Idea from a talk by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa


Many of us feel we’ve been ‘wronged’ at times in life by others, and we harbor these feelings sometimes for many decades.  Such things can tear families apart, tear friends apart, and sometimes tear nations apart.

I’ve found that with death approaching, I am searching my mind to recall  anyone I may have ‘wronged’ or anyone who I’m feeling  ‘wronged’ me in some way.  Apparently such feelings are not uncommon when nearing the end of our time in this body. Many people sense that putting things aright is an important part of getting ‘all their affairs in order’ and preparing to exit.

As death approaches many past incidents take on a different light. I see now that all the hurts, all the differences of opinion, all the past arguments, are not important.  What is important are the relationships with those people I had those disagreements with; ultimately all are my brothers and sisters and I wish for reconciliation with them.

It is not always possible to personally approach all those I may have ‘wronged’ and there may also be some who have taken exception to me that I’m not even aware of.  But I’ve seen and heard of people at death’s door expressing from the heart the message: “For those that I have offended during my life I humble beg your forgiveness”.

Whether a person believes God exists or not, the need to leave this world with a clear conscience is natural and shows a degree of humility and willingness to recognize one’s own imperfections.

“Forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those that have trespassed against us.”
~ The Lord’s Prayer – Traditional Version.

But I do know God exists, and whether I call Him Krishna or Jehovah or any of the myriad of other Names He has, when I am on my death bed, when I am ‘knocking on heaven’s door’ as Bob Dylan puts it, I hope I can surrender to Him.

Surrender requires humility, not false humility, but genuine humility, acknowledging all my faults, realizing I am lower than all others, that I am worthless without God’s mercy.

At that time and in a humble frame of mind I hope that I can beg forgiveness for all the wrongs I have inflicted. But to be able to beg for forgiveness for my digressions from Him I also must be able to forgive others.  It is not possible to have one without the other.

So at some stage we need to forgive others, otherwise how can we beg forgiveness from God, from Krishna.

It is actually far easier not to let these feelings towards others stay in our hearts. The sooner we can forgive others the sooner our lives can move on. Usually the only person we hurt by not forgiving others is ourselves.

If we do this we can approach God at the time of death knowing we have “forgiven those that have trespassed against us”.


5 thoughts on “DYING and FORGIVENESS

  1. So true! Forgiveness, tolerance in life and death – humbling and can be hard work but so worth the effort.

    1. Thank you Sharon…..there is nothing to be gained and a lot to lose by hanging onto past disagreements.

  2. In the past i have forgiven (and ask to be forgiven ) then i find later on some part of these feelings still there in my heart , and i need/have to forgive some more , or ask again to be forgiven. It seems to be an ongoing thing ? like going more deeper, wanting more to be free of that stuff and be a really important if i want to be at peace with myself. Thanks for the blog and talking about these things .

  3. A great reminder to all to forgive all, and ask for forgiveness from all. Powerful and simple message, thanks for another great read.

  4. Charles.
    For some reason, I awakened at 3 am to research guitars…I decided a few days ago to treat myself to an upgrade…and a 2nd instrument so I don’t have to travel with my one and only Martin.
    I ran across a used Richter online, and looked that up, never having heard of it.
    The first site I was offered was yours. Needless t’ say “Leaving This World…and Guitars” spoke to me.
    I am on the verge of turning 68 and having my 2nd prostate biopsy next month (rapidly rising PSA, suspicious MRI, first bx negative, no or at least nil symptoms).
    I am a primary care physician and medical director of a hospice.
    Much of my work, and now my life, is informed by the Zen Buddhist view of life and death.(NYZCCC…The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care…is my spiritual home base, of sorts).
    Later today, after seeing a hospitalized patient with mesothelioma, then meeting with my hospice team, I am flying West to see my sister.
    Laura was recently diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. I will be joining her when she goes for her 4th round of chemo tomorrow.
    She has 8 other sibs besides me, and a zillion friends, but she’s asked me to be her health care proxy. Honored. A little scared.
    Just going with open heart, empty hands, beginner’s mind.

    I write this to you because maybe there’s a reason I awakened at 3 am and found you…maybe I am not awake…dreaming?

    Thank you for being out there. I’ve signed up to receive your blogs…another thing I “never” do, and will be following your journey.

    All the best, Dear man.


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