This article is graciously provided for republication by the author, Dr. Dinesh Sharma, an Ayurvedacharya, consultant Vastu Master, Vedic Astrologer and Ayurvedic Physician and teacher in the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga and Meditation for more than 30 years.
The guilt damages and dwarfs the Self in many ways. Many times in the heat of a moment, thinking that no one is watching us, we may give in to temptations against our nature, least caring about their being flimflam or infelicitous. Once such satiation is complete, it gets permanently recorded in our subconscious. We may try best to forget it but there is no easy way to delete it from the hard disk of 'samskaras' unless we find ways to correct it at its crux. Such actions become our guilt. Fear of being caught or exposed gets under way and a vicious cycle of lying, hiding and cheating commences. When we think that no one is watching us, our all actions are being recorded by our own conscious. All the sages and enlightened masters have warned about it.
Whereas a strong mind blocks the tempting thoughts at their root, a weak mind is vulnerable to all sorts of enticements. Hankerings trigger predictable chain reaction in a weak mind to easily indulge in them. When our act is not in accordance with our conscious, it will create guilt.
When Ravana was on death bed, being fatally injured in the war, Lord Rama knowing Ravana's great virtues irrespective of the enmity, sent his younger brother Laxmana to seek Ravana's blessings and listen to his last words of wisdom. 'O Laxmana ! whereas man keeps postponing noble intentions, he wants to immediately indulge in the vicious ones. When one learns to reverse this process, the enlightenment is not far away'.
Guilt is straightly related to the conscious. Birth environment and social conditions structure the base of thoughts and personality to a very great extent, though not entirely. It is crucial to understand one's conscious self and nature since any move against it may create inner conflict and translate into guilt. A butcher's child witnesses animal slaughter as a normal thing and has no remorse while killing an animal but the child of an orthodox Brahmin will spent many guilt ridden nights even if he accidentally kills a bird. Both have different emotion, attitude and effect of the similar action. This is because of their upbringing.
A few years back when habitual criminals of a tribe in Madhya Pradesh were caught , they showed no remorse for the series of gruesome murders they committed. For them it was their profession and they worshipped and sought blessings of their local deity before every crime.
Though confession is therapeutical yet guilt is a personal issue and needs to be confronted and resolved honestly in its stark nakedness. Mostly while addressing our guilt we may fall in the trap of justifying our actions in relation to situation and compulsions. Such approach can prove us 'not guilty' in the eyes of others but we are bound to fail in the litmus test of our own conscious.
Guilt is the root cause of majority of mental diseases, phobias and psychic disorders. It affects our self confidence and gradually manifests in fear, confusion and self doubt. We start garnering fake confidence either by putting down others or by being continuously apologetic. Guilt makes us small in our own eyes. If we allow guilt to dwell in our conscious for a long time it can root there permanently, severely damaging our spiritual growth.
The best way to live a guilt free life is to list your acts and concerns, often bothering the inner conscious. Without any shame or fear confront them. If you have the courage and your ego is not too huge, seek forgiveness for the hurt you may have caused others. You can't imagine the joy and the power you will feel after clearing the 'baggage' you have been subconsciously carrying. Ego often suggests 'leave it..its gone..its over' but the truth is that its not over. It will continue to come back to your conscious even beyond this life.
Next make a resolve not to indulge physically, emotionally or spiritually in any act which may induce any further guilt. Being human we are prone to mistakes. If something goes wrong again, try to resolve it immediately on the same day. Do not sleep with it allowing it to be embedded in your conscious.
When we learn to continuously scan our mind for negative thoughts and stand guard to our all actions, we learn to live life with a guilt free self. Such a life is very beautiful, joyful and powerful.