Once Buddha was in an assembly when a man walked in looking furious. He thought Buddha was doing something wrong. He was a restless businessman and he had found that his children were spending hours with Buddha when they could have engaged themselves in business at that time, making more and more money.
He felt that spending four hours of their day seated next to someone whose eyes were always closed was incredulous. This was what had upset the businessman. So, with furiousness walked straight up to Buddha looked him the eye and spat. He was so angry, he could not find the words to express them that he merely spat at Buddha. Buddha simply smiled. He showed no anger, though the disciples around him were angry. They would have liked to react but could not because Buddha was there. So, everybody was holding their lips and fists tight. After the businessman spat at Buddha and realized his action was not drawing a reaction, simply walked away in a huff. Buddha did not react or say anything. He just smiled. And that was enough to shock the angry man. For the first time in his life, the man had met someone who would just smile when he spat on his face.
That man could not sleep all night and his whole body underwent such a transformation. He was shivering, shaking. He felt as if the whole world had turned upside down. The next day he went and fell at Buddhas feet and said,
Please forgive me. I did not know what I did. To which Buddha replied, I cannot excuse you! Everyone including the man and Buddhas disciples were flabbergasted. Buddha then explained the reason for his statement.
He said, Why should I forgive you when you have done nothing wrong. The businessman looked a little more surprised and told Buddha that it was he who had wronged him by spitting on him.
Buddha simply said, Oh! That person is not there now. If I ever meet that person whom you spat on, I will tell him to excuse you. To this person who is here, you have done no wrong. That is real compassion.
MORAL : Compassion is not saying, I forgive you. Your forgiveness should be such that the person who is forgiven, does not even know that you are forgiving them. They should not even feel guilty about their mistake. YOU HAVE TO DO IS… If someone holds on to you for something you did in the past, just laugh at them. This is because you are not the same person now. You see it as though somebody else did it. This is because the samskara of your consciousness has been erased, those things of the past have been erased. This makes you a new person, every time, every day. This is pure knowledge.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living Organization)