Hari – Redemption of Sins
During your meditation, it struck you that “Hari” comes from the Sanskrit “hri” = to take away. “Hari”, therefore, means “He who takes away (our) sins”. But you must not think of this during your meditation or remembrance of God (Hari). At any other time, you can certainly contemplate that definition. I ask you not to think of this during your meditation or prayer because redemption of sins is not the one and only quality that Hari (God) possesses. We should not continue our concept of Hari within this narrow definition.
Putting that aside, it is not proper for us to say in our prayer, “Oh, Hari, wash off our sins”. I say so because Hari (God) is the cause that impels action. Hari is action itself. Hari is the law that governs action, and Hari is the effect of action. If this concept of Hari is correct, any attempt on our part to avoid doing what we ought to, or any prayer to save ourselves from the effects of our sins, is of no avail. For the redemption of such actions (sinful acts), for the washing off of the stain of such sins, what we should do is this. With complete equanimity, peacefulness, and cheerfulness, we should accept, with all our heart and mind, our own responsibility for our actions and look upon their painful effects as God’s favour conferred upon us. Only by that total surrender to God’s law and will are our sins automatically redeemed.