Will God forgive You and me for all our mistakes? Knowingly and unknowingly, we commit so many sins. So, we are always fearful of the consequences. But if we study the holy books, we find that God is so merciful that he forgives the sinners for all the mistakes. In Ramayana we find that although Kaikeyi committed an unpardonable mistake but still Lord Rama forgave her.
Lord Rama could have hated Kaikeyi, his stepmother, forever. And no one would have blamed him. She had brought great calamity in his life and in the lives of everyone who were close to him. The entire city of Ayodhya had immersed into celebration when they had heard that their beloved Rama is going to be crowned as the emperor of Ayodhya.
But Kaikeyi whom Rama loved like her own mother was seething in anger. Manthara, her personal and trusted maidservant, had convinced her mistress that if Rama becomes the king, she will be forced to live like a maidservant of Kaushalya, Rama’s mother.
Kaikeyi desperately wants her son, Bharath, to be the king
Kaikeyi felt deeply hurt. She became petrified. Just like a wounded serpent starts spitting poison everywhere, Kaikeyi whose heart had been poisoned by Manthara started spitting words laced with hate, envy and arrogance. “I want Bharath, my son, to be the king and Rama to be banished to forest for 14 years.” Dasarath, Rama’s father, was flabbergasted. With tears in his eyes, he begged his wife to not to be so cruel.
But she was so callous that the tears of her husband did not melt her heart. She saw him dying but she did not care. She thought “If my son is the king, I will be rajmata (king’s mother) and will enjoy all royal privileges.” She was obstinate. Her feelings, her emotions, her desires, her satisfaction was more important to her than anything else in the world. Lord Rama, mother Sita and Lakshman had to leave their own home. Dasrath ultimately died in separation of Lord Rama. She was the only cause of all the sufferings in Ayodhya.
Furious Bharath blames Kaikeyi for all the sufferings in Ayodhya
Bharath was outraged when he came to know her mother’s cruel deeds. In utter disgust he said, “You brought great misfortune upon Ayodhya. You killed my father. You gave so much pain to Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. I am so ashamed that you are my own mother.”
Bharath went to forest to beseech Lord Rama to return back to Ayodhya and become the king. He begged forgiveness for everything. But Rama refused, “I have given my words to our departed father to be in the forest. I cannot break the vow.” Bharath was in tears. “My mother is the cause of this great misfortunate,” noble Bharath lamented. But Rama disagreed.
Kaikeyi felt ashamed for her behaviour but Rama embraced her
Despite her wicked behavior, Lord Rama had no bad feelings for Kaikeyi. Kaikeyi who had acted insanely was in tears. She felt ashamed of herself. She had realized her grave mistake. She felt at the feet of Rama, but Rama immediately picked her up and embraced her and said, “O Gentle Lady, you are not to be blamed. I am not at all angry with you.”
After a long time, she had heard such sweet words. Everyone hated her for what she did. No one respected her anymore.
She had once thought that Rama will take away all happiness from her life if he becomes the king. She had thought him to be her enemy. But today she realized that Rama is her best well-wisher. After being rejected and shamed by all including her own son, she got shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Rama.
Crying pitifully, she said, “No one in the three worlds would have forgiven me for my cruel behaviour. You are not an ordinary person. Now I understand that you are the Supreme Lord. And so, you are so merciful, so generous and so forgiving. Please guide me to the path of righteousness.” Lord Rama smiled and said, “Meditate upon me and you will be freed from all the attachments of this ephemeral world. You will live peacefully, and you will attain me.” Kaikeyi felt relived. She was now happy. She understood the goal and purpose of her life. She paid her obeisances to the Lord of the universe and circumambulated him.
God never leaves us, he always resides in our heart as Parmatma(Superosul)
The Supreme Lord, our eternal father, is magnanimous. He does not hate anyone. He loves all. We the living entities may dislike him, disobey him, and may even despise him. But still, he never leaves us. We commit so many abominable activities but still he does not abandon us. Scriptures tell that the Supreme Lord as Parmatma(Superosul) accompanies us in any species of life we get. If because of our sinful activities, we get the body of a dog or a hog or we become an insect in the stool still he is present there with us. Wherever we are, he is with us. As Supersoul he always resides in our heart.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad explain that the living entities (soul) and the Parmatma (Supersoul) are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One bird is the soul and the other Supersoul. The soul wants to enjoy independently from the Supersoul. The Supreme Lord (Supersoul) who is the creator of the soul allows the soul to enjoy the material world. The soul turns away from the Lord and suffer immensely while trying to enjoy the material world. In spite of being neglected, the Supreme Lord never leaves the living entities (soul). The Lord desperately wants us to return back to him. He anxiously waits for the moment when we will turn towards him and express our feelings of love to him.
God forgets and forgives us for all our sins and mistakes
As soon as we consciously take a decision to bring the Supreme Lord in our life, he forgets all our misdeeds. He forgives us for all our mistakes. Not just that, he burns all our sins so that we get freedom from all physical and mental sufferings. Our life becomes an ocean of bliss.
Srila Prabhupada explains, “A conditioned soul is very often apt to commit mistakes, and the only remedial measure to take against such unintentional sins is to give oneself up to the lotus feet of the Lord so that He may guide one to avoid such pitfalls.”, Sri Isopanisad Mantra 18 purport.
स्वपादमूलं भजत: प्रियस्य
त्यक्तान्यभावस्य हरि: परेश: ।
विकर्म यच्चोत्पतितं कथञ्चिद्
धुनोति सर्वं हृदि सन्निविष्ट: ॥ ४२ ॥
sva-pāda-mūlam bhajataḥ priyasya
tyaktānya-bhāvasya hariḥ pareśaḥ
vikarma yac cotpatitaṁ kathañcid
dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ
“One who has thus given up all other engagements and has taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is very dear to the Lord. Indeed, if such a surrendered soul accidentally commits some sinful activity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated within everyone’s heart, immediately takes away the reaction to such sin.” Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.42
When we turn turn towards God, we attain Supreme Joy & Complete Satisfaction
Kaikeyi suffered because she exiled Lord Rama from her life. She desired to enjoy the kingdom of God without God.
You and I are also trying our best to enjoy in this world. But in spite of our best efforts, we fail to find joy in our life. Sufferings accompany us like a shadow. Most of the time we live in fear and anxiety. We always remain dissatisfied.
So, let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves, “Why are we not getting the happiness which we are looking for? Why we feel incomplete. Why we suffer again and again?”
Kaikeyi understood her folly. She welcomed Lord Rama back in her life for her own benefit and felt blissful and complete.
You and I have also exiled the Supreme Lord from our life. This is our biggest mistake. And this is why we always suffer. Let us turn towards the Lord and invite him to reside in our hearts. The Supreme father will accept us. He is our best friend and best well-wisher (suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ, Bhagavad Gita 5.29). No matter how abominable our sins may be, he will forgive us and purify us. We will then experience the joy and satisfaction we are looking for!