The 22nd of July, 2012, witnessed the inauguration of the AnandAkhand Kirtan which in turn heralded the commencement of celebrations for the 94th birthday of Revered Dada J. P. Vaswani.
At 10 a.m. there was recitation of Gita slokas in the melodious voice of Sadhu Vaswani, along with the lighting of the sacred Havan, and the kindling of the “AkhandJyot’ by Dada himself.
This was followed by representatives of different religions reciting prayers from their respective faiths; sending off a collective prayer to the One Father, for the well-being of His child, Dada J. P. Vaswani.
The words of blessings by the Bishop were followed by the much awaited Akhand Kirtan. Renowned singers from Pune and all over the country took along with them the vast crowds in the surge and flow of the river of melody, music, emotion, devotion and Divine grace.
All the singers, the various artistes, as well as the enthusiastic audiences were felicitated. It was this collective effort which had made this day, continuing way into the night, filled with a holy ambience and uplifting vibrations.
Dada commenced his talk in Hindi, enforcing the power, efficacy and necessity of forgiveness. Dada said, during his lifetime, each one is faced with the situation where he has to decide between love and hatred, between forgiveness and revenge. It is always better to opt for forgiveness. Living by the precept of “an eye for an eye” only tends towards disaster.
The first stage is when one feels the hurt and pain caused by another. This suffering is not really experienced by the individual, but by his ‘ego’.
The second stage consists of the hurt and pain developing into hatred.
In the third stage God’s grace descends upon you and the wounds caused by the arrows of hatred are healed.
The fourth stage leads us to a higher level where you embrace the person who has hurt you as a friend, developing a relationship of love.
Dada helpfully provided eight suggestions towards attaining forgiveness –
1. When hurt by someone, pray to God for strength not to let its thorns fester within you.
2. If one is unable to do so, discuss it with a spiritually advanced individual and cleanse yourself. Or else, write a letter filled with all the viciousness and vindictiveness against the individual, thus washing away the ill-will. Then tear it up and pray for the well-being of the individual.
3. Along with forgiving others, forgive yourself as well.
4. Do not allow evil and harmful thoughts to be embedded within you. These will harm you more than the person towards whom they are directed.
5. Daily, before going to bed, think of all those who have injured you in some way. Then think of each one by name, and say, “I forgive you”, and pray to God to help you in this endeavor.
6. Forgive before forgiveness is asked for.
7. Forgive and forget, because forgetting is most difficult.
To walk the path of forgiveness one has not only to forgive, but also to ask for forgiveness, for each one of us is filled with flaws and errors.
Most aptly, Dada ended with the prayer “Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
- Ms. Krishna Kumari