Forgiveness (khamati) is the willingness to let go of anger, resentment or vengefulness we might have towards those who have injured us or those we love. In Buddhism forgiveness is seen as a type of giving higher and nobler than the giving of material things. When one of his disciples would confess a wrongdoing to him, the Buddha would usually say: `Truly a fault has overcome you. But since you have acknowledged the fault and confessed it as is proper, I forgive it. For anyone who acknowledges a fault and confesses it, will develop restraint in the future and grow in the noble discipline'(D.I,85).
He also said: `By three things the wise person can be known. He sees a fault as it is. On seeing it he tries to correct it. When another acknowledges a fault he forgives it as he should'(A.I,103). Twice a month monks and nuns are asked to meet together and confess any infringements of the Vinaya rules before their fellows and seek their forgiveness.
The Jàtaka offers this good advice on the value of forgiveness and reconciliation. `If good people quarrel they should quickly be reconciled and form a bond that long endures. Like useless cracked or broken pots, only fools do not seek reconciliation. One who understands this and considers this teaching, does what's hard to do and is a worthy brother. One who bears the abuse of others is fit to be a conciliator'(Ja.III,38). Buddhism also recognizes forgiveness as an important aspect of love.
A Jātaka story tells of a group of friends who were sentenced to be crushed to death by an elephant because a jealous official had made serious but false accusations against them to the king. As the elephant approached the unfortunate group their leader said to them: `Keep the Precepts in mind and maintain love towards the liar, the king and the elephant, as you would towards yourself'(Ja.I,199-200).