Often, in establishing your righteousness, you are insensitive to others’ feelings. When someone is hurt, arguing with them and establishing your righteousness will be in vain. By simply saying “sorry,” you can uplift the other person and take away the bitterness. In many situations saying “sorry” is better than establishing your righteousness—it can avert much unpleasantness.

This one word of five letters, when said sincerely, can remove anger, guilt, hatred and distance. Many people feel pride in hearing “sorry” from others—it boosts their ego. But when you say “sorry” to a wise man, it evokes compassion at your ignorance. And when you say “sorry” to your guru, he will get angry and say, “Go! Listen to Ashtavakra Gita!” (laughter) You saying “sorry” indicates doership—you feel that YOU have MADE a mistake.

A mistake is part of an unconscious mind. An unconscious mind cannot do right, while a conscious mind can do no wrong. The mind that makes the mistake and the mind that realizes the mistake—saying “sorry”—are entirely different, aren’t they!