Past mistakes

During a journey, Buddha came across a yogi with only one leg.

“I burn all my past mistakes”, explained the man.

“And how many mistakes have you burned?

“I have no idea.”

“And how many are left to burn?” enquired Buddha.

“I have no idea.”

“Then it is time to stop. Stop asking God for forgiveness, and go and ask those you wounded for forgiveness.”


  1. Julieta says:

    Aftr reading Aleph I want to know how to find the people I’ve hurt in past lives. I have a feeling I did something and somehow how my soul cannot feel peace due to that. I feel I cannot advance in life like I’m being blocked and I had no idea one carries with past live burdens. Where to star?

  2. Nadia says:

    Paulo, desde que lei “Veronica decide morir” me impactaste! Ahora, sos mi inspiracion de lectura… Atraves de tus palabras, siento q te conosco de por vida.
    Besos desde Argentina

  3. Mohammad Ali Gaad says:

    One can’t make God agree till he/she heals the wounds of person whom he dis-heart or snub.

  4. diana bo says:

    fix what it ‘s broken….

    1. a little bow bow says:

      nothing major :)

    2. sammed patil says:

      nice reply… one who can express very much using very few words is true sage…

  5. s k satyam says:

    loads of love dear paulo coelho
    sometimes in life we do make mistakes, and sometimes we get hurt too but what is always more important is ,what we learnt from that mistake ….! one must not forget we are humans and so we can’t pretend to be some suerpower and always move the right direction .But at the same time one can’t afford to repeat it again n again . Forgive n forget the small misdeeds n mistakes of life in order to achieve the bigger virtues . There is a whole world to explore in such a short time . so ,move ahead……… and look for the beautiful things around..1

    with love…….

  6. Sonja Plonero says:

    Thank you, dear Mr. Koelho, your written words make me stronger.

  7. Shelley says:

    Did he burn off his leg?

  8. Love is in the air..... says:

    Shhhhhh……. Love is in the air…… Every where you feel around….. Rebirth is the change…. Accepting the change…. Accepting the Blessings of New Beginings… Embracing the Miracle as Gigt of Life…

  9. Vito says:

    Paulo, leve suas obras ao teatro.

  10. sheena singh says:

    Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner….But really its very tough to let go off the hurt!! But that’s the whole idea and believe me its a wonderful feeling!!!!!!

  11. Tara Hamdi says:

    Being a mother of 2 girls, I tend to teach them from my mistakes, and give them from what little knowledge i have. I can say that it is good to do both, look for the people you have hurted and ask for forgiveness as well as asking the creator itself, they both have to work in Harmony.

    Thanks Pauloas usual.

    Tara Hamdi

  12. nothingilistic says:

    What and rob them?

  13. Olga says:

    “Sólo veo, rubia, morena, peliroja…”

    Yo sólo veo 1s y 0s. A veces estoy frente a la pantalla, a veces estoy detrás. Una vez fue una pelí­cula pero me di cuenta de que era eso hasta que terminó, aunque desde el inicio ví­ que era una proyección que provení­a de un aparato de cine antiguo, sobre una pared. Eso lo ví­ en el cielo, a través de una ventana. ¿Sabés?, quisiera volver a ver un aleph que un dí­a dejé por ahí­, pues ya se me está olvidando. Sólo quisiera. La vida es tan extraña… S:-Q :- )

  14. ..and if they’re not around, pray for their forgiveness and peace from God :)

    1. diana bo says:

      Mmmmmmm :P

  15. LoveM says:

    Maybe the Buddha..ha..ha says.. forget about it.. have a good laugh..
    What burns.. burns only what is not you..
    Don’t go limping around..
    Looking to the past..
    Let it past..
    Don’t stay captive..
    In the worlds memory..
    In forgetting you are free..
    In passing what then still remains..

    I am never me
    Because with this awareness
    I am always free

    So what is free will
    That is our opportunity
    To choose nothing ill

    Space inside of me
    There is nowhere else to be
    This truth sets me free

    Freedom is for free
    But will cost you everything
    You’re holding on to

    Discover the Truth..
    You are free.. Ever present..
    Heart pleasing Being..

    1. Annie says:

      no time no time like the present
      else you re late you re late
      to transform the past you need no time
      like the present

      it is not the passing from past to future
      transformation happens not tomorrow,
      not in the past, but today,
      rebirth is never a loser

      it’s not the effort you make to be free
      that frees you , the truth can only free you
      joy is not joy when continues forever
      it has to be discovered like treasure

      in your thoughts,
      in your smile and the tear
      without love, life has no life
      and rebirth is only an idea

      Love and Gratitude

    2. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

      “without love, life has no life
      and rebirth is only an idea” … So true My dear Annie but…

      All life are searching for love
      All life is a new chance for love.
      All day is a new discovery.
      All hours are full of hope.
      This is in every minute of the present,
      we have to live, as if it was the last.
      Since, we live only in this minute
      Because the past is nothing but a memory,
      and because the future is nothing but a dream.

      Love and blessings for you, my dear Annie. M Christine

    3. LoveM says:

      Just see.. This is.. A revelation.. You are In truth.. Living truth
      Realise you are.. At one with your true nature.. Effortless seeing
      Our true nature is.. Pure peaceful still beautiful.. AtOne with what is
      One thing at a time.. No matter what may appear.. Onething all the time
      What sublime being.. And did we need to know or.. Believe anything
      There’s nothing to leave.. In setting sail I arrive.. Going what is left
      As Love loves itself..It sees all things as itself..You are Love itself

  16. coco mtshali says:

    Wow,touchy,Yet so true

  17. katie says:

    There are two stories in this one.
    The first story ends with “I have no idea.”
    it alone shows us how easily some people may feel guilty and “beat themselves up” as the yogi, but actually do not know their mistakes specifically. and this is true. some of our mistakes we may know. but many other mistakes are in our unconscious. they follow us like a shadow wherever we go. but it is hard to look at them: if we turn around, they move around with us, too.

    So, at the end of this first story, the question arises: how can we deal with those mistakes that are located in our unconsciousness? how can we become more aware when we hurt other people because of our mistakes?

    Buddha can give advice for this. but the answer is not given by the second story, i.e., the last sentence. there is no god for buddha.

  18. And finally.... says:

    Every of my concept is clear… Seince last twenty four hours i am writing only what i feel correct … I am not going through any of the other comments … My last comments which i read was of the first three togather…
    More over as i told earlier i can sense the pure heart of the artist in his paintings…my attention is only towards my guru …dont take it to your hearts …sometimes in life one should look into the mirror of his own too… I once again ascertain my Hilal that her Sacrifice will not go in vain… Check my previous comments i still dont have ill feelings for any one of you… My guru has digged out the hidden Old man inside… Forgive and Forget…. I will still say

    mere gunahon ko yahin maaf kar dou mere doston…

    Jub mai kafan mein jaoon tou yei hasrat na rahei baaki…

    Ki kisi dost ka gunahgaar hoon mai…

    Peace Peace ….Please…. As i am habituated to ….this time i beg of you for Peace Peace …
    Friends once again……

    1. Heimo Alexander Kruschinski says:

      Dark is the meaning of any speech ….

  19. sofia says:


  20. haiku says:

    don’t hold your breath waiting for those who have wounded you to return to ask for forgiveness or say they are sorry . It is better to forgive them and move on without needing or asking for an apology. You are responsible for healing yourself and your own wounds. Waiting for an apology or to even think the one who has wounded you would return to ask for forgiveness is a complete waste of time and emotional energy. Use that energy more constructively and look forward….strength and healing comes with the journey … so I have learned.

  21. Olga says:

    Escuché de El Alquimista por primera vez de la boca de “E.CH.” M. en el 96 pero nunca sentí­ el impulso de leerlo. Lo leí­ como en el 2004-5, no sé. Cuando se lo comenté a Chris él me contó de el Manual del Guerrero de la Luz on-line.

  22. Yilmaz says:

    In Turkey we have a saying when we are about to leave a passionate or delicate conversation: “Hakkini helal et.” The other one in return replies: “Helal olsun.” to release the one from his guilt.

    Literally it means: “Renounce your rights”. It symbolizes “Forgive me for whatever I have, intentionally or unintentionally, said or done and that might have hurt you”

    Sometimes we say or do things that seem clear and right for us but that cause pain to others. Within they silently get hurt, but they don’t show it…Ask yourself how many times you have been in such conflicts…punching with loud words as well as receiving the silent verbal punches.

    With love,

    1. diana bo says:

      hakli sin Yilmaz

    2. Marie-Christine says:

      To all concerned
      Forgive me for whatever I have intentionally or unintentionally said or done and that might have hurt you.
      thank you
      with love
      hakkini helal et

    3. with love says:

      helal olsun

  23. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

    I do not believe in a vengeful God who judges and is there to forgive or not.
    It still leaves us the choice, and the greatest punishment for our mistakes, is our own remorse. Instead of asking God to forgive our negative actions, since he already knows, it is more useful, to apologize to those who we have give suffering, directly. This is a good way to relieve the pain of the one we wounded, to recognize our mistakes, and ask his forgiveness for the pain caused. However, he will grant us forgiveness, will not necessarily relieve our own guilt. And that is precisely what will be our greatest pain.

    Je ne crois pas en un Dieu vengeur, qui juge et est lí  pour pardonner ou non.
    Il nous laisse toujours le choix, et la plus grande punition pour nos erreurs, est notre propre remords. Plutí´t que de demander pardon í  Dieu pour nos actions négatives, puisqu’il les connaí®t déjí , il est plus utile, de s’excuser auprès de ceux que l’on a fait souffrir, directement. C’est un bon moyen de soulager la peine de celui que l’on a blessé, que de reconnaí®tre nos erreurs, et de demander son pardon pour le chagrin causé. Cependant, le pardon qu’il nous accordera, ne suffira pas forcément í  soulager notre propre remords. Et c’est bien cela qui sera notre plus grande peine.
    M Christine G

  24. Gods representatives... says:

    This world is full of so many types of people…there are who see God in someones face..and are being called crazy or are being said to be drunkard…or are treated as insane…..and then there are people who feel that they have become God …start making judgements on Gods behalf…God seems to be quite buisy so might have sent some representatives to look after his job…
    they forget the feets of clay which looked to be of clay were actualy iron feets in disguise… ..
    You may run from the Blog…or from me …who still considers you as …or from the other two good people…but can you run away from yourself…..its still time “go and ask for forgiveness from people you have hurt”…the list might be quite long as you have been buisy making im balanced decisions on behalf of God..there by hurting many…using slangs filthy language…open your eyes …what you are doing…. time is very less list of people you have hurt is very long….. I know how one feels after being forgiven and starts afresh…it still not late at least For Gods sake …be Human…no one has seen God …. Being Human…is a Reflection of God…. I wont turn up as the Picture is very clear to me…Learnt so many Good things as i behaved and acted as a student not as a Teacher or God….will sitaa forgive raam ? ….i had replied the other day … I still remain on it…chck the comments of annie …you will get the reply..forgive and forget….no ill feelings… Wish Love and peace to everyone …

  25. One thing I have learned is that when we actually talk about our mistakes, say them out loud, especially if someone was hurt because of them, we come face to face with our mistakes. It is like we named it, became familiar with it and now can actually become a person from them.

    A bit like looking in the mirror, only when we see ourselves that we start either brushing our hair because it is out of place, adjust our tie because it is crooked:)

  26. An ailing patient... says:

    Those who realise and confess to the people whome they are responsible with sincere heart are always forgiven.. Specialy by the people they love or by the people who love them..
    ..but what for people who never look inside their ownself …just pass on judgements to others mistakes…those who do not realise …love generates more love …similarly hatred generates hatred…
    I will give an example.. if some one in a noble profession of healing ie medical profession instead of healing wounded ones first asks the wounded what all good and bad you have done .accordingly i will decide what treatment you require….and finally finds that his prevert mind says that he is a sinner…he has done an accident hurtng some one …. we will not treat him…his sins are unforgiveble…let him die of pain…This world is full of such people… They never understand that Only those can be Forgiven who realise and admit they are guilty… This Earth is balanced due to the other two types of person the one who know to forgive and forgiven…the other two…….. Great inspiring story….

  27. Broader insights.... says:

    The entire jouney was an ALEPH….also means …infinite sets…the Blog manifested the train …having infinite set of people traveling ….manifested by words and thoughts of all of us….

    Unite….cut the web…Seduce….mend….beggar….dog….orgy…clay foot….love….humanity….friendship….confession…..apology….forgive….forget….god….devine…sacred….break…hurt….being sincere to your ownself…struggle…artist…poet….dream…..Gods reflection….drunkard….peace….old man….good…bad….nonsense…macro…micro…beauty….reality…goodness…oprah….paulo…appreciation…giving judgements on others mistakes ….old man…iternal spirits dance…wife forgiving…publish…unpublish…written on your heart…pure…help….was it a help….present..,past…future…sincere revealition…three promises..anticipation..bigger purpose..sacrifice….sacred…,bhnjan…guru..mata…hilal….aleph……Paulo…guru…clone…risk…family…marriage…silence….stem from the region of…marshal art …legends…sins…living things….cherish….change….adopt …accept…embrace…bla…bla…bla..hmm…emotions…

    Infinite set of words n thouhts were used
    and its said….

    words and thoughts reflect what you are ….

    And theory of attraction says…what you give comes back to you….

    You might not have still understood the relation of this Aleph with FORGIVING…

    I know what i gave and what i got in this journey..of life …..I gave love …peace…humanity…forgiveness…promise…an artists heart…. I GOT BACK EVERYTHING in RETURN… N m getting it & will keep on getting…

    We all get what we give… You will get in return GOOD only… you all have done GOOD…. I started this journey and also conclude it with PATS words… who said ….all the mistakes are not evil…

    The unanswered questions were …. Was the first one a help ? I begged for seduced you ? BEGGAR…SEDUCING…

    The second question is why only me seen as a SINNER…..


  28. Annie says:

    unfortunately there are some people who always remind you your mistakes or always want you to feel that you are not able to do anything but mistakes and on top of that they say “say you ;re sorry”
    also some others they confuse that sayin’ i m sorry is same as saying “I was wrong”
    I will say I misread the instructions if I thought that your doctor’s recipe also had fish in the diet he advised, but I will not say I m sorry for this..especially when you say “Say you ‘re sorry” because I m not, I will say I was wrong but I not that I m sorry because I didn’t even harm you and won’t give you the satisfaction for your ego

    Love and Gratitude

  29. LoveM says:

    The mind imagines.. remembers.. forgets
    Because it is hardly ever present and is divided
    The heart knows.. loves.. forgives..
    Because it is always present and is whole
    Surrender the mind to the heart to hold..

    Gift of this moment(FOR..GIVE..NESS)
    There is no past or future
    Only the present

    You’re not doing life
    So escape.. prisons of mind
    Life is doing you

    The dissolution
    Of the mistaken ego
    Is true solution

    Joy of surrender
    There are no past mistakes and
    Life is responsible

    The sweetness of life
    Is always present.. know this
    You are present too

    1. Annie says:

      The mind imagines,
      the heart of everything is the mind
      “Why give her the reign?” said the mind
      “when she’s always competing me?
      She don’t have the mind,
      to take away and cut off what I don’t like,
      so off with her hearts ”

      the heart imagines,
      a mind where the heart is the mind
      “How can the mind ever for-give me the reign
      when he is always competing me?” said the heart
      “I m off with my head, but have heart
      and I really don’t mind.
      For, I can give only what I have
      and that’s the way it always was, my heart”

      Love and Gratitude

    2. Gods representatives... says:

      Splendid …. I am spell bound with each and every of the word …. Its Pure Wisdom … Devines prescence can be felt in each and every of the words…. A Painters first Painting on This Canvas … A creation which will remain immortal ….. Geetas Gyaan painted into the blank canvas of Arjuna using different beautiful colors of WISDOM each one saying this is LIFE …this is the BEAUTY of LIFE ….every word saying Get up ARJUN you are Ready fully prepared for the Battlefield ….Each and every color of the Devines Painting is impressioned deep down on every nook n corner of my canvas ..The Devine has shown me the Beauty of Life with his own Eyes .. LIFE CAN BE SO BEAUTIFUL I NEVER IMAGINED … I realise… Idioms are based on realities… Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder… I can feel the difference in my own Sight …He has given me the Biggest Gift of the Moment his eyes to look at Life… M CHERISHING THE BLISS OF LIFE WITH DEVINES EYES ….. BLESSED WITH DEVINES SIGHT… CLEAR AND FULL…which Shall remain for ever and ever…

      No more advices and lets stop this blame game…beyond a limit We are no one to reflect on each others shortcomings … Now its time to go back to once at least once revise each comment we have written…we will be able to better judge what we are and what we should be … Just think and analyse what for you came into this debate ? To give peace to an agitated mind … To bring some one Back to life ……violence will generate more violence …. love generates more love….lets preach and practice love peace nonvoilence humanity unity appreciating forgiving ……Lets Learn something from the person who came forward with this Noble Cause to rescue one his Fellow artist from a very bad phase in life …LETS NOT DILUTE THE NOBLE CAUSE…

  30. Heimo Alexander Kruschinki says:

    This is a wonderful story. I give the Buddha right, of course. But I myself have chosen a different path. The forgiveness of God, and forgiveness in me, that’s for me, two sides of the same medal. If I can not forgive myself, how can God forgive me? This has nothing to do with his grace. I never forgive people. I’ve noticed that I tend to pass judgment on them, in order to forgive them. I do not want to judge other people. And so i do not ask for forgivness, because i do not want that people have to judge. This has nothing to do with an apology. If I make a mistake I apologize. And i mean it honestly. Everyone makes mistakes. And a sincere apology, I accept gladly. In the vast majority of cases. But not always. Why should I? I’m very resentful, and that’s a good thing. I do not intend to change me. Many may think this is very harsh. Perhaps. But I am not the Buddha or a Saint. I can live with it wonderfully. And if we believe the bible, at the end of the day there will be a judgment, maybe without forgivness for some. I do not know.

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  31. Annie says:

    We are humans, so we make mistakes
    But we need something more than being able to make mistakes to forgive.. sometimes to forgive can be so demanding as working a miracle..
    It takes a lot of courage and lots of faith to forgive, it is a task that demands your divine presence, something that connects and unites , and not disperse and collapse.. it takes lots of Love for the other person (or yourself) and lots of risk.. forgiving what was and leaving room for what can be ..
    It’s the hardest thing they say…
    ih yes that’s true…
    but the moments I cannot find myself to forgive (me, which is also and entails the other person) I act on it.. I mean I act as if I forgave myself and then one day passes by and then the other day passes by and I find I really did..

    Love and gratitude
    if you find the divine in you it becomes easier…

  32. chieko says:

    mistakes are part of my charm:)

    1. :)cheeky says:

      yeah i can relate to that too.

  33. Keith says:

    I see Christians, that is followers of the Church rather than followers of Jesus, worshiping in church, maybe seeking forgiveness for their sins, then leave the church with a total disconnect.

    I call my mobile phone company to complain for the umpteenth time about their piss-poor service. They apologise, say they are sorry, but the the piss-poor service worsens.

    Sorry is one of the hardest words to say, it is also one of the easiest.

    Forgiveness only has meaning when it comes from the heart, when we show grace. Actions speak far louder than words.

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa heard ‘confessions’ from those who had carried out atrocities during the Apartheid era. One of the gruesome and most moving was that from a policeman. They killed a black boy, then burnt his body to destroy the evidence. Eight years later, the policeman returned and burnt the father, forcing his wife to watch.

    Asked by the judge what she wanted, she said she wished Mr van den Broek to go with her to the place where her husband and son had been burnt, gather up their ashes and give them a decent burial. He agreed. She then added:

    Mr van de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him too. I would like to embrace him so he can know my forgiveness is real.

    As she slowly walked towards the witness stand some in the court started to sing Amazing Grace. Mr van de Broek did not though hear the singing, he had fainted, overwhelmed.

  34. Elisa says:

    So,How we can forgive ourselves??