Healing a friendship


I had badmouthed a close friend of mine before not less than 20 other people several times because of something unacceptable and bad she had done to me and for which she had no regret.Even she knew that she had done a bad thing but she rationalized her misdeed. That angered me more. But I have been given to understand that we create bad karma for ourselves even when we talk ill of those who ill-treat us.Can I reverse that karma by praying for her?

—Rohini, India


I am sorry for the pain this string of events has caused both you and your friend.

Yes — you are right — we do create bad karma when we speak ill of others. Think of karma as a teacher. In this instance, your friend did something hurtful to you. In return, you sought to hurt her by badmouthing her several times before a large group of people. So, unless she had committed some grave crime against you in the eyes of God or man, it is quite possible the damage that you have done to her name now outweighs the original harm she did to you.

Sometimes karma teaches us by developing our empathy for others. In a very simplistic view, perhaps she may have to experience the pain she caused you, and you might need to see what it feels like to have your name maligned several times in front of a large group of your friends.

The Divine is merciful and compassionate. Ultimately, the laws of karma are not meant to punish us, but to awaken our understanding that we are all made of God’s Love. Sometimes we need a strong karmic lesson to help us realize, “I wouldn’t wish this pain or suffering on anyone.”

That is the awakening of divine love within us. We do not wish to make others suffer, even if they have hurt us. That is why Paramhansa Yogananda said Jesus Christ’s greatest miracle was when he offered forgiveness to those who were crucifying his body, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

When we are in the midst of our errors, we also “know not what we do,” regarding the karma we are creating for ourselves, but we are blessed if something awakens us, and gives us a chance to reverse the error by doing good. And now, by God’s grace, your spiritual understanding has made you ready.

Paramhansa Yogananda gave us a special prayer called the Peace and Harmony Prayer. Do it selflessly. Think of it this way: you created disharmony, and now you can send out waves of harmony. It may eventually even bring about a true healing of your friendship. Time will tell. For now simply do the prayer to make things right with the Divine, for we are all part of God.

The prayer is quite simple:

  • Visualize your friend in light and for one minute pray: “Lord, fill her with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.”
  • Then visualize yourself in light and pray for fifteen seconds: “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.”

The prayer also came with these additional words: “Do this five times a day — three or four times might work, but five times practically never fails.”

This prayer has created “miracles” of healing between people because it breaks the typical pattern of constantly reviewing the problem mentally. It is a breath of fresh air when we take a moment to send peace and harmony for a minute, five times a day; and it allows healing to occur.

Try doing this prayer five times a day for a month or two. This creates a strong, positive wave of energy to help offset the original negative wave.

Then leave it all in God’s hands. Your friend’s lessons are her own to learn, but hopefully this increased harmony will bring about a true and lasting healing between you both, dissolving this karma.

Heal this first in your own heart, and you will be guided as to what degree the outer friendship can be restored. God bless you.

You can read more here: A Powerful Tool for Healing Conflict, by Nayaswami Anandi.