Shri Anil asked:

Why did Jesus on the cross pray to God to excuse His offenders since they were ignorant?

Swami replied:

The prayer of Jesus on the cross tells us that we should have tolerance even towards our bitter enemies. This is a very important and basic concept in the context of Universal Spirituality. Often, some followers of another religion criticize our religion so bitterly that we are unable to control ourselves. So, we retort to them even more bitterly. This further enrages them and the quarrel becomes more and more bitter. Sometimes, it even ends up in physical violence. To avoid this, we should do the opposite. As our enemy becomes more and more bitter, we should become more and more cool and calm. With our minds calm and without any bitterness, we should respond to the basic points in the opponent’s arguments and criticism. Emotions are momentary and they subside in a very short time. If emotion is your answer, you will never be able to answer any question posed by your opponent. Tolerance and a calm mind are essential in any debate.

Please see the below for complete podcast of the message.