Encouraging and Protecting Devotional Service

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

We can see from all the pastimes of Lord Krishna that he is very very liberal in His dealings with others. A few days back there was a very encouraging mail from HG Narahari Krishna das which highlighted this quality of the Lord in His dealings with Asvathama. The same can be seen when Krishna accepted and promoted Pūtana to the spiritual world. As aspiring devotees of the Lord, this is an important quality to be learnt by us.

In the fourth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, we find that King Indra becomes envious of King Prthu who had already performed ninety nine horse sacrifices. Indra became very fearful that if King Prthu performs the hundredth sacrifice, Indra's position would be in jeopardy. So King Indra assumed the guise of a sannyasi and stole the sacrificial horse of King Prthu and thus became responsible for introducing such irregular sannyasa orders. The priests who were performing the sacrifice, decided to cast Indra into the fire by the power of the mantras. When they were just ready to put the oblation in to the fire, Lord Brahma appeared and stopped this by speaking as follows - Srimad Bhagavatam 4.19.30

na vadhyo bhavatām indro yad yajño bhagavat-tanuḥ
yaṁ jighāṁsatha yajñena yasyeṣṭās tanavaḥ surāḥ

Lord Brahmā addressed them thus: My dear sacrificial performers, you cannot kill Indra, the King of heaven. It is not your duty. You should know that Indra is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, he is one of the most powerful assistants of the Personality of Godhead. You are trying to satisfy all the demigods by the performance of this yajña, but you should know that all these demigods are but parts and parcels of Indra, the King of heaven. How, then, can you kill him in this great sacrifice?

He also advised that if Indra is opposed any further, he will further misuse his power and introduce many other irreligious systems. To avoid all this, Prthu Maharaj who is thoroughly aware of the path of liberation should stop with 99 yajnas and should not be angry with King Indra. Lord Brahma also reminded King Prthu of the purpose of His incarnation that is to protect the religious principles. I was reading one of the lectures on this verse, which highlighted the practical instructions given by Lord Brahma. Here we can see that Lord Brahma pointed out the good in King Indra that he was powerful, the chief of the demigods and part and parcel of the supreme Lord. He did not dwell on the faults of Indra of being envious and fearful and duplicitous. Since King Prthu was an elevated personality, Lord Brahma instead of asking Indra to give up his envy and stop the irreligious practices, actually asked King Prthu to stop the sacrifice.

This gives us a lot of instructions. We can see that Lord Brahma was very much interested in the protection of the religious systems and he did not want this fight to go on between two powerful personalities. Lord Brahma was considering the point that even though Indra was envious, still he was trying to do service by holding a responsible position. And if this service is to continue, then there should be a conducive environment for that. Lord Brahma, being aware of Indra's weaknesses and his determination to stop the yajna, rightly approached King Prthu thus enabling the continuation of Indra's service and also the stoppage of irreligious activities. We can also see that King Prthu by immediately accepting the instructions of Lord Brahma, shows us how we should be following and cooperating with the authorities, leaving the authority to do the judgment and required rectification.

We can see that this is the way of the advanced devotees. They do not focus too much on the faults of the living entities, but they see that some how or the other, this living entity is engaged in the service of the Lord. In this way they try to encourage and protect our devotional service and thus pave the way for our purification in course of time. Srila Prabhupada writes in one of his letters, "Those who are advanced devotees try to see only the good that other devotees are doing , just as bees are attracted to honey, while flies are attracted to sores."

We can practically see that our spiritual master H.H. Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, appreciates each and every soul and he always sees how this living entity can be engaged in Krishna's service, he fixes them in service according to their inner potentialities and protects them and their service.

I pray to have this realization within me and stop judging others and start being liberal in my dealings with others, and being strict with my own self.

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