Psycho-Healing ►Preksha Therapy of Forgiveness

Posted: 06.03.2012
Updated on: 02.07.2015



JAIN VISHVA BHARATI UNIVERSITY

Preksha Therapy of Forgiveness

Life is five percent of what happens to you and ninety five percent what you make of what happens to you. You do have choice at all times. Yes, bad and good things happen to everyone but whether you let them colour your life or just add shr.de to it, is up to you.

Every religion asserts forgiveness as the innate virtue lying with in human race. Remember, one has the choice of treating every experience as a chance to fuel the fire of one's rage or as an opportunity to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice, for those who choose to change one's thoughts, beliefs and ideas constructively about a situation or a person and decide to let go of the negative emotions that an unpalatable experience evokes. Forgiving is a decision that one is free to make. Some make it early, some late, some not at all, but it is a gift available to all of us. Now let us examine the consequences of forgiving earlier, forgiving late and not at all forgiving.

A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the full value of time and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain. He is well aware of the fact that if others do harm to us, they remain accountable for their actions. So he follows the forgiveness therapy and forgets the wrong done to him and tries to forgive as soon as possible for the good of the self. We find a plethora of events which shows that great personalities like Tirthankar Mahavira forgave the Candakaushik serpant, and the Sangam Dev who gave so much hardships to him. Jesus Christ forgave on the cross the persecutors, by saying that 'Father! Forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Socrates forgave the soldier who gave him pharmacon i.e. poison. Because they knew the truth, 'To err is human and to forgive divine' and applied this in their practical life. Gandhiji rightly suggested that love the sinner and hate the sin. When this can happen?

When one stops feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offence, flaw or mistake. When a wise man realizes the best reply to any insult or unseemly behavior in patience and in moderation, he rejects the sense to injury and the injury itself disappears. He writes the bad things that are done to him in sand, but writes the good things that happen to him on a piece of marble.

So true forgiveness is nothing but willingness to change one's mind about oneself. Francis Bacon, rightly said that 'the sun, though it passes through dirty places, yet remains as pure as before.' Likewise a man of patience and optimistic attitude keeps oneself in the state of equanimity and tolerates all the favorable and unfavorable situations forgiving everyone unconditionally. So through forgiveness to wrong doer, one learns to love and laugh again. So Jain seers recommend for daily use of forgiveness for internal bliss and for universal brotherhood and friendliness. Thus forgiveness therapy is a self-healing process which starts with you and gradually extends to everyone else.

On the other hand those who make delay in forgiving or few others, who deny to forgive someone throughout one's life, ever remain selfless and loose their inner bliss. If one doesn't forgive, one keeps his pain alive. How long will one continue to do this? The energy that one spends in maintaining one's negative emotions i.e. anger, hatred, etc. cannot change the truth of what happened. As per Buddha, holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.' However holding to the pain and the embarrassment continually causes one to revisit the past and that infects the present. In despair one loses hope and the willingness to trust. The bottled-up rage can ruin 'the today and tomorrow' just as it ruined 'the yesterday.' Moreover one's emotional fragility, depression or anger may also adversely affect one's friends, family and coworkers.

Lastly, the person who fails to apply 'this forgiveness therapy' creates a lots of fuss, commotion and disharmony in the society. Because forgiveness is neither easy to give nor to receive. It is a very difficult task. Right from the beginning of the pages of history, we find a host of events which shows the inherent difficulties in forgiving during certain circumstances in one's life. Remember the incident in the great epic, 'The Mahabharata' in which bluntly remark made by Draupadi against Duryodhan, i.e. 'Blind son of the blind father.' This laid the platform for the whole chain of events which followed it. Duryodhan took this as an issue of great insult, with the ulterior motive of taking revenge. He organized the chess play with the Pandavas. With the tactfulness of Shakuni, he defeated the Pandavas. Finally, Pandavas having nothing else to gamble upon, made Draupadi the scapegoat. Pandavas were,ain defeated in this round. Duryodhan, who wanted to pay the Draupadi in the same coin, called her to the courtyard and dehumaIiised her notoriously.Again Draupadi was not able to forgive Duryodhan and Dushasana. Out of her rage she took the oath of washing her unbounded hair with the blood of Dushasan. So, it is clear that revenge begets revenge. We get such a similar example of revenge which continued to the extent of nine successive births between Gunasena and Agnisharma as found in the Jain text Gyataadharma Katha Sutra. All such incidents occur because of the inability to forget the insult or to forgive for the mischievous act met out to the person concerned. Revenge is the worst from of anger.

When one reacts to the unfavorable situation right away, then it is known as anger. But in revengeful nature, one keeps in his mind and plans for revenge in the future. The mundane soul has anger within him since time infinite, but by taking the shelter of the forgiveness, one cultivates nature of the soul, which is free of anger. As per my view, revengeful nature is much more dangerous than the anger. Anger is like fire and it produces burn right away but when one keeps anger within and plans for revenge then he keeps on burning from within all the time.

In such a state a person loses one's control over the conscious mind as well as Sub-conscious mind and behaves like an insane person. When a person is diagnosed by psychiatrist, he just tries out to vomit everything through the process of self-hypnosis and cure the speaking subject from his prejudiced meaningless thought process. On the other hand, the non-forgiving attitude of the person if not checked in time may lead oneself to psychical problems of depression, suicide so on and so forth.

So under the umbrella of therapeutic thinking, we have used contemplation for effecting attitudinal change, acquiring virtues, achieving goals, activating the inbuilt curing system, solving problems, enhancing skills etc. Here the practitioner applies his/her reasoning mind to bring about the desired effect, using the technique of auto­suggestions and intense willing. For example, in order to transmute the instinct of anger, one must reason out why this instinct is harmful. Only then the auto-suggestions of always remaining calm will make sense. Nobody gets motivated without a good reason, and no goal can be achieved without enough self-motivation.
Preksha Meditation, a technique of psyco-healing prescribes a capsule course to get rid of this vice of anger and revenge and enrich the virtue of forgiveness in the self through the regular practice of contemplation of tolerance.

 

Technique of Contemplative Meditation for Increasing Tolerance

Step 1

Mahapraan dhavani (nine times)

Step 2

Regulate your breath, making it slow, deep and rhythmic.

Step 3

Total Relaxation (Ten minutes)

Step 4

Centre: Centre of Purity at the throat, Thyroid gland.
Colour: Visualize bright green colour.

Step 5

Contemplation:

The physical discomfort resulting from seasonal changes, sensation produced by diseases, mental sensations of pleasure and pain, comfort and discomfort, emotional-sensations, opposing views, opposing nature, opposing taste etc. affect me but i should not be swayed by them. Lest I am affected, greater would be my strength. Developing the power of tolerance is the key to success in my life.

Step 6

Auto suggestions:

I am developing power of forgiveness.
I am becoming more and more tolerant.
My resistance power is increasing. I can resist against any physical mental or emotional discomfort.
I can keep myself cool and calm under any given circumstances.

Step 7

Concentrate your mind on the forehead, centre of enlightenment and visualize clear bright white color of full moon light and establish peace of mind.

Terminate the process of meditation by taking 2-3 slow, deep breath.

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