Heal Yourself and Others Around You

Heal Yourself and Others Around You
(This series unravels the dharmic dialogue between Narada Muni and Raja Yudhishthira in the Sabha Parva of Mahabharata. Part XI dealt with having implicit faith in dharma; Part XII follows.)

Narada Muni previously questioned Raja Yudhishthira if he ever caused grief or anger in anyone. This was not to check if Yudhishthira was vile, but to assess how often one took up the path of dharma if it is known to cause an inconvenience to the other. The righteous action should not be taken from a point of vengeance or hate. It should be performed for the sake of duty.

It became evident in the Mahabharata, too, that the war was no longer to avenge the insult of Draupadi. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna to release every arrow not born of hate or revenge. It was simply his duty to protect dharma.

There is an analogy of a table tennis coach applying it in his training methods. The coach advises his students to handle every ball for what it is. Not to mix it up for what the opponent is and where the score stands. Just take every ball as it comes. Do not worry about the person who has sent the ball your way. Do not worry about the points. Whatever is your duty towards that ball, perform it well and move on.

This is an exercise that we have to try in our real lives, too. If you think that people are not responding to your actions correctly or in a fair manner, take action to guard yourself. But there should not be hatred. Protect yourself, give them the opportunity to reform. Do not give grief to others. Intentionally or unintentionally, we may have hurt others – through our words and actions. What can you do with that hurt? By hurting others, you also carry that hurt with you. Learn to heal yourself. How? Forgive others who have harmed you. Pray for forgiveness from those whom you have hurt. If you have the courage, extend a hand in compassion. If they are not there to receive your hand, pray for them. Keep them in your prayers.

Praying for the ones whom you have hurt and forgiving those who have hurt us – these two things can heal us completely. To heal yourself, you have to be sincere in your prayer. When some good happens to them, you will find yourself healing. When others hurt you, let go. Be charitable. But only after protecting yourself. When we wake up with such a clear conscience, we will feel light and free.

Otherwise, who can walk with such an emotional burden? How can we carry the hurt and anger of others day in and day out? Practicing such compassion and forgiveness is what Sri Krishna advised Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. When we practice to forgive and to let go, we can see how many layers of hurt we can unpack. Layers and layers of unconscious hurt, wounds that haven’t healed, over time all of it becomes a burden. It cripples one and it affects the manner in which we walk upon this earth.

If we practice the two simple steps of praying with sincerity and forgiving with love, we would find ourselves healing as well as capable of healing others around us. This can only come from a mind that is convinced in dharma. Actions themselves may cause hurt and anger, but the intention behind the action should forever be dharmic. Then it becomes easy to pray for those who you may have hurt and to forgive those who may have hurt you.

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Chinmaya Udghosh