Thursday, May 30, 2013

Forgiveness is a Bodhisattva Quality

Lately I realise that in order to be a bodhisattva we need loads and loads of forgiveness. Yes, I need to be able to forgive sentient beings. When we see the atrocities committed and stupidity of sentient beings, it is very easy to give up on them and even getting angry with them. That's where the quality of forgiving comes in. Forgiving someone comes from true compassion. Despite the stupidity of many sentient beings, as well as their endless greed and anger, bodhisattvas must have a big heart to look over their actions and persevere to cross them over to the true path. In other words, you don't take too hard whatever wrong they did. You still give them a chance over and over again. This is what I mean by "forgiving them". It does not mean they don't have to suffer their bad karma after you have forgiven them. In Buddhism, it is not like that. If you are married to a spouse and have children, you will understand a little of this forgiveness I meant. And maybe even for umarried people, if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend or partner, you probably need to have lots of this forgiveness quality in you to make the relationship work. Otherwise it will just collapse over trivial matters.  
This comes from my own realisation of my own situation at home and at work. We just need to forgive people and move on. Not to say that we let them continue with whatever wrong they did, but rather for your own training as an apprentice bodhisattva to train in your paramitas (perfections) of patience, effort and perseverance. Forgiveness is a quality of wisdom, not of weakness. When I realise my own vulnerability to afflictive emotions, it is so much easier to forgive others. You can tolerate only if you can forgive others. When you forgive others, there is no more hate. You are no longer suppressing anger and wanting to seek revenge. You just let it go. You do your best and then let go even that. Many problem often ensues if we harbour anger and seeks revenge. I am sure you have read of deaths and unwanted incidences happening over trivial matters. Many people make mountains out of mole hills. A recent case is a son who came home drunk and quarrelled with his mother over the air-conditioning. Her mother too did not handle the situation well and beat his son. The son then pushed her and accidentally killed his mother. What a pity! There are many other examples whereby the persons want to seek justice over some trivial matters but end up making matters worse. Sometimes it is better to just forgive the person(s) and just let go. Control our tendency to go emotional. As the saying goes - to forgive is divine. Indeed, it is. So, forgive, forgive and forgive! This is what I have learned.

P/S: I just got to share this recent true story. A man was reportedly drunk and driving at around 12.30am. He was driving across a bridge when suddenly he thought that another car was trying to cut him. He drove on but stopped suddenly in the middle of the bridge. The other car also apparently stop. He got out of his car and walked towards the other car angrily. But suddenly a third car came from the opposite direction and hit him. He died and lots of blood split unto the bridge. It's such a sad incident. I need to share this beause I know many people get upset when others try to cut them, or we perceive others are trying to cut us. We will chase after the other car and try to over take them again. I have to write this to also remind myself not to do such stupid things. Sometimes we think we can just get our way by being fearless, but let me tell you this. Others are even more fearless than you ever will be. They may even have a gun and they don't hesitate to take it out and shoot you. Is it worth it then to die in an angry state of mind? You will be reborn as a demonic spirit. That man probably will be one, haunting the bridge. Amitabha! First of all, don't drink until drunk. Secondly, control our emotions and forgive. Whoever wants to cut, let them have the way. It's okay. Why go mad?

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