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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Apologies and Penance Durable Link to this BLOG
Apologies and Penance

The Pope is on an apology spree (recently he has apologied to the Jews, the victims of slavery, and to the Chinese), Murdoch apologies to "War Slut" Amanpour, John Cooksey apologises to people who "wear diapers on head", Japanese apologize to sex crimes against the Korean women, ABC President apologises, and we all know Bill Clinton has apologized.

An apology without sincerity is like a prayer without devotion. The apologies in many of the above instances are made for political correctness, rather than in correction of the conscience. Such apologies do not heal wounds, and are just cheap talk that wastes away. IMHO a sincere apology is accompanied by corrective action, with a personal vow never to repeat the act.

In the Hindu tradition this is called as Prayaschitta -- I am really unable to translate it to English; the closest words I can find are penance, expiation and atonement. In some schools of Hindu thought, a sin cannot be forgiven, and must be paid for -- in this life, in a next life, or in afterlife. I am strongly attracted to this principle because it becomes a deterrant against comitting sins. The role of the apology then, is only to ask for liniency in the punishement.

In some ways, this is a deviation from other beliefs, where one is told that "All your sins are forgiven if..{Insert the religious sacrament here}"


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, November 01, 2001
Last Modified: 1/24/2003

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