Are you holding a grudge? About?

“Are You Holding a Grudge?”      “NO” 

I can honestly say, as I reflect on my life, that I hold no grudge against anyone. What I once deemed as ‘bad experiences’ were, in truth, valuable lessons that shaped my journey.

This presentation is dedicated to the celebration of JANMASHTAMI, LORD KRISHNA'S BIRTHDAY, and it will take you on a trip through the complex web of resentment with the help of thinkers like Kant and Nietzsche, as well as the ageless advice of the Bhagavad Gita. The pragmatist insights of William James and the everlasting truths of Lord Krishna serve as springboards for this investigation into the heart of forgiveness. 

Introduction: An Explanation of the Nature and Roots of Grudges:

A long-standing bitterness that develops in response to perceived transgressions is known as a grudge. It roots itself in interpersonal connections after being sown by betrayals of trust or failures to live up to expectations. Whether they are founded on actual or imagined wrongs, grudges are frequently handed down from one generation to the next.

The Effects That Keeping a Grudge Can Have on a Person’s Mental Health:

Keeping a grudge has a negative impact on one’s mental health and well-being. It is a breeding ground for animosity, resentment, and emotional misery, all of which contribute to elevated stress levels and the possibility of mental health problems. 

The Imperative to Forgive, According to Kantian Deontology:

The deontological ethics proposed by Kant places an emphasis on obligation and ethical standards. When seen from this angle, the act of forgiving an offense might be interpreted as a moral requirement. Keeping resentment in one’s heart is in direct opposition to the categorical imperative, which states that one must treat other people with respect and decency at all times. According to Kant, forgiving is an act that transcends one’s own personal grievances and serves to sustain human dignity.

The Utilitarian Approach to Striking a Balance Between Feelings and Consequences:

The philosophy of utilitarianism evaluates deeds according to the extent to which they contribute to achieving the goals of maximizing happiness and reducing suffering. It is important to strike a balance between the emotional well-being of the forgiver and the pursuit of greater general pleasure and harmony while practicing forgiveness. 

The Development of Forgiveness as a Virtue in the Context of Virtue Ethics:

 Recognizing forgiveness not as a sign of weakness but rather of fortitude is essential to the cultivation of this virtue. Improving one’s ability for empathy, compassion, and magnanimity is a necessary step in this process. According to this point of view, being able to let go of resentment and forgive a wrongdoing is a sign of moral maturity and reflects an individual’s ability for grace and compassion.

Grudges Change Our Perception and Interpretation.

Grudges greatly affect our perception and interpretation of events. They distort our perception, emphasizing negatives and downplaying positives. This changed view might misrepresent prior acts and intentions, sustaining animosity.

Openness, empathy, and perspective-taking are epistemic virtues.

Managing grudges requires epistemic qualities. Open-mindedness balances many perspectives, providing a more complex understanding. Empathy helps understand another’ intentions and experiences. Epistemic virtue, perspective-taking, helps resolve grudges by revealing the complexity of human interaction and fostering compassion.

The Role of Time in Grudge Resolution:

Time is key to grudge settlement. As time passes, feelings change and fade. This natural process might reduce resentment. Distance from the initial hurt might let forgivers see things objectively. Knowing grudges are temporary emphasizes their potential for healing and progress.

Nietzschean Eternal Recurrence: Breaking the Grudge Cycle.

Nietzsche’s everlasting repetition makes grudge-holding a major issue. It asks if people would tolerate the same experiences, even a grudge, forever. This thought experiment challenges the value of resentment. It implies that releasing grudges might help people overcome negative patterns and adopt a more positive attitude on life.

The Pragmatism of Letting Go:

William James and Forgiveness.

William James’ pragmatism promotes realism in thoughts and deeds. James suggests exploring the real advantages of forgiveness for grudges. He stresses that letting go of a grudge improves relationships, mental health, and societal harmony. James advises weighing the benefits of forgiveness against the costs of bitterness.

Signifying Grudge Resolution Change with Peircean Semiotics.

Grudge resolution is viewed differently through Charles Peirce’s semiotics. Semiotics examines signals and interpretations. Letting go of a grudge can symbolize reconciliation, understanding, and a better future.


Possible Liberation: Ontological Forgiveness Perspectives.

Considering forgiveness from an ontological perspective illuminates the possibility of grudge freedom. Ontology studies being and existence. Forgiveness transforms one’s identity in this scenario. It may release people from resentment, giving them a new sense of self and a free life.

Lord Krishna conveys significant guidance.

Lord Krishna conveys significant guidance on equanimity, especially in the context of forgiving others, in the 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. True dedication, he says, comes from one’s character and not from external observances. Those who can remain equanimous during happy and sad times alike, as well as through the process of forgiving a wrongdoer, are praised by Lord Krishna. This calmness results from knowing the world is temporary and having unshakeable confidence in the Divine. One achieves inner peace by moving beyond opposites and openly welcoming new experiences, including the mending of old grudges. The teachings of Lord Krishna stress the need of maintaining harmony within and unwavering dedication to one’s spiritual path, especially while one works to lessen resentment.

The following works are recommended for the present subject matter: 

The book titled “Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness” authored by Fred Luskin.

Immanuel Kant’s philosophical book titled “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals”.

The work titled “Utilitarianism” authored by John Stuart Mill.

The literary work titled “Nicomachean Ethics” authored by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The literary work under consideration is “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” authored by Friedrich Nietzsche.

The subject of inquiry in this discussion is the philosophical concept of pragmatism as expounded by the renowned American philosopher, William James.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s seminal work, “The Phenomenology of Spirit.”

The Bhagavad Gita is a timeless philosophical and spiritual text that offers profound insights into various aspects of life, ethics, and spirituality. It provides valuable guidance on how to lead a meaningful and balanced life.

Published by

Arun Singha

Retired from AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA as Dy. General Manager (CNS).BSc(Mathematics Honors). Age 60years. Studying ancient Indian Philosophy along with modern physics and modern Biology. Follow Dr. Bruce H Lipton, Dr. JOE DISPENJA , Gregg Braden and Swami Sarvapriyananda among others. Writing consolidated articles on Upanishads, Advaita Vedanta and other ancient Indian Texts. Wish to work for the society to help people through personal guidance, motivation. Self has work experience of 36 years in the field of Air Navigation Service at different Airports in India. Gained vast experience in handling man and machine. Would like to reach to the people to share my life experiences, how I had overcome great challenges and difficulties at different times and positions.

20 thoughts on “Are you holding a grudge? About?”

    1. Thank you so much for your reply. This says a lot about today’s topic.
      No, we do not have grudges.
      For me, only Love is inside.
      Best wishes.

    2. This is one of the lessons which Krishna gives in our sacred book “Geeta”. Holding onto grudges is like carrying a heavy burden that weighs us down, while the person we hold the grudge against often remains unaffected. It’s a self-imposed imprisonment, limiting our emotional freedom and well-being.

      Learning to let go of grudges is a powerful act of self-compassion. It doesn’t mean condoning or forgetting the wrongs done to us, but rather freeing ourselves from the emotional turmoil and negative energy that grudges generate. By releasing these resentments, we open up space for healing, personal growth, and the possibility of healthier, more positive relationships. A really nice read. Thank you so much.😊🌹

      1. Thank you so much Anita ji for your elaborate comments.
        Indeed, holding a grudge is a burden. This burden keeps us in retardation mode.
        To progress in life, I have found to keep an eye on the ultimate reality. Rest all have to be managed effectively.
        My best wishes to you.
        Have a blissful time ahead 😊
        Regards ☺️🙏

  1. Thank you, Arun, for your erudite essay on not holding grudges.
    Confucius wrote: “Those who want revenge should dig two graves.”
    Also, I know that bad fruits fall by down by their own actions.


    1. Thank you so much, Joanna, for adding valuable insights to this post. This post is for all. We must not have any grudges against anybody.
      Best wishes and regards.

  2. You’ve provided a comprehensive exploration of the nature of grudges and forgiveness through various philosophical lenses, including Kant, Nietzsche, and the Bhagavad Gita. Your presentation seems well-researched and thought-provoking, offering valuable insights into the importance of letting go of grudges for one’s mental health and personal growth. Great job on your work!

    1. Thank you, Shanky, for your kind words.
      Today’s topic is very important to know by all of us for having a peaceful harmonious mankind everywhere.
      That is why, after studying a bit, I wrote this today, based on my real-life experience.
      Best wishes, Shanky.
      Take care.

  3. Hello Arun. How great it is to raise the topic of resentment and forgiveness.👍 For many people, grievances ruin their lives, prevent them from developing and moving on, and provoke various, sometimes very serious, illnesses. I am close to Kant’s position: forgiveness is an action that goes beyond personal grievances and serves to maintain human dignity. It’s like an act of cleansing, rebooting consciousness, which allows you to maintain your inner balance. ⚖
    At the same time, I am close to the position of people who profess prevention without pursuing treatment. So for a long time, from some point in my life, I have not felt any resentment, which is what I wish for everyone. But there are a few lingering grievances that I continue to work through. So not everything is so rosy. 🌈
    Thank you for covering so many aspects of this topic. 👏👏👏
    Have a nice day and wish you continued inspiration! Olga

    1. It’s wonderful, Olga, to hear that you found my content resonant and aligned with your own perspective. Forgiveness, as you’ve eloquently described, indeed holds a profound power to cleanse and restore inner balance. It’s heartening to know that you’ve been able to overcome challenges in your life through the acquisition of knowledge. This speaks to the transformative potential of learning and personal growth.
      I am very happy to know that you have a perspective that aligns closely with Immanuel Kant’s philosophy on forgiveness. Kant emphasized the importance of recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, which forms the basis for his moral framework.
      Seeing forgiveness as an act that transcends personal grievances and upholds human dignity is a profound way to approach this concept. It acknowledges the deep connection between forgiveness, self-respect, and maintaining inner equilibrium. It also reflects a commitment to universal principles of respect and compassion, which are foundational to many ethical and spiritual traditions. I have personally experienced both conditions. Before forgiveness and after forgiveness
      Thank you for sharing your thoughtful reflections on forgiveness. It’s clear that you’ve considered this concept deeply and hold it in high regard.
      Best wishes to you, Olga. Have a great Sunday. Regards.🙏🤝

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Arun. 👏
        A person always has something to work on in the context of self-improvement. Therefore, in matters of forgiveness there is always room for action.
        I am also interested in the topic of human dignity. I have always been and continue to be impressed by people who show dignity in the most difficult circumstances of life. There were people who had such a sense of dignity that it was impossible to humiliate and destroy them by any terrible actions against them. I have not yet thought about this topic systematically, but it does not leave me indifferent.
        I wonder what you think on this issue.
        Best wishes, ☺ Olga.

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