F O R G I V E N E S S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, May 6, 2008
1. In His victorious non-condemnation, Saint Francis gave the summons to the greatest wisdom of life, which is easily achieved. Every worker, after sufficient experience, begins inevitably to realize how deadening are denial and condemnation and how creative and constructive is every understanding. To love means to forgive; to forgive means to understand; to understand means to know; to know means to approach the threshold of wisdom.
Nicholas Roerich, Realm of Light, p.206.
2. Forgiveness is a primary quality of the true Teacher. He can be indignant but will never send consciously a deadly arrow. Only the Great Teacher, the Lord of Karma, has the right to send consciously a fatal Ray.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 24 June 1935.
3. One must forgive people their failure to understand. Good people are often guilty of faulty judgment. It is essential to be lenient with beginner's mistakes.
The Call, 414.
4. Many of the most beautiful concepts have been perverted. All-forgiveness resounds beautifully, but people have contrived to make it into the monstrous form, "The Higher forces forgive all," thus making all crimes permissible. However, the matter lies not in forgiveness, which is quite possible, but in outliving that which has been committed. Just is the law of spatial healing.
5. Man prays for forgiveness, yet fails to alter his manner of living. Man bewails his misfortune, but does not abandon a single habit which brought him into his state of sorrow. Just praying for forgiveness has no meaning if it is not accompanied by reformation of life. It is not sorrow but hypocrisy when the Higher Wisdom is burdened by self-pity.
6. Around the concept of forgiveness there is a great lack of understanding. One who has forgiven someone assumes that he has accomplished something out of the ordinary, whereas he has merely preserved his own karma from complications. The forgiven one thinks that all has been ended, but, of course, karma remains ahead of him. True, the forgiving one did not intervene in the karma of the forgiven one and thus has not made it more burdensome, but the very law of karma remains with both participants. The Lords of Karma can alter this to a certain extent if the fire of purification flashes out brightly, but such a flame cannot easily be set alight.
7. We are not organizers of funeral processions or of zoological gardens. You who wish to follow Us, walk as fully and luminously imbued as irrestible life itself; and love every expansion of consciousness, because this is the primary aim.
One can forgive everything, but mouldiness of consciousness is worse than the decomposition of a corpse.
8.The Thinker said, "We may forgive lack of knowledge, but intentional ignorance is unfit for cooperation."
Supermundane IV, 726.
9. The Thinker said, AEven an offence is forgiven if it is performed for the Common Good.
Supermundane III, 696.
10 It does not matter how the New World will enterCin a caftan, a frock coat, or a shirt. If we establish the cosmic significance of the community, then all the details are no more than the dust under foot. One may forgive any absurdity if it be not against the New World.
New Era Community, 50.
11. Certain dates are given to humanity as a reminder of those betrayals that affected the karma of entire nations, but even such striking examples hardly touch man's consciousness. Just as a small stone produces a small splash, an unfeeling heart cannot be effective against darkness. But occasionally, on a Day of Remembrance, even such a heart will know how dark is the traitor.The Thinker pointed out that the Gods do not forgive betrayal.
Supermundane II, 403.
12. If this law of Karma, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is inevitable and exact justice, it by no means follows that we ourselves, personally, should attempt to fulfil it in this way. If we do so, we shall never emerge from the magic circle of karma. Indeed, we must forgive our personal enemies, as who knows but that the blow one receives is a return blow, well-deserved under the law of Karma.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 26 May 1934.
13. Indeed, strictly speaking, even the Greatest Spirit is unable to forgive sins that have been committed, as it would contradict the law of Karma. He could ease karma to a certain extent, but that is all. If man is the only creator and recorder of each of his motives, thoughts and deeds, who then can alter anything at all in his being, and therefore in his destiny, without his direct will? The High Spirit can do no more than help us in our efforts to reform our inner beings. Precisely, cooperation is necessary in everything.
Thus, the true meaning of the words "thy sins are forgiven" is that the Great Teacher could sense the aura of the sufferer. He saw that the aura of the sufferer, due to aspiration and faith in his High Power, had heightened its vibrations, and that his healing rays could now be assimilated, thus bringing liberation from the bad results accruing from bad deeds or thoughts. Therefore, He had reason to say "thy sins are forgiven."
Thus, to forgive or to redeem the sins means to eradicate their consequences. In this process of eradication or redeeming of a misdeed, there comes first of all the neutralization, so to say, of those currents which have arisen in the aura of the man due to the liberated energy used by him for committing the wrong. Just as one chemical ingredient is able to change the whole character of a substance composed of several others, so is the action of a high impulse or quality able to neutralize and overcome the results of an action arising from the base qualities in human nature, and thus to change the entire character of the man, transforming his nature.
From this, it should be clear that no one can forgive or redeem the sins of another, but that he certainly can help him, at a specific time, to open his heart toward his higher Ego, thus awakening within himself latent divine forces. In turn, these divine forces will benefit the aura of the one who has helped, and he will become a participant in the good results caused by his helpful awakening of the divine forces in another. Cooperation always, everywhere and in everything.
Christ the Redeemer certainly abides in every one of us.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 9 July, 1935.
14. For the first Christians, the word Christos or Christ was synonymous with our higher Ego. In this sense, one should understand that Christ is the Redeemer of sins. Thus, the redemption of personal sins is performed by the soul - the conductor and the messenger of Christ - perpetually, during the long chain of earthly lives of our individual Ego. *"The Christ on the cross, of every human being, must descend into Hades at some point of its evolution, in order to bring back to normal conditions the soul that has been plunged therein as an effect of the evil deeds of its lower self. In other words, Divine Love must reach down into the heart of man, conquer and regenerate the man, before he can appreciate the enormity of his offenses against Divine Law and forgive himself for the sins committed against himself, and forgiveness must be obtained to complete at-one-ment."
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 22 July 1935, *Teachings of the Temple (Halcyon, California: The Temple of the People, 1948,) p.404
15. The spirit striving to the future will not burden itself with the tatters of the past. It seeks ways of expressing newly-encountered concepts, and tears down the barrier of words. One would sooner forgive a failed effort than accept the encrusted, habit-formed greeting of a wizened grandfather.
Agni Yoga, 247.
16. The Great Teachers have had to use and are using lesser Images for approaching people so that the hardened hearts could hear them. Greatness is very difficult to accept, or rather, to forgive!
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 21 May 1935.
17. The ability to understand what it is that least of all reaches one's listeners provides in itself the best paths for reaching their consciousnesses. But do not let it be known that you can see their condition. Such keenness people will not forgive; they may become enemies.One has to understand patience in order to return to the same subject from another angle.
18. Your joy is Our joy.When the enchanted flower of tenderness unfolds on earth, a new star is born in the Infinite.Numberless are the stars.The Milky Way of happiness bridges all the worlds.Lord, the bird of happiness would sing at my window.I shall not understand its words but I will dare.In the morning hour one word will come to me,And my heart will sing:Forgiven, forgiven, forgiven.Is it possible that for one word, for one act of tenderness,I could be freed of guilt by Thee? By Thee, Who has spun the web of eternal Universe and Glory?
The Call, 334.