No Retaliation - Part 2

3rd May 2010
Sajjana Priya Krishna das

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

This is in continuation of the mail series, "No Retaliation" based on the verse 1.18.48 from Srimad Bhagavatam. This is one of the favourite verse of Maharaj.

tiraskṛtā vipralabdhāḥ śaptāḥ kṣiptā hatā api
nāsya tat pratikurvanti tad-bhaktāḥ prabhavo ’pi hi

The devotees of the Lord are so forbearing that even though they are defamed, cheated, cursed, disturbed, neglected or even killed, they are never inclined to avenge themselves.

We saw in the previous offering that any or all of the five types of aggression, we have to face in this material world inevitably due to various circumstances. We can see from the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam how the wonderful devotees reacted to these type of aggression in their lives.

1. tiraskṛtā: being defamed (Lord Siva)
During the Daksha yajna, Daksha insulted and defamed Lord Siva to such an extent, in front of so many great souls like Brghu, Lord Brahma etc. He was called 'monkey faced' and was decried for living in crematorium and not taking bath and so many other insulting words. But Lord Siva being the topmost Vaishnava never even uttered a word against it. Srimad Bhagavatam says that such tolerance is unparalleled.

2. vipralabdhāḥ: being cheated (The Pandavas)
Pandavas after finishing the 13 years of exile, came back and requested for the kingdom. They were denied even a pin drop of land which is completely cheating. But Arjuna due to his kind-hearted natured, refused to fight in the battlefield of Kurukshetra and decided to beg instead of fighting and killing. Under Krishna's order they fought the war and on their own they were satisfied to live as mendicant. They were so forbearing that as per Niti shastra they have been subjected to six types of aggression and therefore empowered by shastra to kill the Kauravas. Finally the Lord's plan was executed to perfection and on their own they did not aspire for kingdom. In fact Yudhishtra was regretting so much after the war and he prays to be punished for this sins. How much tolerance the Pandvas exercised is unimaginable for us. Even a slight cheating we tend to take revenge on the living entities.

3. śaptāḥ: being cursed (Narada Muni)
Narada muni was cursed by Prajapati Daksha when Narada muni converted all the sons of Daksha to become devotees. The verse SB 6.5.44 clearly states how Narada muni welcomed the curse.

Sri Shukadeva Goswami continued: "My dear King, since Narada Muni is an approved saintly person, when cursed by Prajapati Daksha he replied, 'tad baadham: Yes, what you have said is good. I accept this curse.' He could have cursed Prajapati Daksha in return, but because he is a tolerant and merciful sadhu, he took no action."

4. kṣiptā: disturbed by negligence (Mahatma Vidura)
We can see the saintly person Vidura experience so much of disrespect in front of all the Kauravas when Duryodhana sarcastically remarked him as son of a kept mistress and tossed him out of the palace with just his breath. He therefore considered the acts of the external energy to be supreme, yet he also saw how the internal energy of the Lord helped him in that particular situation (gatah vyatah) (SB 3.1.16). This is the point to be noted. In devotional service when people are envious of our progress they will do everything to put us down because they could not make such progress. Srimad Bhagavatam warns us that those who cannot tolerate the flourishing condition of others are killed by the providence and there is no need to kill them physically. Duryodhana offense at the lotus feet of Vidura was quite enough for his ruination. After the war was over, Vidura came again to Dhratarashtra and gave him transcendental knowledge of renunciation and liberated his brother from material existence. Eventhough he was neglected and insulted, but still he came back to liberate his brother. Such is the quality of pure devotees like Vidura. This is the installment of extreme compassion.

5. hatā: even being killed (Parikshit Maharaj)
Parikshit Maharaj was cursed to die within seven days by the Brahmana boy Sringi and how he welcomed the curse with a wonderful realization is nicely described in the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam SB 1.19.14:

tasyaiva me ’ghasya parāvareśo
vyāsakta-cittasya gṛheṣv abhīkṣṇam
nirveda-mūlo dvija-śāpa-rūpo
yatra prasakto bhayam āśu dhatte

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of both the transcendental and mundane worlds, has graciously overtaken me in the form of a brahmana’s curse. Due to my being too much attached to family life, the Lord, in order to save me, has appeared before me in such a way that only out of fear I will detach myself from the world.

Parikshit Maharaj sat and requested Shukadev Goswami to narrate Srimad Bhagavatam so that it will benefit for all of us instead of countercursing the brahmana. He accepted the curse as a blessing. That is the reason he is called maha-paurushika (most sincere devotee of the Lord).

This is just a theroretical exercise but how are we going to put into practice is the real challenge in front of us. It is almost impossible achievement, but if it is impossible then why they put in Srimad Bhagavatam? It means it is achievable. If we sincerely try our level best and depending completely on the mercy of the Lord we may achieve it one day.

HG Svayam prabhuji in his recent class was refering about the quality of Vidura who tolerated the insults of Kaurvas and was mentioning about this verse 1.18.48. He was telling that the devotees of Srimad Bhagavatam are so powerful to counteract but still they did not counteract these reverses. Whereas we have not yet reached that stage of devotion in our life and counteract and complain for every small reverse. Also Prabhuji was explaining that all these types of reverses combined together was experienced by a great devotee of Srimad Bhagavatam and that we will discuss in the ensuing mail.

I pray very intensely at the lotus feet of my spiritual master who was perfect embodiment of this verse to shower his causeless mercy on such an intolerant soul like me to develop a semblem of tolerance in my life.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sajjana Priya Krishna das
Abu Dhabi.