Story about forgiveness and Ramdas Kathiya Baba
Pushkar was Ramdas’ cook. He was extremely greedy, and he was wicked to the backbone. Three times he intentionally poisoned his Master. Once he put poison inside the bread, once inside the rice pudding and a third time in something else. With his occult power Ramdas saved himself, but he suffered miserably. He told his disciples the reason for his suffering, and Pushkar confessed each time.
Once when Ramdas had been poisoned, Bijoykrishna was at that time in a distant city. When he heard that Ramdas was dying, Bijoykrishna said to one of Ramdas’ disciples, “I can’t believe it. Only poison can take his life. No disease can kill him, for he never allows any disease to enter into him. Somebody has definitely poisoned him.”
Ramdas’ disciple went to his Master and told him about this. Ramdas said to his disciples, “Look at this great Bengali soul! Where is he and where am I? Although he is so far away, from there he understands what is happening here. You people are here with me, but even then you didn’t recognise that I had been poisoned.”
After this incident Ramdas’ disciples wanted to throw Pushkar out of the ashram, but Ramdas said, “No, he will have his own karma. What I know, I do: I know how to forgive. What he knows he does: he knows how to steal. As God is taking care of me, even so He will take care of him.”
The disciple poisoned the Master to get his money. This was the height of the disciple’s ignorance. But the Master wanted to offer the height of his wisdom to the disciple. He could do this either by forgiving him or by punishing him.
If the disciple is a sincere seeker, then the Master’s forgiveness-power itself will invariably act like punishment-power, for it will create tremendous remorse in the sincere seeker’s heart for deceiving the Master. Again, if the disciple is punished, he will take it not as justice-light, but as forgiveness-power. He will think that this punishment is absolutely nothing in comparison to the crime he has committed. He will feel very grateful to the Master, for he will say to himself, “The Master has punished me. That means he has taken some interest in me. He could have easily ignored me. He could have easily paid attention to other disciples who are good, sincere, devoted and surrendered. How is it that he is thinking of me?”
Even the Master’s punishment is not real punishment; it is only the Master’s divine concern which wants us always to make progress. The punishment itself is forgiveness. Something more: it is true concern that the culprit-seeker should become the all-fulfilling truth-seeker.