iti laṅghita-maryādaṁ
takṣakaḥ saptame ’hani
daṅkṣyati sma kulāṅgāraṁ
codito me tata-druham

(SB 1.18.37)


iti—thus; laìghita—surpassing; maryädam—etiquette; takñakaù—snake-bird; saptame—on the seventh; ahani—day; daìkñyati—will bite; sma—certainly; kula-aìgäram—the wretched of the dynasty; coditaù—having done; me—my; tata-druham—enmity towards the father.



The brähmaëa’s son cursed the King thus: On the seventh day from today a snake-bird will bite the most wretched one of that dynasty [Mahäräja Parékñit] because of his having broken the laws of etiquette by insulting my father.



Thus the beginning of the misuse of brahminical power began, and gradually the brähmaëas in the age of Kali became devoid of both brahminical powers and culture. The brähmaëa boy considered Mahäräja Parékñit to be kuläìgära, or the wretched of the dynasty, but factually the brähmaëa boy himself was so because only from him did the brähmaëa caste become powerless, like the snake whose poisoned teeth are broken. The snake is fearful as long as his poison teeth are there, otherwise he is fearful only to children. The personality of Kali conquered the brähmaëa boy first, and gradually the other castes. Thus the whole scientific system of the orders of society in this age has assumed the form of a vitiated caste system, which is now being uprooted by another class of men similarly influenced by the age of Kali. One should see to the root cause of vitiation and not try to condemn the system as it is, without knowledge of its scientific value.


The importance of Brahmans

The downfall of the society had its seed formed. The all powerful personality of Godhead was protecting the world from the influence of kali through his beloved devotee maharaj Parikshit.

namo brahmaṇya-devāya
go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
govindāya namo namaḥ

Krishna is very much favourably disposed for giving protection and pleasure as well to the brahmanas and the cows and the devotees of the lord wherever they may be, their mission in life is to assist the lord according to his plan and desire and we find throughout the ages the great religious kings they were very anxious to protect brahmanas and the cows knowing that if these two classes of living beings flourish then the whole society will flourish both spiritually and materially. It is great science as simple as it may sound. Even one of our devotees was explaining that the great and famous king who was here in Maharashtra during the time of mogul invasions, Shivaji, his seal…what is on his seal? Seal is the very essence of what your mission stands for. That’s what every country or government or person puts on his seal. Generally it is with great thought. Sometimes the biggest thinkers of the country spend years to decide what few words go on the seal because it represents the essence of their life and their mission and what it stands for. And his said, “Protection to the cows and the Brahmans.

Of course, today people say get rid of the Brahmans in the name of their leader. If they understood that if there is not a proper standard of qualified Brahmans given all facility to give direction to society, society is lost. The moral values, the spiritual values cannot exist. And it just becomes animalistic society. Unless qualified Brahmans are giving direction, we cannot have a human society. We can only have an animal society. What is animal society? Recently I was listening to a wonderful discussion with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, and he was saying, “This is what we must convince people. We must convince people what is the difference between a man and an animal. Unless they understand this principle they will not understand is what spiritual life , what is the goal of life. First we must give them this knowledge.”An animal is living for survival and for sense gratification. And a human being has a developed consciousness to cultivate spiritual virtues and live in harmony with the laws of God. Therefore we should know that without spiritual direction which is the specific service of the Brahmans, we can only have an animalistic society. Polished animals. Prabhupada called them two-legged animals. And it is the duty of the kings to make sure firstly, that the Brahmans are true, pure, bona fide Brahmans. And secondly, that the whole society follows their direction. And that they are given proper protection and all facility to teach. These are the two most important factors in the king’s life.

Maharaj Parikshit himself was a very, very great devotee of the Lord. And we find here that when one acts irresponsibly, not only does the reaction come upon him, but it comes on everything connected to him. When you make an offence, it’s not just you that suffer. Your family, your dynasty, your caste, it comes upon all of them. That is the law of nature.


Ramachandr Khan’s envy towards Haridas Thakur

In Sri Caitanya Charitramrita, there is a story of one very, very envious land owner. His name was Ram Chandra Khan. And he saw that Thakur Haridas was becoming very, very famous and well-loved for his spiritual life. The example he was living and the pure teachings he was sharing. Haridas Thakur was so humble; he never had any concern for any of the things of this world. In fact he did not even live in the town. He lived in the jungle. He lived in a little kutir. He worshipped Tulsi. And he would chant 300,000 names minimum, every day, of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. And he would not even care to drink water or take food until he completed his chanting. He was such a simple devotee. So pure. Everyone loved him. They trusted him. They saw that this Thakur Haridas – what is he trying to get from us? He is completely self-satisfied, just living in his kutir. His whole life was simply for us, to give. So people trusted him. Anyways Ram Chandra Khan he was also thinking himself to be a very religious man. And he wanted prestige and power and influence over others. And he was the big person. He had so much wealth. And he had so much political power. But he saw this simple sadhu, Haridas Thakur was getting so much respect. People were following him instead. So he devised a means to destroy Haridas Thakur. He had to destroy him. That was his conviction.


Ramchandr Khan tries to destroy Haridas Thakur by sending a prostitute

So within his wicked mind, he began to devise many different schemes, and he decided that to get a beautiful prostitute to go alone to Haridas Thakur’s secluded residence and somehow or the other, to cause him to violate his vows. And she was very beautiful, the most beautiful and was very empowered in her profession. And she promised Ram Chandra Khan that within three days he would be finished.


The prostitute tries to entice Haridas Thakur

So she went. And she began to present herself through her sweet words, and her physical postures in such ways that even the mind of Lord Brahma would have been very much disturbed. And she said, “Haridas, you are very young and handsome. And I am very young and beautiful. It is the arrangement of Providence that we utilise this wonderful opportunity to enjoy together.” Haridas was a compassionate soul. Param drstvani vartate. Because he was experiencing the nectar of the ecstasy of Krishna’s Holy Name, Krishna’s name contains all the beauty and sweetness of Krishna. Rupa Goswami has prayed, “We cannot understand how much nectar these two syllables ‘Krishna’ can produce.” Haridas was so immersed in the Hari Nama Japa that all the things of this world, which Yamunacarya said, compared to the things of this world, when we are chanting the Holy Name, even the greatest pleasures – they are abominable. They have no charm at all.

So he told the lady, out of great compassion, “I will fulfil all your desires. But I must complete my vow of chanting Hari Nama. I have not finished yet. So you just sit and wait.”


The prostitute’s heart transformed

So she waited. And throughout the whole night, he chanted the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And he went on chanting and chanting and chanting all night long. And then the sun rose. When the sun rises, this type of activity is no longer very attractive. So she said, “You have promised, and you did not keep your promise.” He said, “No, I will keep my promise to fulfil all your desires. But tonight I just did not finish my chanting. Come tomorrow. I will try to finish. And then I will fulfil your desires.” So she came the next day. She bowed to Tulsi. She bowed to Haridas Thakur. While he was chanting, she was trying to direct all of her energies on every level, toward him. But the sun rose, and still he said, “Tomorrow I will finish. I am a little behind in my rounds.”

So she came back on the third day. And throughout the entire night, she was just hearing Haridas Thakur chanting, and just from hearing for three continuous nights, all night long, the Mahamantra, loudly being chanted by Haridas Thakur, just spontaneously, as he was chanting, she was also chanting the Holy Names of Krishna. And toward the end of the night, she fell at Haridas Thakur’s feet, crying tears of shame. And then she said, “I have come here for the terrible purpose of trying to destroy your reputation and destroy your very life. But now I have become so purified by your satsanga, and by hearing Hari Nama from your lips that now I want to give up everything of this world, and be your disciple, and dedicate my everything to the service of the Lord.

Haridas Thakur said, “Yes, I knew this before you came that this foolish, envious person Ram Chandra Khan has sent you here to destroy me. And I have no attachment for this place. I had actually decided to leave. But I decided to stay three more days in Krishna Consciousness. Now you shave your head, you give away all your money and all the wealth that you made through your prostitution. You come here with one little white saree. You don’t worry about food. Krishna will provide. You live in my kutir. You worship tulsi. And you chant Hari Nama. And I will go away.”

And she became such a great saint that people from all over the world started glorifying Haridas Thakur that he has made the most devious prostitute into a pure vaishnavi. And Ram Chandra Khan was very upset, very disturbed. As we say, his plan backfired. He was a very envious person.


Ramchandra Khan offends Nityananda Prabhu also

And later on Lord Nityananda Prabhu actually came to that area, with some of his associates and Ram Chandra Khan was such a person – he did not want Nityananda Prabhu to give a better impression to the town than him. So he would not even allow Nityananda Prabhu to come into his home. He said, “You can stay out in the courtyard where the durga-mandapa is.” And because he disrespected Nityananda Prabhu like this, Nityananda Prabhu just left. He said, “We should leave this place. This man has no culture, no etiquette, no respect. He is envious.” And after Nityananda Prabhu left the durga-mandapa, just to show to the town’s people how pure he was, and how contaminated Nityananda Prabhu was, Ram Chandra Khan had the whole area washed with cow dung wherever Nityananda Prabhu sat.


Ramchandra Khan gets the reaction because of offending Vaishnavas

So he was offensive towards Vaishnavas. He caused pain to the hearts of the Vaishnavas. So what was the result? Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami very emphatically explains for all of us to be aware of what was the result. At that time India was under mogul rule. The Mogul ruler came to that area. Because Ram Chandra Khan was supposed to give him taxes and so forth. And he found some discrepancy, and he came sent their army, and the army beat and tortured the entire family of Ram Chandra Khan, including Ram Chandra Khan himself. They beat him, they tortured him, they took away all of his wealth, they plundered it all. They killed animals in his temple. And then they threw him in prison. They threw his whole family in prison. They plundered all the property of everyone in the entire village, and tortured them all.


Not only we but everyone connected to us have to suffer because of Vaishnava apradh

And Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami says, “If you offend people, not only do you have to pay the consequences, but your family has to pay the consequences, your village and your society, all have to pay the consequences, depending on the severity of the offences you have committed.”So we find here in Srimad Bhagvatam the severity of the offence that shringi committed to Maharaj Parikshit was so great that the entire caste of Brahmans lost all their power and all their good qualities because of his offence. We read in the sastras about great Brahmans. What kind of powers they have. And then we see in this society today, where do the Brahmans have such powers. Throughout the sastras there are so many examples. Due to the offence to a Vaishnava, the Brahmans lost practically all of their power. And not only that, but they became degraded. They lost practically all of their qualifications.


Degradation of the Brahmana class has ruined the society

And this is how the personification of Kali entered into kali and brought Kali Yuga about. You see, Kali knew that if you degrade the top, automatically everything becomes degraded. A person may have very strong legs, and a very good digestion, and very strong arms but if that person’s intelligence is polluted then all the activities of the stomach, and the legs and the arms and everything are just going to be degraded. If you degrade one leg, still the rest of the body is going to function somehow or the other. If you injure one arm still everything else is going to function may be a little less efficient as a whole. But everything will function properly. But if the intelligence is degraded, the intelligence guides every part of the body – it’s all going to be used for degraded purposes. So therefore categorically although every part of the body is essential and important we must know that the head is the most important because the whole rest of the body’s proper direction is based on good intelligence. And if the brahminical class is polluted and diverted from real dharma, then the entire social body becomes polluted. Nobody knows what to do.

These days because there isn’t spiritual intelligence in the society in Kali Yuga, the different parts of the body are all fighting against one another. The arms are beating on the belly, and the belly is depriving the legs, and the legs are kicking the head, and everything. If you saw somebody like this you would put him in an insane asylum. Someone is kicking himself with his legs and punching himself with his arms and beating himself with his head, depriving himself with his stomach, although eating, fasting…somebody would be like this, you would say, “He is crazy, put him away in the insane asylum.” We have seen they have to put them in straight jackets. So it does not hurt them so much. But our whole society is like such a thing. All the different classes are competing against each other, fighting against each other, envious of each other. Why? Insanity is not a thing of the legs or the belly or the arms, insanity is a something of the brain, the head. If you are insane, that means there is something wrong with your head. And i will tell you the most dangerous people who are insane are the ones who have very strong, stout bodies. They can do the most harm. And this is our society today. We have powerful legs, powerful arms, powerful digestive systems…all misdirected by an insane head- no intelligence at all. And we are creating massive bombs, and massive weapons. Look at society. The arms race…everyone is just competing. Who can build the biggest, most powerful, the most destructive bombs!


Spiritual Bombs

Srila Prabhupada said that his books were bombs, spiritual bombs. That someday or other they will all go off, and enlighten people with transcendental knowledge. So we have competition. Like during the Christmas marathon, book distribution competition. Arms race – everyone’s competing all over the world. Different nations, different countries, different temples are competing to see who can create and distribute the most spiritual bombs in the form of transcendental literature. So that is a very good type of competition. It is not a competition of envy and pride. It is a competition of just everyone trying to enlighten and inspire each other to purify society.


The Havoc wreaked by Bombs

But look at the rest of the society and politics. Back in the 60’s and 70’s the Soviet Union and the United States of America – they were just full speed ahead, spending billions and billions of dollars to see who can build the better bombs, and who can have more of them. This is how people were using their intelligence, the most educated people in the world.

Even how did the bomb begin? Einstein, Openheimer, the two most intellectual scientific brains in the whole planet earth, at least in the West – they were actually nice people, they were religious people – and they were promised… “You have this keen vision to create atomic energy. We can use it for so many good purposes. And they knew it could be used for good purposes.” But for years and years and years they were working on various equations, and experimentations and then they developed this actual facility for atomic energy and as soon as it got in the hands of others, the first thing they did with it was made bombs for destruction. They tested one of the bombs.

Openheimer was a student of Bhagavad Gita. When he saw it, he said, “This is very bad.” He thought of Krishna’s words. “Time, I am destroyer of everything.” Like millions and millions of suns, just blazing simultaneously, destroying everything. This is what we have done. He went on a major campaign against the government: stop this atomic energy experimentation. Stop it now. It will destroy the world. And the government basically said, “This man, he has been doing too many experiments. He has gone insane. He is mentally imbalanced. He needs psychological therapy. Don’t listen to him.” And then they just started building and building and building… and then the Russians, they got through their spies; they got information of how to do it, so they also had their scientists. And soon atomic bombs and then nuclear bombs.

They saw how it worked at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And they said, “Oh, this is very good.” This is how they are using their scientific intelligence. Arms race….to create bigger and bigger and bigger bombs of destruction. And that’s basically what is going on today. Billions and Billions and Billions and Billions of dollars…the greatest expenditure in the world today in is the building of bombs and weapons. That is a fact. Not in making hospitals or schools, not in feeding the poor, not in making nice parks and arrangements.


The need for Spiritual Institutions

The most important expenditure is to build beautiful temples. For people to come and be spiritually educated by qualified Brahmans. That is the most important need. But the society is so viciously ignorant that if you try to build a temple to educate people, to live a proper life, people will say, “Why you are spending so much money on this temple? Why are you not feeding the poor or making hospitals?” although they put every cent of their money practically into just eating, sleeping, mating and defending their family. They may give a few paisas in charity a year, they say, “why are you wasting money by building this temple? Why don’t you use it for some good purpose?” But the acharyas tell us that these temples are the most important institutions in the world to give the society direction. They are meant to save, salvage people’s human existence. So this is how degraded and diverted society has become. Why? Because the intelligence of the society has been corrupted due the downfall of brahminical culture.


Current day caste system is meaningless, the need for Varnashrama dharma

And therefore Srila Prabhupada explained that his first goal was to establish a class of qualified Brahmans, Vaishnava Brahmans. And then the next stage was to develop an entire system of Varnashrama Dharma. Rural Varnashrama Dharma. Unless you first establish qualified Brahmans, there cannot be Varnashrama Dharma. Because there is no direction, there is no intelligence.

Today Srila Prabhupada was explaining here in this purport, the vitiated, caste system, it is so degraded, so unauthorised, condemned by the scriptures themselves, this idea of caste by birth and exploitation. People have no understanding nor do they even have any ambition to cultivate the qualities that are supposed to be assumed according to a particular caste. They simply say by birth. Marriages by caste. Everything by caste. but this caste system is meaningless. Because it is bogus. It is all bogus. Varnashrama is the real thing. Caste is nothing. It has no validity. It has no place in a spiritual culture. If it is based on Varnashrama Dharma and spiritual principles and living according to your particular occupational nature and into the direction of God and the Brahmans, then this Varnashrama System is wonderful. Then all the castes are first class. Otherwise it is simply a waste. It is simply a mundane, egoistic social identity.


We have lost our Castes

And everyone is so anxious to keep caste pure. You have heard this? Marry only someone in your caste because we have to keep the caste pure. How can you keep something pure when it is already like vomit? There is nothing pure about it. It is already totally degraded. Why? Who in the caste is actually living according to the qualification of their particular Varna? Has it been preserved? Are all the family members of the Kshatriya caste – are they all heroic, honest, not accepting any employment from other great warriors, willing to leave the society. That’s a Kshatriya. If you dont have that you are not a Kshatriya. Your so called kshariya caste is simply farce, useless.

And a Vaishya caste: If you are actually the Vaishya community you are supposed to be living according to the Vaishyas in the Bhagavad Gita. Taking care of the cows and doing trade, doing business with honesty and you are supposed to be under the direction of the Brahmans. Every step. Who is doing that? There is no caste vaishyas anymore. It is already so impure.

And what to speak of Brahmanas? “We are from Brahman caste. We must keep the caste pure.” But are you actually living according to the Brahman standards? A Brahman can never accept employment under anyone. Or he is an outcaste according to the Varnashrama System. How many Brahmans are like that? You lose your caste. The Brahmans are supposed to be learned in the scriptures, gentle, they are supposed to be teachers. They are supposed to be teaching the society about both material and spiritual education. Thats a Brahman. And you have to live by the highest moral standards. A Brahman cannot drink or smoke. Brahmans don’t waste their time watching television. Brahmans are supposed to be absorbed in doing good for society and they don’t go to the cinema houses. If you do any of those things, you are not a Brahman.

Who is really a Brahman? But yet they are so concerned about keeping their caste pure! Forgive me if I am controversial, but sometimes I have the urge to be honest in my social analysis of India today. We should understand what the Varnashrama System is. And you cannot understand it unless there is first established a culture of qualified Brahmans who through disciplic succession are teaching society what is the standard of spiritual life and how Krishna wants this world to live.


Shringi degrades the whole world by speaking one verse

That is very, very important. In this wonderful, wonderful sloka, the Brahman shringi has degraded the whole world through this one verse. This is the verse that was the beginning of the end of religion and morality in the age of Kali. In this verse he curses Maharaj Parikshit. And loses all of his brahminical status and becomes so degraded that this whole caste of Brahmans is degraded through him. And please understand that the beginning of how Kali influenced him to engage in this offensive activity is he thought that he had the position to judge a great soul. Very dangerous. Vaishnavas are great souls. Vaishnavas are higher than Brahmans. The ultimate perfection of the brahminical culture is to become a Vaishnava, a devotee of Lord Krishna. Anyone who is sincerely chanting the Holy Names and trying to live by spiritual principles is a Vaishnava.


Judge not lest you be Judged

To judge Vaishnavas is very dangerous. Because once you judge, then you have the tendency to criticize. And when you criticise, you make aparadha. So who are we to judge? What is your position to judge another? Even if there appears to be some defect, who are you to understand why and how it’s happening? Factually Maharaj Parikshit was a Vaishnava. He was a pure Vaishnava. And he actually did something wrong. There was reason to criticise him. Krishna covered over his good intelligence and he placed a snake on Samik rhishi’s shoulder as a garland. Not a terrible offence. It’s not like he went out and did all crazy things, it’s just one little mistake. But it was a mistake. And shringi sees there was a mistake. So due to his false pride he was thinking that he had the right to make a judgement on this person. I have the right to meet our proper punishment for this person. That was his downfall. He did not understand that according to the Gita,

api cet suduräcäro

bhajate mäm ananya-bhäk

sädhur eva sa mantavyaù

saàyag vyavasito hi saù

“Even if my devotee engages in some abominable activity, I still consider him a sadhu,” Krishna says. “I consider him saintly. Because he is rightly situated. He may make some mistakes. He may go off a little. But they are trying to be proper, so therefore they are rightly situated. Very quickly I will make them righteous. Very quickly I will bring them above all of these inadequacies. Because they are on the right path.”

So that’s the way Krishna sees a devotee. And that’s the way you must see a devotee. He is teaching us how we should perceive. Because if we judge, if we think, “Oh I know what this person is.” And we start criticising we are condemning our own lives. We are not condemning that person. We are condemning ourselves. Krishna will not tolerate it. It could mean the ruination of our own spiritual lives. It could be the ruination of so many people around us. We have to be responsible. In the Bible, it is said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” That means if you judge others you will be judged. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you tolerate certain things you may see in other devotees then Krishna will tolerate certain mistakes you make. If you are intolerant Krishna will be intolerant toward you. But the difference is, your intolerance is anu – it is infinitesimal. And when Krishna is intolerant it is vibhu .so ultimately you are going to get a lot worse than the person you are persecuting. And that is a fact.


We shouldn’t judge, Krishna is the judge; being judgemental means taking the position of God

So we should never judge devotees. We should try to help devotees but never judge in a judgemental way. Devotee is never judgemental. Krishna is the judge. We are just the servants. If we see a devotee do something wrong, in a humble mood of being a servant we may try to correct them and enlighten them. But we won’t just like to try to degrade their name or insult them. You insult a Vaishnava and your spiritual integrity has been insulted by your own mouth in the eyes of God. That is a fact. We should never insult. We should never treat harshly. We should always be a servant and try to help with a constructive way of … and first of all we have to know for sure that we are right. And then we have to know for sure that we know the right way to help this person. Otherwise we should remain silent. Your motive has to be correct and your analysis has to be correct. Otherwise you are indulging in being judgmental. Just being judgmental whether you are right or wrong – being judgmental is a worse offence than anything that a person has done. Being judgmental means taking the position of God. He is the only judge. Even the Guru is not a judgmental person. He is the representative of God but he is just trying to help. He is just trying to serve. He may say, “You are a rascal! You are nonsense! Why have you done this?” but he is doing it not in a judgmental way. He is doing it to try to uplift you and teach you. But do we have that power? Do you have that power? Do you have that right? Do you have that purity of motivation? If you think you do, then you are in a very dangerous situation.

So shringi was a Brahman with brahminical powers. And he was obviously intelligent, young boy. But he thought he had the right to judge the activities of a great Vaishnava. And due to his imperfect perception he could not understand how Krishna was working through this devotee. How this mistake was the plan of the Lord. How it wasn’t very serious.


If we become angry we start judging devotees

And he became angry. Anger is very dangerous. When he becomes angry with devotees , beware ,beware! You are putting your spiritual life on the demarcation line of destruction. When you start becoming angry with devotees then you start judging devotees. He could not control his anger. And he lashed out. And he spoke this. “On the seventh day from today, a snake bird will bite the most wretched wound of that dynasty.” Because of his having broken the laws of etiquette by insulting my father. Shringi is saying, “He has broken the laws of etiquette.” But who is breaking the laws of etiquette? Shringi is breaking the laws of etiquette. And a Brahman is supposed to be gentle and kind to all, and forgiving. In fact according to Srimad Bhagvatam, the first and most prominent of all qualifications of a Brahman is forgiveness. The father of Parasuram instructed his son in this way. Of all brahminical qualifications forgiveness is the most important. So what kind of etiquette is this boy doing? He is accusing a king. He has gone against etiquette. But he is not at all forgiving. He is cursing the king, the representative of God.


Rather we should judge ourselves

That’s why it s said, when you point a finger towards someone, there happen to be three fingers pointing towards you. But we are so busy calming that one finger we don’t know there are three pointing towards me.That is our mistake. So we should judge ourselves. We should evaluate ourselves, Never another. In this way we can actually develop real qualities of servitude and become pleasing in our life. Pleasing to Krishna.


Questions and Answers

Question: Maharaj, taking the example of Ram Chandra Khan, and taking even the example of Shringi, why is it so that one person commits Vaishnava aparadha and the whole village has to suffer although some of them might be devotees? And they might not have committed any offences. Why they are suffering because of the ill done by one person?

Answer: If there is a devotee, Krishna will protect them.

Question: In the example of Ramchandra Khan ; all those people, all the villagers, everything was taken by the moghuls But everyone is the village suffered. So how were they protected?

Answer: They must not have been devotees.But also, from the other side, if you serve Vaishnavas, if you become purified through the path of bhakti, then everyone around you benefits. It’s not only the negative side but the positive side also. Narasimha Deva told prahalada that if one becomes a pure devotee of the Lord then so many generations of all relatives are liberated, all past present and future. And similarly any devotional service we do, any nice sadhanas we perform, anyways we please Vaishnavas and Guru and Krishna, our family, our generations, past, present and future, our community, our whole nation – they all benefit. Anyone who has any type of connection to us. They all benefit. So that is a good plan, Krishna’s plan. Because you see when we have intimate relationships with people, our lives become very much interrelated. And our benefits are shared by them. And our offences are shared by them. We can see this even within our little temple. If a person mistreats a devotee, everyone’s in anxiety about it. Right? The whole atmosphere of the temple is polluted, and everyone suffers from it. Haven’t you seen? And if someone does something very wonderful in the temple everyone is elated. So practically we can witness how everyone is affected by any activity that anyone does in their close proximity especiall

Question: Maharaj sometimes it happens that we are doing some service and some devotee is there sitting besides us is criticising other devotees and we are doing some service we cannot go away from that sight, and we have to sit there. We are forced to —

Answer: We should go away. We should go away. Don’t listen to it. Even if that person is a senior devotee, you should just say, “please, I cannot listen to this criticism of other Vaishnavas; it will ruin my spiritual life. So I must go away.” You just say that and go. But don’t sit and listen.

Question: if we are doing a service, we should leave that service?

Answer: Yes. If people are blaspheming devotees, you should not be there to listen. But you can tell them why you are going. Tell them that you cannot be in an atmosphere where devotees are being criticised or being misused. I cannot. You must go. But if you stay, just your sitting there – you become a part of the offence. By tolerating it, you become a part of it. Do you want to be a part of it? So you must stop that person from speaking or you must go. People who are anxious to criticise others, it is better if they don’t come to the temple so much. Unless they are willing to come here and be in a humble state of mind. You may have the urge but if you want to speak it, it is better to do it somewhere else. Go to Chowpatty Beach where everyone’s passing stool and tell all those people what you think of the devotees but don’t say it here. It’s right across the street, chowpatty beach. Everyone’s passing stool there; go there and pass your stool out of your mouth. But don’t do it here at this temple. Or at any temple.

Question: Maharaj, it’s very natural that whenever you are in a very dominant position or you are in a position of authority, the tendency there is a very thin line when you are instructing a person under you, is it doing as service or you are actually judging the person and giving them instructions. It is very difficult on the level of president on the level of counsellor or even for that matter in grhastha ashram as a husband in relation to his wife.

Answer: If you are authorised to be in a position to help train someone then you have every right to point out certain shortcomings in that person’s behaviour or life. In fact it is your service. But it should be done in such a way that that person is going to benefit. It should not be done in such a way that that person is going to suffer, simply suffer. And you have to examine in your own consciousness, are you envious of this person? Are you angry with this person? Or do you actually want to help this person? And is what I am saying correct according to Guru, sadhu and sastra? But if you are not authorised and someone has not voluntarily come in to be under your direction, then don’t criticise them. Do not have so many problems with counsellors, blaspheming counselees. We have not seen…there are just some devotees who take it upon themselves to be people’s counsellors. You have no authority to do so. And whatever you are saying should be for the benefit of everybody, not only for that person but for everybody around. It should create an atmosphere of uplifting Krishna Consciousness. It should not create anxiety and enmity. Never judge devotees. And never criticise devotees. And if you feel you have an uncontrollable tendency, run over to chowpatty beach and do it there. Don’t do it here. So Draupadi, you can just direct people to chowpatty beach if they are criticising devotees. It’s the designated place for passing stool. And criticising devotees is stool coming out of your mouth. Don’t contaminate the temple with that. Go somewhere else.

Thank you very much.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.