Who Can Forgive Sins?


I have seen many times that in chruch there is one box type cabin where father listen to the confession of sin of person who wish to do so and thus he is relieved from the burden of his misdeed in this process nor father knows who came for confession nor the confessor knows who was the father.I want to know whether this custom is still there in West? Did master advocated this? As per law of cause and effect how can such person be relieved from his misdeed? Or it is assurance he wont do it again?

—Bhushan, India


Dear Bhushan,

My name is Nayaswami Hriman. I was born and raised a Catholic and once studied for the Catholic priesthood before coming to the path of Self-realization.

In Yoganandaji’s many years in America he became familiar with the sacrament of (Catholic) confession. He asked the same questions you did. Not all priests have attained the same level of God-realization and therefore not the same level of spiritual power to help others.

If a man gets drunk and comes to confession, is his hangover suddenly gone? No! Let us just say that “confession is good for the soul!” The Catholics say something to the effect that Jesus’ words to his disciples giving them “the keys to heaven” to forgive or not (and various things like that) is the source of their authority to say that the ritual of confession is endowed with the power of Christ to forgive sins.

Well, it’s a happy thought, no doubt, and probably no harm in it, either. But the law of karma and the law of divine love rule the universe of duality. The drunkard must stop drinking, the liar, stop lying, and the adulterer must be faithful.

To change deeply embedded habits requires will power to change the karmic pattern but can be greatly enhanced by devotion and divine grace, especially with the help of the guru. Both are necessary.

The ego with will power and knowledge can change bad karma into good karm but it’s still karma and thus the pendulum swings. Get rid of one bad habit and you find another.

Only in the transcendent presence of the soul, which is eternal, the Atman, can be begin the journey away from the bondage of duality.

Nayaswami Hriman