Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is the significance of forbearance as a virtue?

The attitude of forbearance is to refuse to be affected or pained when inflicted with sorrow, loss, or ingratitude and wickedness of others. In fact, you should be happy and calm, because you should know that these are the results of your own actions now recoiling on you, and therefore you should view those who caused the misery as friends and well-wishers. You should not retaliate or wish them ill. You must bear all blows patiently and gladly. The natural reactions of people, whoever they may be, when someone injures them is to injure in return; when someone causes harm, to retaliate violently; and when someone insults them, to insult back in some way or the other. This is the characteristic of thepravritti marga (worldly path) — the path of objective involvement. If you seek nivritti marga (the inner path of sublimation and purification) you must avoid such reactions and exhibit forbe arance.

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