Forgiveness is one of the central concepts of Christianity. In this religious tradition, God forgives Christians when they act in ways which are outside of His Will. This is called sin, and while scripture holds that people can’t live totally sin-free lives, God is completely willing to forgive these sins, allowing Christians the opportunity to live with Him after death.

Similarly, Christians are to forgive others, just as they are forgiven—in Matthew 6:15, Jesus teaches that “if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Hindu scriptures also embrace a life of forgiveness. Ksama is the word which describes the Hindu concept of forgiveness, and is considered one of the faith’s cardinal virtues. Theologically, a Hindu who does not forgive carries with them feelings of anger and unresolved emotions which will affect their future incarnations.

And so, for Hindus, it is important to both forgive, and to seek forgiveness for wrongs—it is considered a virtuous sacrifice in many Hindu texts.

Both Christianity and Hinduism promote forgiveness, recognizing that the ability to release the desire for vengeance makes for a much better world.

There is Unity in Difference

Despite the many ways Christianity and Hinduism differ, these two faiths agree on some fundamental ethical ideas—ideas which can better the world if acted upon.

Imagine the potential of these two faiths if their adherents were to combine their efforts to show love and kindness to the poor, to forgive those who have historically wronged them, and to be humble in their interactions with the world. Crossing the boundaries between these two religious cultures—and others—is just what the unity we need in this challenging era of difference.