Monday, November 13, 2006

The Dangers of Criticizing Others

Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 6

Krishna cannot be attained by following the rules and regulations.

Vaishnava association is the foundation of our spiritual life. We have to learn how to appreciate the Vaishnavas. If you feel it is your business to find fault with devotees when it is not (when you are not playing the role of their spiritual superior, guru, teacher, parents, etc.) then you are in a dangerous position. The ability to find fault should be applied to ourselves, without pride, to make advancement by giving up our bad qualities.

The jiva (individual soul) is always small and dependent, and thus we must always follow the devotees, even in the spiritual world. If we analyze how we joined the Hare Krishna movement we will see it was due to association with some devotee. We advance by appreciating the good qualities of the devotees. We avoid falling down by avoiding association of people with bad qualities.

If we criticize someone, according to Mahabharata, we take on their bad qualities. If someone criticizes us and we do not get angry, that person takes your bad qualities.

Lord Caitanya said he would distribute the accumulated sinful reactions of the most evil Jagai and Madhai to those people who criticize the Lord's devotees.

In India many people know the Vedic culture but not so much the philosophy. In the Hare Krishna movement, we tend to assimilate the philosophy, but we have not really embraced the culture.

In preparing Mahabharata Vyasadeva watered down the philosophy so much to make it accessible to the people in general that it had lost the potency to be effective. [When Maharaja said that it made me wonder if we sometimes do that in our own preaching strategies. At least we should be careful not to.]

If one has strong faith in eternal damnation, it means he has little faith in the power of devotional service to God.

Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita:
• Do your duty
• In knowledge
• Without attachment
• Thinking of Krishna
• For the pleasure of Krishna

We tend to have problems understanding the first three.

Notes on Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 4, Chapter 4 (entitled “Sati Quits Her Body”) discussion: In a discussion about using anger in God's service, Sarvabhauma Prabhu reminded us of this pastime:
Someone asked Srila Prabhupada, “Is God love?”
Prabhupada replied, “Yes, but God is also hate.”
God hates to see innocent devotees tortured by the demoniac.

“One should be extremely careful about associating with persons who are not respectful to the higher authorities” (SB 4.4.26). This applies to persons within and outside the Hare Krishna movement.

We can learn from the chapter on Sati's quitting her body.
• We should not hear blamphemy of great souls.
• We should try to rectify blamphemers.
• Having all material facility without pure devotional service doesn't satisfy our soul.