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1984 What Does It Mean To Forgive?

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 7, 2012.

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  1. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    A thought on 6. June 2012 (1984)




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    "Never forget! Never forgive!" Every year on this day, I hear those words, read the words, say those words. What do they really mean? I agree that we must never forget. It occurs to me that I'm not sure of the meaning of "forgive," though. If it means "condone," I agree that we cannot forgive. Ever. I do not believe a Sikh is ever called on to condone evil.

    The Buddhists say that "Forgiveness involves surrendering feelings of animosity and hatred when others step on our toes." Or murder our babies? And mothers and old blind men?

    Forgiving is supposed to be good for us. It probably often does no benefit to the one forgiven, but it takes a load off the forgiver.

    But exactly what is forgiveness, and how can I tell if I have really forgiven? Is it possible to forgive and then to unforgive? Or is forgiveness forever?

    I'm just asking because I really don't know. if you do know, please write it here, so I'll know, too.




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    #1 Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 7, 2012
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  3. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    I find this a useful definition.

    It sort of sounds like the Buddhist, just a bit different. It doesn't involve denying that one was wronged nor does it abrogate the other's responsibility. Evil is not condoned. Nothing is asked of the person who did wrong. In fact, it is all about me and the perpetrator is really sort of incidental.
     
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    #2 Mai Harinder Kaur, Jun 7, 2012
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    GURU ARJUN JI SAHIB IS THE EPITOME OF SUCH FORGIVENESS..WHEN SEATED ON THE HOT PLATE AND HAVING BURNING SAND BEING POURED ON HIS HEAD..E DECLARES..dosh na kajhoon devohn...Tera Bhanna MEETHAH Laggeh....I Blame NO ONE..Your WILL is sweet oh Creator...Nanak naam padarth manngeeh..I simply ask of your NAME to be given to me...
    It means we dont STORE the HATRED inside of us..becasue as Farid Ji declares..GUSSAH Mann na Handhayeah....Dont keep anger/hatred bottled up inside of you as it is INJURIOUS to your Mental and Physical health !!

    But Forgiveness is NOT to be mistaken for or confused with FORGETFULLNESS...we should NEVER FORGET Guru Arjun ji, Guru teg bahdur Ji, many many hundreds of thosuands of shaheeds...1984 included....instead we CELEBRATE THEM FOREVER.
    Nations that FORGET are wiped out by History....Nations that NEVER FORGET..remain for ever on the Pages of History...japposatnamwaheguru:
     
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  5. Archived_Member16

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    Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness


    Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness

    When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance — but if you don't practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

    What is forgiveness?

    Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

    Forgiveness doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

    What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

    Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
    •Healthier relationships
    •Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
    •Less anxiety, stress and hostility
    •Lower blood pressure
    •Fewer symptoms of depression
    •Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

    Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

    When you're hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

    What are the effects of holding a grudge?

    If you're unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you're at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.

    How do I reach a state of forgiveness?


    Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin, you might:
    •Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
    •Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you've reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
    •When you're ready, actively choose to forgive the person who's offended you
    •Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

    As you let go of grudges, you'll no longer define your life by how you've been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.

    What happens if I can't forgive someone?

    Forgiveness can be challenging, especially if the person who's hurt you doesn't admit wrong or doesn't speak of his or her sorrow. If you find yourself stuck, consider the situation from the other person's point of view. Ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation. In addition, consider broadening your view of the world. Expect occasional imperfections from the people in your life. You might want to reflect on times you've hurt others and on those who've forgiven you. It can also be helpful to write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation — or talk with a person you've found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.

    Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?

    If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness can lead to reconciliation. This isn't always the case, however. Reconciliation might be impossible if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases, reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, forgiveness is possible — even if reconciliation isn't.

    What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don't want to?

    If you haven't reached a state of forgiveness, being near the person who hurt you might be tense and stressful. To handle these situations, remember that you can choose to attend or avoid specific functions and gatherings. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to attend, don't be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. Do your best to keep an open heart and mind. You might find that the experience helps you to move forward with forgiveness.

    What if the person I'm forgiving doesn't change?

    Getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words isn't the point of forgiveness. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to wield in your life.

    What if I'm the one who needs forgiveness?

    The first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you've done and how those wrongs have affected others. At the same time, avoid judging yourself too harshly. You're human, and you'll make mistakes. If you're truly sorry for something you've said or done, consider admitting it to those you've harmed. Speak of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically ask for forgiveness — without making excuses. Remember, however, you can't force someone to forgive you. Others need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Whatever the outcome, commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.

    Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131
     
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  6. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Forgiveness is a huge part of my life. I feel obliged to forgive others that may have caused me personal hurt and pain in the past.
    It is very difficult at times to turn the other cheek but If you don't try then you can't do.
    None of us are perfect and never will be.
    I firmly believe that if I can't forgive others then How do I expect God to forgive me ?

    Waheguru
     
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  7. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I find it very difficult to forgive, the phrase once bitten twice shy comes to mind, so personally, the way I deal with things is to forget, I find it easier.
     
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  8. Inderjeet Kaur

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    As a Sikh, I have trouble with this. I am not called on "to turn the other cheek." If you hit my cheek or any other part of my anatomy, I am going to defend myself. I might well forgive you afterward, but in the immediate situation, I will defend myself. This generally holds for verbal assaults as well, although I often walk away from those.

    As for God/Deity forgiving me, isn't that possible only if I have annoyed Deity in some way? How could I possibly annoy Deity that is "niravair, nirabhoa"? Forgiveness, as I see it, is only possible if one party is offended. The abrahamic faiths are very big on angering God; Sikhi is not. Or is my theology faulty?

    I am not certain about offending our human Gurus; can a person without haumai be offended? I can only think that if they can be angered, Guru Gobind Singh ji must be furious at his Khalsa.

    Forgiveness, I think, must come from some inner need of my own, not from a desire to please others, even the Deity.

    Thank you, Luckysingh, for helping me clarify my thoughts.


    I really want to know in very simple terms:

    1. What does it mean to forgive?
    2. How exactly do I forgive?
    3. How do I know if I have forgiven?
    4. Can forgiveness, once given, be retracted?

    Relating this to the events of 1984 might be helpful, but is not necessary.
     
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  9. Kamala

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    I forgive easily depending on the person, I don't know why I would keep the fighting going lol.
     
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  10. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Again, I think with the events of 1984 forgive and forget come together. If on the whole the events were forgiven, then they would be mostly forgot by now.
    But too many innocent lives were taken which makes it too difficult to forgive and forget the bigger picture of this event.
    I'm sure out of all the numbers of lives taken, mother's sons, husbands,wives, sisters and brothers lost ..etc.. There will be some--
    (1)mothers that may have personally forgiven the person responsible at the crucifying moment and
    (2) on the other hand there will still be plenty of mothers that mourn every day and can never forgive the ones responsible at the cold blooded moment.

    The no(1) mothers would be mostly ones that have convinced themselves that blaming is not going to bring their son's back, they find it easier to move on by trying to forgive,- this is the only psychological way to help them cope.
    But no.(2) mother has to face a living nightmare every morning she wakes up, she simply cannot try to forget and move on.

    I realise now that the 'forgiving' with some people is probably more to help them 'forget' so as to help them move on. Ofcourse no one can just bluntly forget a lost one, but they try to forget the nightmare that occured and prefer to remember the other nice moments of the lost one.-This in turn helps their conscience to come to terms with dealing with an unjust death or murder.

    I honestly can't speak for anyone at all, but if I had lost an immediate blood relative to this horrible tragic event, then I simply cannot say if I could ever forgive.
    I think, until it happens we can't predict our feelings to what the outcomes could be.

    Waheguru
     
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  11. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    I am one of those mothers you talk about. My husband, my teenaged son, two brothers and two cousins were killed, in addition to the twin girls I was pregnant with at the time.

    I go back and forth. Somedays I am filled with anger and raw pain and truly want to torture those responsible to a slow and painful death. Other days, it all seems so distant as if it had all happened to another person entirely. Those days it is a dull ache, a lonely sadness that cannot be dispelled.

    In spite of that, most days I am an upbeat person, reasonably happy and full of the chardi kala spirit. As I have said before, you can't get over these things; at most you can learn to live with them. Accept them and let life continue.

    Forgiveness? That comes and goes. Somedays my pride in the courage and the Sikh spirit of my dead men - Khalsa all - outshines any hatred I have toward their murderers. After all, isn't to die in righteous battle a very high aspiration of all Sikhs?

    Other days, I see my son lying dead, his head at that odd angle because of a broken neck and I think of my two daughters, just globs of bloody tissue instead of lively vibrant human beings and I see my own loneliness without my beloved husband...I see the grandkids I'll never have, the old age I'll spend alone - and I become furiously angry.

    Fortunately the days of love and pride in my men are growing more and the days of hating their killers occurring less often. I am a long way from complete forgiveness, but I am closer than I was. I do believe that incomplete, intermittent forgiveness is better than no forgiveness at all.

    Luckysingh ji, your last sentence is profoundly true: until we are actually in the situation we cannot know what our reactions will be. I suggest, though, that if we prepare in advance, if we live as best we can the ideals of our Gurus Sahiban and if we work toward and actually accept the blessing of Amrit, we might be more equipped to deal with whatever comes our way.

    Chardi kala to all! icecreamkaur
     
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    #10 Mai Harinder Kaur, Jun 8, 2012
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  12. Inderjeet Kaur

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    THE PRACTICALITY OF FORGIVENESS

    Bill Clinton once asked Nelson Mandela, who had become his close friend: "I watched you walk down that dirt road to freedom. Now, when you were walking down there, and you realized how long you had been in their prison, didn't you hate them [white people] then? Didn't you feel some hatred?"

    “Mandela said, ‘Yes, I did a little bit.’ Then he said, ‘As I felt the anger rising up, I thought to myself, `They have already had you for 27 years. And if you keep hating them, they'll have you again.' And I said, `I want to be free. And so I let it go. I let it go.’”

    (roached from an article in Beliefnet.com)
     

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  13. Navdeep88

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    I think Forgiveness is an Essential Ingredient of Life, both to Receive it & to Give it b/c We all Make Mistakes, sometimes Big Ones from Nothing other than FOLLY, Or Pure Stupidity. So I think Forgiveness is important b/c it Releases Everyone from Hatred & Resentment, it Frees People...

    But even in big cases like 1984, I think it's Important to have some sort of Intellectual Overlay in your Mind that deters you from doing bad things, from becoming a little bit Detached from the Situation I guess, though that's not really Easy.
     
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  14. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Navdeep 88ji,
    It's a valid point you make as we shouldn't be carrying resentment and hatred in our minds. To forgive helps free the mind of this weight.

    Some people cannot simply forgive and try to walk away from the issue or try to ignore the problem- But the hatred and resentment is still underlying even though one may mentally block this. These underlying thoughts are ones that bring out other problems in ones life or personality.
    To be 'free' of such issues and thoughts is not only good but very healthy in the long run for one self.
     
  15. findingmyway

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    Forgiveness does not have to be accompanied by forgetting. The 2 things are completely separate emotions and reactions
     
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  16. Awakeand Singh

    Awakeand Singh United States
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    If we believe that everything comes to us from God, how can I hate the perpetrator, who is only the unwitting agent of God's message to me?
    I know that Judaism teaches, "Hate the sin - not the sinner". Does Gurmat support this idea?
     
  17. Navdeep88

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    B/c People take things Personally when they are Harmed or their Lifestyle is Disrupted by an Unexpected, Unpleasant & Sometimes Henious Change. Forgiveness is easy to Say, to Describe in theory, but Difficult to Achieve, & I doubt a Simple easy Process, b/c Everyone takes things Personally. We are Immersed in this Life, taught to take Pride in our Relationships, when they are disrupted in a Negative way, it is PRIDE that Stands between Us & God. Pride We NEED for our Worldy Existence but Means nothing to GOD. He Couldn't Care Less, if you think you Deserve this or That, He just Wants you to Obey, to Endure, & Get on w/ Life in a GOOD Way. To Serve Him, thats it. And THAT Takes a Lot of Humbling, which Not Everyone wants to Do... or is Capable of Right Away. I think it takes an INCREDIBLE AMount of Strength to Forgive.

    Sorry, the Above was just a Note on your Post which Seemed very Theoretical, so it's Now been Converted into Reality lol.
     
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    #16 Navdeep88, Jun 13, 2012
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  18. chazSingh

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    God Bless you Ji,

    your post sent a lightening bolt through my heart.
    Please try with all efforts to remain in chardi kala spirit as much as possible
    Please continue to your strong faith in Guru Ji, I truely believe when we raise our consciousness during this lifetime as per guru ji's instructions we will understand all such hirrific events and will know that all beloved souls are doing ok on their journey to sach khand. I'm sure of it Ji.

    God bless you Ji.

     
  19. chazSingh

    chazSingh Ireland
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    You See Ji, we come to an understanding that we 'create our own reality'
    We are the masterminds of the situations and scenarios that we deal with on a day to day.

    If on the inside we have tendencies to get angry very quickly...on the outside we will come across many situations to 'trigger' the 5 thieves inside of us. Can we control our 5 thieves. Can we replace anger with forgiveness, can we replace greed with contentment, can we replace jelousy with wishing everyone the best for their lives.

    Until we do our inner cleansin of the 5 thieves and allow for the divine powers to come through then we will continue to suffer in our outwardly lives in one way or the other

    nithaprath naavan raam sar keejai ||

    Every day, take your bath in the Sacred Pool of the Lord.

    majan karath pooran sabh kaam ||1||

    Take your cleansing bath in it, and all your affairs shall be resolved. ||1||


    SGGS JI 198
     
  20. AkashdeepSingh

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    1984 was a sad time and truly wrong we can never FORGET but forgiving the Indian government can't be done at this time to this day they continue to mistreat Sikhs why forgive a country that still does the same things they did discreetly I cannot forgive the Indian government until India treats it's minorities justly and gives autonomy to minority states and gives money to the victims I don't see that happening so I don't think forgiveness is just to them at the moment
     
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  21. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I agree. However, unforgiveness is a heavy burden for the injured party to bear.
     

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