Simplicity - Part 7

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

This is in continuation of the transcription based on the wonderful class given by HG Vaijayantimala Mataji. In the previous mails we saw 21 qualities of a simple person. Let us continue with the other qualities of a simple person. 

22. A simple person is flexible: We should try to be adjustable or malleable. People do not like a person who is very obstinate in whatever way he wants to do. Everybody likes the person, who adjusts according to the place, time and circumstances. The general quality of the living entity is nobody wants to hear good advice. Only flexible person can understand that the person is saying something for the good. Canakya Pandita says,

upadeśo hi mūrkhānāṁ / prakopāya na śāntaye
ayaḥ-pānaṁ bhujaṅgānām / kevalaṁ viṣa-vardhanam

When snake drink milk, it only increases their venom. Similarly, good instructions offered to fools, makes them angry and do not give them peace of mind.

Giving milk to the snake is very nice. But by drinking the milk, poison is increased. In the same way if we give good advice to a person who doesn't listen, that advice will not make him peaceful instead he will become very angry. The best example of a person like this in the scripture is Ravana. Ravana was advised by Vibeeshana, Mandodhari, Sita matha, Hanumanji. Even his grandfather Malyavaan advised him before the war. But Ravana said "Rather would I be cut into two pieces than bend before anybody! Such was I from birth, it is my nature by default and unalterable." Everybody is born with a particular nature. If the svabhaava is unalterable then what is the need of the scripture. Somehow or other we have to mould our nature.

The best example of a person who took the advice very nicely is Dhruva Maharaj. Once Dhruva Maharaja's step brother Uttama, was killed by the Yaksha. Dhruva Maharaj became so anxious and took the whole army to fight with all the Yakshas. Seeing this, his grandfather Svayambhuva Manu came down and advised him not to kill all the Yakshas, it is all happening under the control of the Lord. "You are a devotee, you have seen Krishna personally when you are five years old. So stop all these things." Immediately on hearing this, Dhruva Maharaj accepted the advice and stopped killing the Yakshas. On seeing this, the King of the Yakshas, Kuvera became very pleased. Those who bend will live and those who do not bend will be broken. The same message was mentioned in one of the granthraj offering titled "Better Bent than Broken" few months ago. So we should be flexible to the situation.

23. A simple person accepts and repents for his mistakes: We all are not perfect and we make mistakes. But once we make a mistake and we come to know that we have made a mistake, we should have the open heart to accept the mistake. The best example is Parikshit Maharaj. When he went to the forest for hunting, he became very thirsty. He went to the ashram of Shamika rshi. Rshi was in great meditation and did not receive Parikshit Maharaj. So Parikshit Maharaj became very angry and threw a dead snake around the neck of rshi and went. While going back from the ashram, he repented so much for his mistake. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.19.2 he says,

dhruvaṁ tato me kṛta-deva-helanād
duratyayaṁ vyasanaṁ nāti-dīrghāt
tad astu kāmaṁ hy agha-niṣkṛtāya me
yathā na kuryāṁ punar evam addhā

Due to my neglecting the injunctions of the Supreme Lord I must certainly expect some difficulty to overcome me in the near future. I now desire without reservation that the calamity come now, for in this way I may be freed of the sinful action and not commit such an offense again.

Srila Prabhupada writes, in the fire of repentance all our sins will be burnt to ashes. We have to accept our mistake. We should sincerely and genuinely repent for our mistakes and prepare to change ourselves and not to commit the mistake again. 

24. A simple person is obedient: Maharaj says obedience is the greatest remembrance of Krishna. The greatest remembrance of Krishna is to obey our elders, parents, teachers, spiritual masters and obey everybody who is superior to us. Lord Parasurama is the best example for obedience. His father Jamadagni, asked Him to kill his own mother and He obeyed his order and killed his mother and brothers. Seeing His obedience, Jamadagni became pleased and said that he will give Him benediction. Immediately Lord asked to bring back His mother and brothers back to life. This is the result of obedience. Srila Prabhupada writes in one of the purport that it is the general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated. The law of material nature is going on only under obedience. If the sun decides to disobey the Lord, how much we will suffer. We have to obey the traffic rules. Unless we are obedient to the laws, accidents will happen everywhere. The earth moves in an elliptical orbit around the sun. If the earth's path is little near to the sun, it will be burnt and if the path is little away from the sun, it will be frozen. The perfect path is arranged by the Lord so that we are all happily living without being frozen or burnt. The earth is obedient to follow the same path what Krishna has arranged. Maharaj says, "The moment we listen to our spiritual master and obey his instructions, our karmas are getting significantly reduced. But the moment we disobey, we have to face our own karma."

Krishna willing, we will see the remaining qualities of a simple person in the ensuing mail.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Anuradha devi dasi