Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

what are your views on repentance?

By on May 14, 2015 in Life with 93 Comments

Question to Radhanath Swami: What are your views on repentance?Radhanath Swami speaks on repentance

Radhanath Swami Answers- Repentance, in its higher form, is how we speak and how we live. In different religious schools, repentance is practiced in different ways: we can torture ourselves for what we’ve done, we can beg for pardon for what we have done.  In our tradition of Vaishnavism, real repentance is to stop doing the wrong thing and start doing the right thing. Why? Because if we just beg for forgiveness, but keep doing the same thing, there is not much benefit in that. If we really understand what we are doing is not right, we change our heart, we change the way we live and we seek out people who can help us change our values and help us make the right choices.

There is an analogy that in every heart there are two dogs: a good dog and a bad dog. The good dog is barking and calling us to a life of compassion, forgiveness, devotion, honesty, and love.  The bad dog is calling us to a life of envy, arrogance, greed, selfish passion of lust, and anger. So these two dogs are in each of our hearts.  Have you  experienced that? That’s the nature of the mind: sometimes you feel the voice of goodness, and at other times you want to take revenge and you are angry, dissatisfied, agitated and depressed. Those two dogs are fighting within all of us. Which one will win? The one that you and I choose to feed gets strength and the one we choose not to feed is going to get weak. And what is that feeding? The choices we make moment to moment in our life. In any situation, am I going to follow the bad dog by cheating, by being dishonest and by being greedy, or am I going to follow the good dog by being honest and by living with integrity? Am I going to take this intoxication or am I going to become sober? These are the bad dogs and the good dogs; they are always within us.And according to which one we have fed in the past, that’s the one that is barking the loudest now.



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