Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
This is in continuation of the previous offering - "The Open Secret for Spiritual Success" wherein we were meditating on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.1.12. We saw how all shastras and acaryas freely distribute to us the open secret for spiritual success - harer nāmānukīrtanam - constant chanting of Holy Names.
Now we shall try to introspect as to why even after hearing this secret, what stops us from chanting Holy Names constantly. We see in the purports of verses 2.1.11 and 2.1.12 - Srila Prabhupada gives us the list of offences that we keep commiting at the lotus feet of Holy Name. With all these offences how can we even imagine to chant constantly?
His Divine Grace very nicely mentions in verse 2.1.11 - "One can deliver himself from the effects of all sins by surrendering himself unto the Lord. One can deliver himself from all offenses at the feet of the Lord by taking shelter of His holy name. But one cannot protect himself if one commits an offense at the feet of the holy name of the Lord."
In the Padmapuran the list of 10 offences which we commit at the lotus feet of Holy Name are mentioned and the very first offence is to blaspheme the devotees of the Lord. Vaishnava aparadh is considered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu as mad-elephant offence. In purport to Srimad Bhagavatam verse 6.17.15, Srila Prabhupada says, "While instructing Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu described an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava as hātī mātā, a mad elephant. When a mad elephant enters a nice garden, it spoils the entire garden. Similarly, if one becomes like a mad elephant and commits offenses at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, his entire spiritual career is halted. One should therefore be very careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava.
When we offend a Vaishnava, we will lose taste in chanting, in attending mangala-arati, in studying scriptures etc. Recently when we were discussing this in one of the Bhagavatam classes one devotee very nicely mentioned impact of Vaishnava aparadh is there irrespective of the fact that whether we did the offence intentionally or unintentionally. Once Srila Rupa Goswami was meditating on the pastimes of Krishna in spiritual world and was laughing. At that time lame Vaishnava was passing by and he misunderstood that Sri Rupa Goswami was laughing at him and he got offended and left the place. Immediately Sri Rupa lost his vision of Krishna's pastime. He became disturbed and could realise that something wrong has happened. Later when he approached Sanatana Goswami, he came to know about that Vaishnava and he went to him and sought forgivance for the offence - which he had unintentionally done. By then the other Vaishnava also realised his mistake of misunderstanding Rupa Goswami's laughter and sought forgivance from him.
Upon hearing this pastime, I was wondering how my false-ego prevents me to go and seek pardon even for offences which are intentionally committed. In case if someone offends us by mistake, we try our level best to prove to them and to the world as to how we are correct and that the other party is wrong. But herein we find great souls like Sri Rupa - who are so humble that they are willing to ask pardon even for offence which they had not committed intentionally. They simply want to live according to what pleases Krishna and not to please their own ego.
Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj also insists that it is always better to accept the blame and close that material account, rather than wasting time and energy in proving ourselves right. When we fail to follow the footsteps of the acaryas, we are bound to lose taste in chanting.
Krishna willing we shall try to meditate further on this topic in the subsequent offerings.
Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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