(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 January 2015, Simhachalam, Germany, Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 7.16)
We must not blindly follow but always use our intelligence to deeply understand our philosophy and all the stories from the different ages. In previous ages, quite outstanding things were possible. In those times, sages had amazing powers and piety was a big thing.
But now, we live in a different age. The first principle of this age is forgiveness, ksama; that is the essence. If there is no forgiveness – forget it! If you cannot forgive then you cannot be a devotee, as it is not going to work that way. So many people do things to us and sooner or later, it is a devotee. Have you thought about the things that devotees have done to you? Devotees, you know, tilak and neckbeads, how they have treated us sometimes!? But forgiveness is required because how can we live amongst the vaisnavas without forgiveness? How can we preach without forgiveness? The fact is that everyone is so sinful, so fallen, so learning to forgive is a very deep thing.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhismadev says that to conquer anger one must learn to forgive, as without forgiving, some anger remains. There are different types of anger – first there is a hot anger, the fist on the table type, ‘And now, it is enough!!’ Then there is the other anger, the cold one, where the heart freezes and one says, ‘For that one, there is no mercy!’ Ice-cold anger in a frozen heart.
So we need to see others through our own example and ask ourselves who is actually perfect amongst us, who has never made a mistake? Who has not done anything wrong to anybody? If there is an angel amongst us, please show us your wings! So we can see it is not that feasible. Therefore, if we approach others through our own life and through how we have dealt with others, then it is easier to forgive.
We are filled with weaknesses, so to forgive means to accept weakness in others, that they make mistakes and that they are not perfect. It is actually to be expected in this age of kali because in this age, weakness of character is our biggest problem. We are weak – we have no determination, we have no piety, we are proud, we cannot tolerate very much, we are lazy and we do not want to work very hard, we are not very learned but at the same time, we think that we know everything.
These are all the typical things that everybody has – everybody! It is not that somebody is different, but everybody thinks, ‘I know very well! Why they are telling me this, when I already know it? What can I do, when Krsna gave it to me, to know things!’ The root cause of our material disease is manifested in thinking, ‘I know!’ Because we think that way, it becomes such a habit to just do our own thing and not accept a proper guidance.