What is Titiksha (Forbearance)?
How do you react when people, including your near and dear, criticise and condemn you? When your ego is hurt, do you get angry and start throwing tantrums? Uncontrolled anger is called rage, which can delude anyone’s intellect. At this moment, one’s capacity for discrimination and discernment are dismantled. So, to handle hurt and recrimination one needs to practice Titiksha or forbearance.
Essence of Titiksha
When a person is established in Titiksha they face hurt and even physical kicks with a smile. This creates a soothing mental environment, which encourages divine qualities such as fearlessness, non-violence and forgiveness. The person smile and embraces the world. They surrender totally to God. Jesus forgave his persecutors, exclaiming they did not know what they were doing! Jesus was thus established in Titiksha.
Story of Angulimala
During Buddha’s lifetime, there lived a devilish man known as Angulimala, who used to rob people. He was called Angulimala, because he used to wear a garland made of his victims’ thumbs. But, when he met Buddha, Angulimala repented and became the enlightened one’s disciple. One day, Buddha sent Angulimala to a village to get alms. The villagers promptly beat up the ex-robber, as they were still angry about his past misdeeds.
When Angulimala came back with bruises and wounds, Buddha asked him how he reacted to the villagers’ violence. Angulimala said he recited mantras and kept calm during the beating!
Titiksha is Surrender
Angulimala’s composure was only possible because of his surrender. There is a higher power who automatically takes care of our body actions such as breathing and digestion, even though we may not be aware of them. We need to surrender with Titiksha to this higher power as He knows what is best for us. Practising Titiksha and surrender can give us freedom from fear and agitation. We all have to carry our personal cross. Nobody can escape this work. We should do this with a smile and trust Him to make our burden lighter.