Justice and Forgiveness
Question: Is it not very difficult to avoid judging? For in order to become just one has to come to a certain conclusion.
Answer: Yes, but what man generally does is not only that he judges anyone in the mind -he is very ready to give his judgment out. He is not patient enough to wait and analyse the matter and think more about it. As a rule a person is not only ready to judge, but without any restraint on his part he is ready to express his judgment instantly. He will not think, "Have I the right to judge that person? Have I risen to that state of evolution?" - when Jesus Christ himself refused to judge and said, "Whoever is faultless -it is that person's place to accuse or to punish". It teaches a great lesson: even in order to learn justice it is not necessary that we should be ready to judge and instantly to express our judgement, our opinion.
The idea of the Sufis, who see in every form the divine form, in every heart the divine shrine, is that to judge anyone, whatever be his position, his action, his condition, is against their religion, their attitude, for theirs is a respectful attitude towards everyone. And in this manner they develop that philosophy which has first been learned by them intellectually.
Question: Does the fact of not blaming others mean that we do not see their faults any more, that we are above seeing them?
Answer: No, in the first place it is a question of self restraint or self control, of politeness, kindness, sympathy, and graciousness, of a worshipful attitude towards God, the Creator of all beings: all are His children, good or bad. If anybody's child happened to be homely in appearance would it be polite to say before its parents, "Your child is homely"? The Father and Mother of all beings is there, ever present, id knows what is going on in every person's heart; all are His creatures. When with their faults and their merits before us we are ready to judge and to express our opinion against them, it is certainly against the Artist who has made them - not behind His back, in His presence! It would not be difficult to feel the presence of God everywhere if only we were conscious of this.
Besides this it is not only that we judge the faults and merits of people impartially, our favour and disfavour are always connected with it. Our favour is always inclined to see the merit, our disfavour the fault. Is there any person, however great, without a fault? Any person, .however wicked, without a merit? Then if we see more faults it means that we close our heart to the favourable attitude and open our heart to the attitude which is unfavourable in order to criticize.
Now the other question: are we above seeing faults? Yes, there comes a time, after a continual practice of this virtue of not judging, when we see the reason behind every fault that appears to us in anyone we meet in our life. We become more tolerant, more forgiving. For instance, a person is ill, he is creating disturbance in his atmosphere by crying or weeping or shouting. It disturbs us and we say, "How terrible, how bad, how annoying. What a bad nature that person has got! It is not the nature, it is the illness. If we looked from a different point of view, that reason would make us tolerant. And tolerance can give rise to that forgiveness, that only essence of God which can be found in the human heart.
Question: Will you please speak about the justice of God' judgment?
Answer: By giving you a little simile I will show you what difference there is between man's justice and God's justice. There are children of the same father and they are quarrelling over their toys. They have reasons to quarrel over their toys. One thinks a certain toy is more attractive: why should he not possess it? The other says, that toy is given to him: why should he not hold on to it? Both have their reason and both are just, but the father's justice is different from theirs. The father has not only given them the toys to play with, but at the same time he knows what is the character of each child and what he wishes to bring out of that child, and whether that particular toy will help to bring out what he wishes to come out. The child does not know this. It happens perhaps that the toy seems poor to him and according to his sense of justice he cannot understand why that toy was given to him and not to the other. If the child was older he would have accused the father of injustice, but he does not know the justice of his father. He has to grow to that stage of evolution where his father is in order to understand the meaning behind.
The same is with the justice of God and man. Man's justice is covered by his limited experience in life, by his favour and disfavour, by his preconceived ideas, by the learning he has which is nothing compared to the knowledge of God. When one compares the father with his innocent child, their relationship is too near to be compared to the relationship between God and man where there is such a distance; if we counted all the human beings that exist they would be like a drop compared to the ocean. There is no comparison between God and man. Therefore man's justice is imperfect, God's justice is perfect.
If one ever gets a glimpse of divine justice, the only way is first to believe in the justice of God against all the proofs which will contradict His justice. There are many proofs which will contradict His Justice. Why is this person rich, why is the other poor, why is this person in a high position, why has that person suffered so much, and why has another lived long and had a pleasant life? If one judged their actions, their intelligence, their stage of evolution one would find no justification. By judging this one will come to a conclusion where one will say, "Oh, there is no justice, it is all mechanical working which is perhaps behind it".
Ideas such as karma and reincarnation will satisfy, but at the same time they will not root out God behind them, for then God has no power. God cannot be all powerful if everyone has the power to make his own karma. Root out God, then everything is working mechanically. And even if so, there cannot be a machine without an engineer; for a machine there must be an engineer. Is he subjected to his machine? Is he subjected to its power or is he the controller of it? If he is subjected then he is not powerful enough. If he is limited then he cannot be God any more. God is He who is perfect in His justice, in His wisdom and in His power.
If we question the cause of all such happenings which do not give us a justification then we come to another question, and that question is: Can a composer give a certain justification of every note he has written in his composition? He cannot; he can only say, "it is the stream that has come from my heart. I have tried to maintain certain laws, to keep to certain rules of composition, but if you ask me for the justification of every note I am unable to give it. I am not concerned with every note, I am concerned with the effect that the whole produces".
It is not true that there is no law. There is a law, but is law predominant or love? Law is a habit, and love is the being. Law is made, love has never been created; it was, it is and it will be. So love is predominant. What do we read in the Bible? God is love. So God is beyond the law: love is above the law. Therefore if we come to any solution to our ever rising question: Why is it so? -it is not by the study of the law, never. Study of the law will only give increasing appetite which will never bring satisfaction. If there is anything which will bring satisfaction it is diving deep into love and letting love inspire law. That will open up a realm of seeing the law better.
Then we shall see that there is nothing in this world which has no justification. It is inexplicable but it is perceptible that all has its justification, and in the light of perfect justice all life will be manifest. Then we shall not have one word to say that "this is unjust", not even the most cruel thing we saw. A thought like this may shock, but at the same time that is the point the wise man reaches, and he calls it the culmination of wisdom.
Question: How do we know that God forgives more than He judges?
Answer: In the first place justice is born and love has never been born. It always has been and always will be. Of what is justice born? It is born of the sense of fairness. As this sense becomes matured in man he begins to seek for evenness, and what is not even he does not like. But to inspire this sense, to develop it, all must exist first: justice is the outcome of what we see, love is not. Love is spontaneous and is always there, as it is said in the Bible, "God is love". Therefore justice is God's nature, but love is God's very being. Therefore He forgives, because He is forgiveness Himself, and He judges because it is His nature to judge.
Question: So justice comes from God's intelligence, and forgiveness from His divine love?
Answer: God's intelligence in this world of illusion has a limited expression, for when one judges limited things one's intelligence becomes limited also. One is as limited as the object before one; the greater the object, the greater becomes the vision. But forgiveness does not judge, it is only the feeling of love. And therefore whatever be the other's fault, once a person has forgiven, the happiness and joy are shared by both. Justice has not that joy. The one who judges too much is unhappy himself and makes the one whom he judges unhappy also. The one who forgives is happy, he does not keep any grudge in his heart, he makes his heart pure and free from it. Therefore God's greatest attribute is forgiveness.