Simplicity - Part 9

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

This is in conclusion of the transcription based on the wonderful class given by HG Vaijayantimala Mataji. In the previous mails we saw 25 qualities of a simple person. Let us continue with the other qualities of a simple person.

26. A simple person forgives easily: Whenever somebody has been rude or harsh with us or doesn't follow what we say or think, we feel insulted and give them back in the same coin. Even after doing so, we are not at peace with ourselves, and keep brooding that she has done more harm to me than what I have returned. The other person too now becomes hostile towards us, and thus we are caught in the vicious cycle. Thus, instead of coming out of the cycle of birth and death, we further entangle ourselves in another cycle, i.e. 'The cycle of revenge'.

While instructing his son Lord Parasurama, about the glories of forgiving nature, the sage Jamadagni says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.15.40 as follows,

kṣamayā rocate lakṣmīr brāhmī saurī yathā prabhā
kṣamiṇām āśu bhagavāṁs tuṣyate harir īśvaraḥ

The duty of a brahmana is to culture the quality of forgiveness, which is illuminating like the sun. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is pleased with those who are forgiving.

Why the exalted devotees are so forgiving and not bothered by offences? Sripada Sankaracharya gives a beautiful example in this regard. A frog is trying to swallow an insect and is keenly focused on the insect. Because it is so keen on the insect, it fails to observe a big snake, which is behind it and ready to swallow it. In the same way, we who have the mentality of "Tit for Tat", are so focused in taking revenge for offenses that we fail to recognize that time (snake) is slowly swallowing them and valuable human energy is wasted by such notorious plan making for revenge. The time in pondering over offenses can be better utilized in spiritual life. The quality of forgiveness is better displayed when we forgive an offender who is within our scope of punishment. There are some offenders who cannot be punished by us. So it does not matter to them whether we forgive them or not. In such cases, we should try to forget their offenses for our benefit.

Our Gurudev says, "We should not only forgive - but also forget the fact that we have forgiven - This is very important as otherwise it will unnecessarily create feeling of pride in usWhen someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

27. A simple person appreciates and encourages others: As our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says, "The thing is we should encourage the people to be devotees. Never discourage. Please encourage yourself to study these things and encourage yourself and others also. Everywhere the encouragement is needed and encouragement is Krishna consciousness." This quality of encouraging and appreciating the living entities is very much important for us to imbibe. We have all taken up the process of devotional service mainly because of the encouragement and appreciation by our most beloved Guru Maharaj. We do not deserve any appreciation, being completely under the modes and we are actually worthy of rejection, but Maharaj who is so broadminded, has not only accepted us but also appreciated us. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.22.16, the Lord is referred to as, "aatma bhaavanah" - "One who is always wishing to elevate the living entities." Especially in Kali yuga, anybody taking to devotional service of the Lord, has become a rare phenomena. Our tendency is that we appreciate only those who are appreciating us. If somebody is finding fault with us, we just ignore them or condemn them. Sometimes when some devotees stray away from devotional service, we should feel repentant and try to see their difficulties and encourage them in devotional service. Our tendency is that if some devotee does not come for programs we simply conclude that devotee is not interested in devotional service and is in maya. Our tendency is to put them down. Already they are in threshold of leaving the devotee association and by our behaviour we worsen the situation. Our Gurudev says that, "How can we conclude that the devotee is in maya? We do not know. May be he is performing devotional service at home. We should be encouraging and guiding all the souls coming to devotional service, by not only ensuring their spiritual well-being but their material well-being also. Unless they are materially placed nicely, they would not be consistent in spiritual up liftment." 

When someone asked Maharaj that after a few years of performing devotional service, we feel that we have not many tangible improvement in our lives, Maharaj lovingly encouraged them saying, "While we are flying in a plane, before take off when the flight moves on the runway, we feel that the plane is moving very fast because we see that the buildings and objects are moving backwards very fast. After the flight takes off and starts flying in the sky, we just see the clouds around us and feel that there is no movement. But the truth is that the flight is moving at a faster rate than on the runway. We can understand the journey we have made only when the flight reaches the destination".

Our heartfelt thanks to HG Vaijayanti Mala mataji for these most important qualities of a simple person which we should contemplate upon again and again and try to follow them in our day to day life. Our heartfelt thanks to Suchitra mathaji for her service in recording these lectures and making them available for transcription.

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