Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
When we offend others, we want others to treat it like lines on water. Whereas when we are offended by others, it stays in our heart like lines on stone. Though Krishna mentions in 12th chapter of Gita that one of the glorious qualities which would make us dear to Him is 'kshami' - to be tolerant or forgiving, I find it very difficult to practise it. Holding grudge against others, hampers our progress in all walks of life - to the extent that it has a bad effect on our own physical and mental health. Our spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj very nicely reminds us that we are not appointed judges of others in this world and the best thing we can do is to introspect and judge our ownselves. Particularly in case of exalted Vaishnavas who are always engaged in Lord's service, we dare not to even smile or criticise at their rare short-comings. In Bhagavad Gita verse 9.30 Lord Krishna says
api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi saḥ
Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.
When Krishna Himself is considering such persons as saintly who are we to decry them? Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport of Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila 8.62 - "It is a qualification of a Vaiṣṇava that he is adoṣa-darśī: he never sees others’ faults. Of course, every human being has both good qualities and faults. Therefore it is said, saj-janā guṇam icchanti doṣam icchanti pāmarāḥ: everyone has a combination of faults and glories. But a Vaiṣṇava, a sober man, accepts only a man’s glories and not his faults, for flies seek sores whereas honeybees seek honey."
In Srimad Bhagavatam we find that Citraketu after having darshan of Lord Sankarshana was traveling in airplane. When he was crossing the Kailash mountains, he laughed at the sight of Lord Shiva embracing Parvati, surrounded by an assembly of Siddhas, Caranas and great sages. Though Lord Shiva did not take it as an offence, Mother Parvati became very angry at him and cursed him. Because of this curse, Citraketu later appeared as the demon Vrtrasura.
Another example of the ill-effects of Vaishnava aparadh is mentioned in Nityananda Caritamrta, wherein is a episode of brahmana humbly expressing to Mahaprabhu, his inability to understand the behaviour of Nityananda Prabhu. At that time Mahaprabhu advises him that we should never judge an exalted Vaishnava by their external appearance. Quoting the verse 10.33.20 from Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahaprabhu made it clear that exalted position of Vaishnava remains pure at all times.
dharma-vyatikramo dṛṣṭa īśvarāṇāṁ ca sāhasam
tejīyasāṁ na doṣāyavahneḥ sarva-bhujo yathā
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The status of powerful controllers is not harmed by any apparently audacious transgression of morality we may see in them, for they are just like fire, which devours everything fed into it and remains unpolluted.
Mahaprabhu then gave the example of how the six sons of Marici - laughed at Lord Brahma who was once bewildered by lusty desires and shamelessly chased his own daughter. Because of this fault, they at once fell from their positions. Since they ridiculed the activities of an exalted person, they were forced to take birth among demons in the family of Hiranyaksha and subsequent birth they were born as sons for Devaki and Vasudeva. Soon after their birth, they were killed by Kamsa and subsequent birth, they were with Bali Maharaj. When Mother Devaki requested Lord Krishna to bring back her dead sons alive, Lord Krishna went to Bali Maharaj and requested him to handover these 6 sons who later by drinking the breast milk of Mother Devaki became released of their sins. While narrating the past life of the six sons, Krishna told Bali Maharaj - "O Bali, consider the consequences of ridiculing a Vaishnava. If perfect personalities like these received so much misery, what will be the fate of ordinary men? A sinner who criticizes a Vaishnava suffers misery birth after birth. Take this lesson to your heart. Never blaspheme or laugh at a Vaishnava. If one worships Me and chants My holy names, but blasphemes devotees, he’ll be vanquished. Those who show love and respect to My devotees will surely obtain My favor. There is no doubt about it."
Hearing this pastime, the brahmana thanked Mahaprabhu and also surrendered whole-heartedly to lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu.
May we remember the words of Mahaprabhu and Supreme Lord Krishna. Instead of wasting our valuable human birth in ridiculing Vaishnavas may we try our best to sincerely engage in serving Lord and His devotees.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi
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