You hit me Once, I hit you back!

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

contributed by Norm Breaker, Anchal Mahajan

There is a famous reality show on a popular Indian music channel, based on the idea; ‘get revenge in a bloody cool way.’ The concept of the show is that jilted lovers arrange for their ex-lover to be ‘damned for the day’ and undergo torturous pranks, in retaliation for cheating on them or dumping them. The broken hearted partner experiences great joy in witnessing their ex-lover suffering or getting ripped off.  For the heartsick lover it seems justified to make their ex-lover taste the bitterness of hellfire. (aka eternal damnation) Thus, the conventional mantra is, you strike me once; I will strike you back twice!

We all have virtuous qualities as well as some rather gross qualities within us. Human beings are vengeful by nature. It would be wrong to say that we have become more violent and vindictive because we are living in Kalyug (The Dark Age). Mughal emperors from the East, to the Nazis from the West, George Bush from the Superpower nation, right down to Osama Bin Laden from the third world country; ‘everyone’ chose revenge over mercy.

Quoting lyrics of a popular song by Florence and the Machine; “You hit me once, I hit you back. You gave a kick, I gave a slap”. The song illustrates the fact that we all have the seed of retaliation inside us. We all, at times, desire to seek revenge from people who have back-stabbed or hoodwinked us. In this way, we become ruthless and give birth to negative emotions, thoughts and eventually actions.

Often revenge creates a vicious cycle and is carried out by later generations like in the case of Japanese Samurais. Unfortunately, it is basic human instinct to want to seek revenge on those who have wronged you.  If you don’t retaliate, you could be labeled a wimp because, due to popular belief, it is justified to tear down those who have wronged you.

But the crucial questions are; does revenge calm our nerves down forever? Will we get freedom from our grief stricken agony? Will we experience bliss or the feeling of deep satisfaction? For a short time, undoubtedly, we might feel ecstatic with joy but in a long run, we would still feel uneasy. We would feel crushed between the twinge of cheating and the sweetness of revenge.

Chinese philosopher Confucius has said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”  Revenge is self destructive. Retaliation means playing with the pain rather than trying to heal it. The day we forgive and move on in life, we will be stricken with an acute spasm of generosity. We don’t need to juice up our emotions to give back to the offender. If we pray for them and have placed our trust in God, then we shouldn’t feel the need to invite a negative force like vengeance into our lives, ever.

The modern, civilized clan of people approach the arbitrary man made institutions for seeking revenge. We all forget that in the court of the Lord, each sinner would get punished and each virtuous soul will get rewarded. But for that we need to have faith in the law of karmas which determines every soul’s destiny. The saying “whatever you plant, you shall harvest” shouldn’t just remain as a moral lesson taught to young kids. Rather we should become a living example for our children by practicing it.

A purified mind cultivates peace, holiness and greater strength in it.  An impure or weak mind can become consumed with planning an act of revenge. In life, our inner strength is put through its paces at various junctions where we have to choose between forgetting, forgiving and vengeance. Forgetting means denial of forgiveness. It is like keeping the revenge somewhere back of our mind. To overcome the rampage, we have to bless the offender with divine forgiveness, and only then we shall achieve nirvana. Always remember, the act of forgiveness is going to bring greater contentment to us rather than anyone else.

Saint poet Kabir has said “jhagra nitahi barayiye, jhagra buri balai; dukh upje chinta dahe, jhagra men ghar jai”. Always make an effort to avoid quarrel as it produces evil consequences; it creates suffering, consumes us with worries, and destroys our home. Forgiveness is the best solution to live in peace. If we would keep thinking of settling our scores with people, we would surely invite never ending anger, ego, anxiety, humiliation and bunch of other harmful feelings to our mind.  Such a negative set of self generated feelings will lead us into a cycle of hell and of darkness.

Josh Billings has said, “There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” Let us not remain caged in the rage. We can cut out bitterness from our mind only by forgiving others. Forgiveness will decrease our burden and shall give us many reasons to smile, to prosper and to feel good. God can forgive millions of our mistakes and still keep blessing us, then why can’t we follow in the footsteps of our supreme Lord?

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