It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. PEOPLE ORDINARILY THINK THAT FORGIVENESS IS FOR THOSE WHO ARE WORTHY OF IT, who deserve it.
But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion. Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don't deserve it receive it.
IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF WHETHER A PERSON IS WORTHY OR NOT. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.
I am reminded of one of the most significant woman mystics, RABIYA AL-ADABIYA, a Sufi woman who was known for her very eccentric behavior. But in all her eccentric behavior there was a great insight.
Once, another Sufi mystic Hasan was staying with Rabiya. Because he was going to stay with Rabiya, he had not brought his own holy Koran, which he used to read every morning as part of his discipline. He thought he could borrow Rabiya's holy Koran, so he had not brought his own copy with him.
In the morning he asked Rabiya, and she gave him her copy. He could not believe his eyes. When he opened the Koran, he saw something which no Mohammedan could believe: in many places Rabiya had corrected it.
It is the greatest sin as far as Mohammedans are concerned; the Koran is the word of God according to them. How can you change it? How can you even think that you can make something better? Not only has she changed it, she has simply cut out a few words, a few lines -- removed them.
Hasan said to her, "Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your Koran!"
Rabiya said, "Don't be stupid, nobody can touch my Koran. What you are looking at is my doing."
Hasan said, "But how could you do such a thing?"
She said, "I had to do it, there was no way out. For example, look here: the Koran says, 'When you see the devil, hate him.' SINCE I HAVE BECOME AWAKENED, I CANNOT FIND ANY HATE WITHIN ME. Even if the devil stands in front of me, I can only shower him with my love -- because I don't have anything else left. It does not matter whether God stands in front of me, or the devil; both will receive the same love. ALL THAT I HAVE IS LOVE; HATE HAS DISAPPEARED. The moment hate disappeared from me, I had to make changes in my book of the holy Koran. If you have not changed it, that simply means you have not arrived to the space where only love remains."
I will say to you, Deva Shanta, the people who don't deserve, the people who are unworthy, don't make any difference to the man who has come to the space of forgiveness. He will forgive, irrespective of who receives it. He cannot be so miserly that only the worthy should receive it. And from where is he going to find UNforgiveness? This is a totally different perspective. It does not concern itself with the other. Who are you to make the judgment whether the other is worthy or unworthy? The very judgment is ugly and mean.
The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
Ch #24:The only way to be is not to be
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium