Tolerance and Pridelessness

6th Jan 2009
Svayam Prakash Krishna das

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

Few months back, I inquired from Maharaj on how I can practically implement the instruction in Śikṣāṣṭaka (verse 3).

tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

I asked Maharaj how I can be tolerant, free of false pride and be ready offer all respects to others particularly in the workplace where the environment is often not quite conducive to practice these virtues. Maharaj most mercifully accepted my foolish inquiry and gave the most practical instruction straight from the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 4.11.31 – Svayambhuva Manu advises Dhruva Maharaj to stop fighting).

saṁyaccha roṣaṁ bhadraṁ te pratīpaṁ śreyasāṁ param
śrutena bhūyasā rājann agadena yathāmayam

My dear King, just consider what I have said to you, which will act as medicinal treatment upon disease. Control your anger, for anger is the foremost enemy on the path of spiritual realization. I wish all good fortune for you. Please follow my instructions.

In connection with Dhruva Maharaj's appropriate behavior in displaying anger at the miscreants, Maharaj specifically mentioned the story from the purport of a snake who became a devotee after coming in association with Narada Muni. The key instruction from Narada Muni to the snake was not to bite anyone anymore. However, people started mistreating the snake on account of his non-violent stance. When Narada Muni came again to visit the snake, he communicated the actual import of the instruction, "Don't bite, but do not forget to expand your hood as if you were going to bite. Then they will go away."

Maharaj patiently explained to me that we must follow the same example in our daily lives when we are faced with such situations. During Maharaj's recent visit to Singapore, His Divine Grace mentioned how at the end of our lives, we are simply a handful of ash, so there is no need to have any false pride at all.

I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev that I make an honest attempt to remember this sublime instruction from Maharaj and put it into practice so that I may ultimately be able to chant the holy names of the Lord in the right mood.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Svayam Prakash Krishna das