There is a story in the Ramayana: Lord Rama needed the help of Garuda, one of his devotees, at a time when Rama was under the spell of a poison arrow. Garuda saved him from that. After he did this, a doubt came in his mind. “I thought Rama was my savior all these years. I thought he was going to help me, but today if I did not save him, he would have died. Today he needed my help and I saved him. How can I depend on him? I seem to be more powerful than he is. He seems to be ordinary, for without me he would have died. Both he and his brother would have died in the war.”

When this doubt came in Garuda, it kept eating at him. When doubt starts to overtake the mind, the consciousness starts to go down. Doubt is one thing that can eat and destroy you. When doubt enters the soul, they say that the person will have neither success in this world or the next world, the inner world. Such was the doubt of Garuda. He was in such dismay because all his trust had been shaken. What could he do now? He could not tell Rama that he doubted whether he could continue to be his devotee because he now perceived Rama to be weaker than himself. He could not dare to go and ask him. So he quietly went and asked Narada, another teacher who was the exponent of divine love, and the author of the Bhakti Sutras.

Narada told Garuda to go and ask a particular crow in the Himalayas. He told him to go and sit at the feet of the crow and he would learn. This was very humiliating for Garuda because Garuda was known as the king of birds and now had to go to the lowest of the birds to seek advice. The point of the story is that Garuda had to go and give up his total ego and sit at the feet of a crow to clear his doubts. The crow then tells Garuda, “Oh, you fool, the master has uplifted you so much by giving you the chance to serve him in that manner. Couldn’t you see this? It is so obvious. His love for you was so great that he put himself down and put you up so that you could feel better in serving him by saying that you saved him. What could save Lord Rama? He is the savior of the whole creation.” The crow gives him a good lecture.

With this knowledge, his doubt and his ego vanished. He went back to the master and started serving the master. Humility came back to Garuda. Humility is the perfection of the soul, of the being.

Our sins are not deep down inside us. They are superficial. They are not even skin deep. That is why in ancient India there is a saying, “If you have done something wrong, go to the Ganges and take a dip. Like soap washes away the dirt from you, sin is so superficial it will get washed away.”

One heartfelt, sincere prayer can relieve you of your sins. Click To Tweet

However the past has been, whatever mistake has happened, in the present, do not consider yourself to be a sinner or maker of that mistake, because in the present moment you are again new, pure, and clear.

Mistakes of the past are past. When knowledge dawns, that moment you are perfect again.