Ksanti in Text

The following is from The Twenty Values of Jnanam:

The Sanskrit word ksanti is often translated as forbearance or endurance— but these words have a negative flavor of resigned sufferance. Ksanti is a positive attitude. A better translation is accommodation. The attitude of ksanti means

  • to cheerfully and calmly accept behaviors and situations which cannot change
  • to give up the expectation or demand that another person (or situation) should change in order to conform our pleasure

In the spirit of ksanti we accommodate to situations and people happily.

And how do we accommodate in such a way? We should look to the person behind the act. Rather than simply responding to the behavior, we

  • try to understand the cause behind the behavior
  • put ourselves in a position to respond to the person, not to the action, and our response to the person can be an accommodative response.

If we cannot see behind the actions, nonetheless we keep in mind the fact that many reasons, unknown to us, set the stage for any action on the part of another person. With this frame of mind we will find it natural to be accommodative. To be free to respond to the person

  • we must be free of mechanical reactions
  • We must choose our attitude and take our actions deliberately

When we avoid reactions, we are free to choose our actions and attitudes - we can choose to be accommodative in our thoughts, words and deeds.

Ksanti is a quality of a saint.

A saint is:
a person who never consciously hurts another person by action, word or thought;
who accepts people—good or bad—just as they are;
who has an endless capacity to be accommodative, forgiving, and merciful

These qualities of accommodation, forgiveness, mercifulness are included in the quality called ksanti.

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