Offer All Respect to Others

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

We should never disturb any other living entity with our body, mind or words. Rather we should always be tolerant and never belittle others and always have respectful dealings. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in his Sikshahstakam very much insists this quality as the key to do be fixed and steady in devotional service. 

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

When we disrespect others, we are the losers. In Srimad Bhagavatam 10.4.46 Sukadev Goswami very nicely tells to Parikshit Maharaj the consequences of insulting great souls. 

āyuḥ śriyaṁ yaśo dharmaṁ lokān āśiṣa eva ca
hanti śreyāṁsi sarvāṇi puṁso mahad-atikramaḥ

My dear King, when a man persecutes great souls, all his benedictions of longevity, beauty, fame, religion, blessings and promotion to higher planets will be destroyed.

We find so many examples for this in the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. Karna, Kauravas, Shakuni were always inimical towards exalted devotees like Bhishmadev, Vidura, Draupadi, Pandavas. They took every opportunity to insult/harm the Lord's devotees. As a result, their whole race was wiped out. In Krishna book, 17th Chapter, Srila Prabhupada very nicely narrates the example of Saubhari Muni who was performing austerities under the water in the Yamuna river. He was sympathetic to the fishes there. When Garuda used to come to river Yamuna to eat fish, Saubhari Muni - not caring for Garuda's exalted position, asked Garuda not to come there and disturb the fish. Since fish is natural food for the birds, Saubhari Muni should not have stopped Garuda. But being devotee of the Lord, Garuda did not want to disobey the yogi. So instead of staying and eating many fish, he carried off one big fish. Saubhari Muni became angry and wrongly considering himself as the saviour of the fishes, he cursed Garuda that if Garuḍa comes there to catch fish, the he will be immediately killed.

Srila Prabhupada very nicely writes in Krishna book, "It may be noted that Garuḍa is directly related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is so powerful that he is never subject to anyone’s order or curse. Actually the cursing of Garuḍa – who is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to be of the stature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān – was an offense on the part of Saubhari Muni. Although Garuḍa did not try to retaliate, the Muni was not saved from his offensive act against a great Vaiṣṇava personality. Due to this offense, Saubhari fell down from his yogic position and afterwards became a householder, a sense enjoyer in the material world. The falldown of Saubhari Muni, who was supposed to be absorbed in spiritual bliss by meditation, is an instruction to the offender of Vaiṣṇavas."

Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says, "Devotees, when they start criticising each other, they start losing interest in mangala arati, then they start losing interest in Bhagavatam, they start losing interest in chanting and one day they just go out of the door. Finish. Atleast for one's own self interest and peace of mind, we should not disrespect others. But just offer all respect to them."

May we remember the golden words of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev and never criticize or insult others. Then by mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga we will be able to do kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi