After the death of my last incarnation, under the compulsions of my karma vasanas,, at the fag end of my experiences in different levels of existence, I came here, first perhaps, as a desire in my father's heart, then slipped down into his seeds, and thus reached my mother's womb. There, having formed into a rudimentary shape, a foetus, I grew slowly into a recognizable form in some seven or eight months' time. Consciousness then dawned in me: I became an individualized ego, the unique entity 'I' possessing a sense of doership and enjoyership
I suffered the indignity of living in my mother's womb, in the vicinity of her intestinal filth, silently enduring the heat of her digestive system and the continuous rumbling of her body's workings. For a full nine months and nine days I suffered thus, without choice, before I emerged out amid the suffocative discomfort of painful squeezes and strong crushings.
All this happened to me due to the vasanas born out of my selfish actions in the past.
Beloved Lord! Dear Paramesvara! Whatever faults I may have committed in the past, forgive them all. O All-Merciful One!
Forgive me. Forgive me. May I never again get condemned to fall into another womb!
CCMT is pleased to place before its readers, a new and revised edition of 'Forgive me'.
One can understand the demand for this small hymn because it is pregnant with the tragic flaw of every heart - relegating the Maker to some obscure corner of life.
CCMT thanks all those who were involved in the production and presentation of this slender yet 'essence-tial' and essential book for any household.
We thank Chinmaya Kalpanam for the cover design and Chinmaya Prakashanam for the painstaking editing.
Man is essentially a being full of love and in his life he is often highly emotional. In fact, no purely intellectual being exists. If there were one, he would be an abominable devil of a man, no doubt perniciously efficient and diabolically competent. There would be no sweetness of culture in such an individual. In fact, he would be a shattered personality, disabled from living joyously because of his lopsided development.
In Sankara's life and works, we find a man lovingly intelligent and intelligently devoted to Truth. One of Sankara's famous and popular invocations to the Lord is his 'Appeal for Forgiveness', sent out from his heart, melting in deep devotion, to the sacred altar of Truth, consecrated here as Lord Siva, the great Jagadisvara (Lord of the Universe).
While giving a running commentary upon the pain-ridden march of an individual from the womb to the tomb, Sankara makes, as it were, twelve stops to fall down in prostration and beg forgiveness of the Lord for all the wretched sins of one's past, known and unknown, born both of commission and omission. Sankara, the father of Advaita Vedanta, who spent his lifetime propagating the theme of the Upanisads, is here demonstrating to his followers that with devotion alone can the rubbish heap of our gross, sensuous Vasanas be trucked out and burned down. This is the only way to purify our impure minds, which are dancing endlessly in lustful agitation and running about in sensuous fields of endeavour, vainly seeking therein total satisfaction.
The wise student of Vedanta, who has studied the Upanisads and the Gita and who is striving to become established in spiritual sadhana. Has no demand for any worldly gain through the grace of the Lord. The student only seeks the Lord's help in rendering his vasanas null and void through an act of His divine forgiveness.
The Lord neither judges nor forgives. But when a student realize the folly of his false expectations and ardently expresses his wish to come out of their strangulating grip, the poignancy of his own powerful thoughts sankalpas blesses him; the negative vasanas, products of his past actions undertaken in ignorance, automatically whither away from his personality composition.
In his 'Appeal for Forgiveness.' Both the philosopher and the poet in Sankara have merged with the ardent devotee that he evidently was.
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