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Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    Resentment is a low grade persistent anger harbored for a long period of time. It can be caused by egotistical behavior guided by “who is right” rather than humbly by” What is right”? It is a smoldering fire, which can get ignited any time with even a mild provocation. Whereas anger is a short lived normal feeling and makes the individual irrational. It becomes an unresolved anger, which one has over a negative event which occurred in one’s past life. It can only be resolved with forgiveness. Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. Kabir says where there is forgiveness, there is God Itself.

    ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥ਜਹਾ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਹ ਕਾਲੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਖਿਮਾ ਤਹ ਆਪਿ ॥ Kabira Jahaa Gi-aan Tah Dharam Hai Jahaa Jhooth Tah Paap, Jaha Lobh Teh Kaal Hai Jaha Khima Teh Aap.

    Kabir, where there is spiritual wisdom, there is righteousness. Where there is falsehood, there is sin. Where there is greed, there is death. Where there is forgiveness, there is God Itself. ------Sloke Bhagat Kabir # 155, AGGS, Page, 1372-15
    Resentment is a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will. Resentment is anger excited by a sense of personal injury. Guilt is anger directed at ourselves -- at what we did or did not do. Resentment is anger directed at others -- at what they did or did not do. It is, etymologically, that reaction of the mind which we instinctively feel when we think ourselves wronged. Pride and selfishness are likely to aggravate this feeling. Guru Arjan advises in Rag Bilawal;

    ਮਾਟੀ ਸਿਉ ਮਾਟੀ ਰਲੀ ਨਾਗਾ ਉਠਿ ਜਾਈ ॥ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੀਐ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਰੈ ਤੇ ਬੈਰ ਬਿਰੋਧੀ ॥ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਭਜਿ ਜਾਹਿਗੇ ਕਾਹੇ ਜਲਹੁ ਕਰੋਧੀ ॥

    Maatee Si-o Maatee Ralee Naagaa Outh Jaa-ee, Jaa Kai Kee-ai Saram Karai Tay Bair BiroDhee, Unt Kaal Bhaj Jaahigay Kaahay Jalahu KaroDhee.

    Your dust shall mix with dust; you shall arise and depart naked. Those, for whom you work, will become your spiteful enemies. In the end, they will run away from you; why do you burn for them in anger? -----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS. Page, 809-15
    Resentment is harboring animosity against a person or group of people who, one believes, may have mistreated him. It is a seething, aching emotional turmoil felt whenever a certain person or event is discussed. Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment. Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

    It occurs if forgiveness has not fully occurred due to an inability to let go and forget. It is the root of distrust and suspicion one has when dealing with people or events that brought him pain in the past.

    It ends up in an unresolved grief, which one experiences and finds difficult to accept a loss. This may result in being heart broken because a great effort and much energy was spent to achieve something that was eventually lost.

    It is the result of a feeling that one was unjustly victimized in a way with no resolution to the problem leading to a long-term suffering in silence when an open expression of hurt is unwanted and uninvited. Kabir ponder on the subject in Raag Bhairo;

    ਕਾਮੁ ਕਿਵਾਰੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਦਰਵਾਨੀ ਪਾਪੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਰਵਾਜਾ ॥ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨੁ ਮਹਾ ਬਡ ਦੁੰਦਰ ਤਹ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਵਾਸੀ ਰਾਜਾ ॥

    Kaam Kivaaree Dukh Sukh Darvaanee Paap Punn Darvaajaa, KroDh ParDhaan Mahaa Bad Dundar Tah Man Maavaasee Raajaa.

    Lust is the window, pain and pleasure are the gate-keepers; virtue and sin are the gates. Clamorous wrath is the commander and the mind intractable king.
    -----Kabir, Raag Bhario, AGGS, Page, 1161-15 & 16

    Etiology of resentments:

    1. It could be due to passively acceptance of a negative treatment from the others, without ever expressing negative feelings about it and agreeing to do something for the others yet feeling that one is being taken advantage and taken for granted.

    2. It could be due to trying to get others to see the point of view while they ignore or deny the truth or wisdom in what one has to say. It may come from seeing others succeed when they have not worked as hard as one has. One feels they don't deserve this measure of success.

    3. It could also be due to going unrecognized for one’s good work or competence while others are recognized due to favoritism. One may have worked hard and yet may have been thwarted from enjoying the bounty of his success by the others due to discrimination or prejudice against him.

    4. It can be caused by an impossible position in a relationship with someone where one is damned if he does and also damned if he doesn't do what the other person wants from him. One may be embarrassed by a person whose goal was to belittle him by constant rejection, disapproval, and abandonment.


    The power of resentment may far exceed any potency we may attribute to negative thinking. We may not be aware that:

    1. A life, which includes deep resentment, leads only to futility and unhappiness.
    2. The hours in which we allow futility and unhappiness in our lives are not worthwhile. Resentments waste our lives.
    3. Resentments shut us off from the sunlight of the Spirit, thereby preventing the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience.
    4. When shadowed from the sunlight of the Spirit, resentment creates a physical poison in our bodies, in addition to the mental and spiritual maladies it feeds.

    ਨਿਰਵੈਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਵੈਰੁ ਰਚਾਇਦਾ ਅਪਣੈ ਘਰਿ ਲੂਕੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਜਲੈ ਸਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇ ॥ Nirvairai Naal Vair Rachaa-idaa Apnai Ghar Lookee Laa-ay, Antar Krodh Ahankaar Hai Undin Jalai Sadaa Dukh Paaey.

    Whoever directs hatred against the Guru, who has no hatred at all, only sets his own home on fire. Anger and egotism are within him night and day; he burns, and suffers constant pain. -----Guru Amardas, Sloke Vaaran To Vadheek, AGGS, Page, 1415-9 & 10


    In trying to rid ourselves of resentments, we have to ask ourselves:
    1. Who do you hold a grudge against?
    2. What did they do that you found offensive?
    3. How did you contribute to their action?
    4. Why did you react with resentment?

    The first lesson is that resentments cannot be cleared up until one knows that one have them and why. The second lesson is that one makes him/her self vulnerable to the outside world to an extraordinary extent. The entire self-concept has been molded by the opinions and actions of the others and one’s old thinking as to what he/she ought to be and were.

    Next, it is necessary to be willing to let go of the resentment. Moreover, we must forgive the person we resent. Just accept right now that one is going to have to do it! There is no other course, because his/her life is now going to be on a different path -- of trusting and relying upon God.

    We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, one must resolutely look for his/her own mistakes and fears.
    Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?

    ਡਰਿ ਘਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਡਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਡਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਡਰਿ ਡਰੁ ਪਾਇ ॥

    Dar Ghar Ghar Dar Dar Dar Jaaey, So Dar Kayhaa Jit Dar Dar Paa-ay.

    Place the Fear of God within the home of your heart; with this Fear of God in your heart, all the other fears shall be frightened away. What sort of fear is that, which frightens other fears?

    ਡਰੀਐ ਜੇ ਡਰੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਹੋਰੁ ॥ ਡਰਿ ਡਰਿ ਡਰਣਾ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੋਰੁ ॥

    Darī▫ai je dar hovai hor. Dar dar darṇā man kā sor.

    Be afraid, if you have any fear, other than the Fear of God. Afraid of fear, and living in fear, the mind is held in tumult. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 151-7 & 9
    Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame?

    If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we should have faith that we will be forgiven. We should be grateful that we would have learned some lessons. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm the others, we are dwelling upon spiritual ignorance.

    The question of how to approach the man we hated will arise. It may be he had done us more harm than we have done him and, though we may have acquired a better attitude toward him, we are still not too keen about admitting our faults. Nevertheless, with a person we dislike, we take the bit in our teeth. It is harder to go to an enemy than to a friend, but we may find it much more beneficial to us. We go to him in a helpful and forgiving spirit, confessing our former ill feeling and expressing our regret. Under no condition do we criticize such a person or argue.

    When we retire at night, we should constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves, which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflections, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken? “God save me from being angry and resentful. Thy will be done.” We should avoid retaliation or argument.

    ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਉ ॥ਕਾਢਿ ਕੁਠਾਰੁ ਪਿਤ ਬਾਤ ਹੰਤਾ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥

    Har Kay Charan Kamal Man Dhi-aa-o, Kaadh Kuthaar Pit Baat Hantaa Aoukhadh Har Ko Naaou.

    Meditate on the lotus feet of the God within your mind. The Name of the Akal Purkh is the medicine; it is like an axe, which destroys the diseases caused by resentment and egotism. -----Guru Arjan Raag Todi, AGGS, Page, 714-11

    Overcoming resentments:

    1. By admitting to self that there is unresolved resentment behind my hostile, cynical and sarcastic attitude; I should decide to rid myself of it.
    2. By doing private anger work-out toward the people I resent.
    3. By writing a letter in which I detail all of the reasons for my resentment but NOT mailing it.
    4. By identifying the ``hot buttons'' that indicate the presence of resentment in me and working at defusing their impact.
    5. By working at a rational outlook on my past life so that it isn't a chain around my neck in the future.

    ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥

    Nanak Aougun Jetrrhay Tetay Galee Janjeer, Jay Gun Hoan Ta Katian Say Bhai
    Say Veer.

    O Nanak, All evils are like chains thrown round the neck These are snapped by good
    Qualities, being our brothers and helpers.
    -----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 595

    6. By listing those for whom I had resentment and systematically working at
    forgiving and forgetting their past offenses.
    7. By improving my self-esteem and self-worth; looking only to myself for approval
    and recognition.
    8. By working with my support network to identify when I slip back into resentment over my past.
    9. By developing self-affirmations and positive self-visualizations to overcome my negative outlook on life.
    10. By re-establishing myself in pursuits in which I excelled, but dropped due to lack of perceived success and truth.

    ਸੋ ਸੂਚਾ ਜਿ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪੁ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥
    So Soochaa Jay Karodh Nivaaray, Sabday Boojhai Aap Savaaray.

    He alone is pure, who eradicates anger. He realizes the Sabd, and reforms himself.
    -----Guru Amardas, Raag Maru, AGGSD, Page, 1059-18

    The philosophy of thought that "God is the only power, and that evil is insubstantial; that we form our own destiny by our thoughts and our beliefs; that conditions do not matter when we pray; that time, space and matter are human illusions; that there is a solution to every problem; that man is the child of God, and God is perfect, good, absolute, and truth” is the only universal philosophy.

    ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਬਸੇ ਸਭ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਲੋਚ ॥ਪਰਉਪਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਤ ਚਿਤਵਤੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਛੁ ਪੋਚ ॥

    Jee-a Jant Sabh Sukh Basay Sabh Kai Man Loch, Parupkaar Nit Chitvatay Naahee Kachh Poach.

    All beings and creatures dwell in peace; the minds of all yearn for the God. Those who continually remember the It and do good deeds for others; they harbor no ill will towards anyone. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 815-19

    “Love of Akal Purkh is absolutely invincible.” You must build up the true Love-consciousness of Akal Purkh by faithful daily exercise, and then all the rest of the spiritual development will follow. Love will heal you.

    ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਰੋਧੁ ਜਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਗਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਸਿ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਵੈ ॥ Satgur Sabad Karodh Jalaavai, Gagan Nivaas SamaaDh Lagaavai.

    Through the Word of the Guru's Sabd, he burns away his anger. He dwells in the Tenth Gate, immersed in the Samaadhi of deep meditation.
    -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 411-12

    Word of the Sabd leads to thoughts in mind, which are real. One cannot have one kind of mind and another kind of life. If we want to change our lives, then we must change our thoughts first through the Word of the Sabd. Thoughts lead to action, which in turn lead to the formation of habits and the latter result in the formation of character, which in turns leads to destiny. Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly.

    ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਸਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥

    Mamma Man Seo Kaaj Hai Man Saadhay Sidh Hoey, Man Hee Man Si-o Kahai Kabiraa Man Saa Mili-aa Na Ko-ay.

    The mortal's business is with his own mind; one who disciplines his mind attains perfection. -----Kabir, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 343-3
    Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.


    Priority is love of humanity with humility. All other values are secondary in resolving resentments. Forgiveness is an integral part of the Pathway of Love. It is open to everyone in all circumstances. You may step in to it at any moment - at this current moment if you like. It requires no formal introduction and has no preconditions whatever. We have to get rid of selfishness, dishonesty, self seeking, and fear by taking shelter of Naam.

    Once upon a time an older monk and a young monk were traveling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There they found a pretty lady stuck at the damaged bridge that couldn't cross the river on her own. The older monk offered to carry the pretty lady across the river on his back. The lady accepted.

    The young monk was shocked by the move of the older monk. "How can elder disciple brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?" thought the young monk. But he kept quiet.

    The older monk carried the lady across the river and the younger monk followed unhappily. When they had crossed the river, the elder monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. All along the way for several miles, the young monk was very unhappy with the act of the old monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about the old monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet. And the older monk had no inclination to explain his situation.

    Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the young monk could not stand it any further, and he burst out angrily at the older monk. "How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite."

    The old monk looked surprised and said, "I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?"

    This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today.
    We encounter many unpleasant things in our life; they irritate and make us angry. Sometimes, they even cause us lot of hurt or make us bitter. But like the young monk, we are not willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the "unpleasant memory" with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony.

    Virinder S. Grewal
    Williamston, MI
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