice.”
Sardar Bahadur Ji repeated, “Brother, I have already told you, justice is not available here.” The man exclaimed, “Hazur, if justice is not to be found at your door, where else will I find it?” Sardar Bahadur Ji replied gently, “My good friend, in Hazur Maharaj Ji’s court nothing is available except mercy and grace. Justice is available in Kal’s court.”
We all have a formidable account of karmas that needs to be settled. We cannot change the fact that we will be judged and sentenced for each and every one of our actions, but what we can hope for is that the measure by which we are judged is a compassionate and kind one. Christ has said: “Judge not, that ye be judged.” And Maharaj Charan Singh explains this further by adding:
When we try to judge anybody, we also expose ourselves to judgment.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
It seems quite simple to understand – if we point out others’ mistakes, then our mistakes will be exposed too, whereas if we forgive others then we too will be forgiven.
Why is it then that we have such a hard time forgiving those who wrong us?
There are two things that we would do well to remember when we are faced with people who offend us or do us wrong.
The first thing is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt – we never know what people’s circumstances are and why they do what they do. If we try to see things from their perspective, things may not seem so wrong after all.
The second thing is to remember that we ourselves need a lot of forgiveness. A common idiom states that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. So before we decide to belittle anyone for their mistakes, let us try to take a good look at our own flaws.
In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, Maharaj Charan Singh says:
The Lord is all love, he is all grace. We do not know, nor can we comprehend what that grace and love is.
So if he loves and cares for us, and if we are sincere in our repentance, then why would he not be willing to forgive us?
The point is, that sincerity in our repentance needs to show in our actions. We cannot expect the Lord to forgive us for our transgressions if we are not willing to forgive and forget the wrongs that others have caused us. We cannot expect the Lord to be understanding and compassionate towards us if we do not display and feel some of that understanding and compassion within ourselves towards others. And most of all, we cannot expect the Lord to redeem us from this sphere of action and reaction unless we express that wish through our sincere efforts in meditation.
The Lord’s grace is not lacking; our efforts are lacking, our sincerity is lacking, our faith is lacking.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
If we were sincere, we would treat our every action as a new action and every reaction towards us as a settlement of an old action we have done, accepting responsibility for it.
Being sincere requires us to be willing to seek forgiveness from anyone who we may have unintentionally hurt and to forgive anyone who may have hurt us, even if it was intentional.
If we truly want to be forgiven for all that we have done, then we should never give up on our meditation no matter how dull or pointless it may seem. Through our own efforts in meditation, we will never be able to conquer the mind nor pay for our karmas, but these efforts put together form a genuine plea for forgiveness; an honest and sincere request to our Master to overlook our flaws and make us his own.
As Sardar Bahadur Ji said, “In the Master’s court there is only forgiveness.” We can rest assured that every honest effort we make, no matter how inept it may seem, will go a long way in earning us that final redemption from all our sins.
The Lord is within us. He wants to wash away our karma, to make us pure and fit to get into his presence. Our only course amidst sufferings of any kind is first to bear them patiently, with courage and fortitude; and secondly, to pray to the Lord for forgiveness. The Lord hears our prayers and showers concessions which we cannot see unless we go in.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems