How to forgive ourselves if we have made a serious mistake?
Transcribed by: Raji Nachiappan
Question: How to forgive ourselves if we have made a serious mistake?
Answer: Firstly, we are the only resource we have. All our other resources are dependent on the foundation of this resource. Even Krishna cannot help us, if we do not help ourselves. For example, you have a car that has a history of break-downs on a regular basis. However, if that is the only car you have and there is no way you can buy a new car, you can kick or punch the car in frustration, but you will not take a big bolder and break the car completely, out of anger.
Similarly, we are the only resource we have. There is no other resource for us. Uddhared atmanatmanam (BG 6.5)– Lord Krishna says elevate yourself with the mind, and do not degrade yourself with the mind. Now, who is going to do the elevation? We have to do it. Krishna is there to help if we want to do it, but it is we who have to do it.
For example, if we had an assistant or an employee who makes a mistake, then we may be angry, we may chastise and berate them. In the past, masters even beat the employee, but if we beat up the employee to an extent that the employee cannot even walk, then there is no use. The master has to do all the work himself. Similarly, if we become so upset with ourselves, that we become disheartened and start feeling hopeless, then there is no use because we are our only resource. Therefore, if there are changes that are to happen, then we need to begin it. Once we begin, Krishna can help.
Secondly, Krishna is such an expert that he can work even through our mistakes. Our mistakes are not Krishna’s plan but our mistakes can be included in his plan. Lord Krishna does not plan that we make mistakes and neither does he want us to make mistakes, but if we make mistakes, Lord Krishna’s plan can include them. For example, in the famous Akshaya-patra pastime, wherein Durvasa muni arrives for a meal at the Pandavas’ residence after Draupadi has eaten. Usually in houses, after food utensils are cleaned. For special utensils, e.g. silver or golden utensils, they are cleaned very carefully. For an extraordinary utensil like Akshaya-patra, how is that Draupadi could not have cleaned it properly? In a way it is a mistake, but Lord Krishna acted through that mistake. Therefore, we do not have to think of our mistakes as permanently condemning. Mistakes happen and Lord Krishna’s plan can act through our mistakes.
The other example is that of a GPS. If the GPS tells us to turn right and if we instead turn left, the GPS does not stop guiding us because we did not follow its direction. The GPS then re-routes and tells us the right path again. Similarly, even if we commit mistakes, Lord Krishna can still work through our mistakes and guide us. That way we can still have positivity and hope that Lord Krishna’s plan can work even now.
By these two reflections, that we are our only resource and Krishna can still work through our mistakes, we can move forward.
End of transcription.