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Br Sridhara Maharaja On Judging Others -

braja - Sun, 25 Apr 2004 08:56:49 +0530
Sometimes we want causeless mercy; at the same time we can't tolerate others in that same line. We go to judge in the case of others: "Why should he receive causeless mercy? He has got so many defects, so much anti-attitude and disqualification, why should he be accepted or given any chance?" But for us - we want, "Don't come to judge me, otherwise I have no hope, my Lord."

Jnana-sunya-bhakti. "If You come to judge, I have got no hope. Please grant grace, then I can hope to approach You, to offer myself to make progress towards You; if You become very lenient, not to find fault with me"; but if at the same time, in the same breath, we say, "Why should this disqualified man get any grace? Why should he get some mercy and affection?" that is hypocrisy in us, and that causes a great deal of difficulty within us. It is suicidal.

This is Vaisnava-ninda, Vaisnava-aparadha - offense to the devotee. A devotee may be accepted by Him, and gradually he will be purified; but we are very eager to find fault in him. That is most dangerous for our own progress; it is suicidal. If in my case I want something higher, but in the case of others I can't tolerate the same behavior of the Lord, that is a most difficult position.

Generally that is the basis of Vaisnava-aparadha. When someone has been accepted by the Lord, and He is gradually purifying him, and we give particular attention to the remnants of impurities and difficulties in him, the result is that all those difficulties will be transferred to us. This is the actual experience. If I especially mark the fault of another devotee, that will be transferred to me. It happens. In our experience and also in the sastra we have seen this.

So, one must be very careful not to make any remark generally about the practices and activities of another Vaisnava. It may be possible only in the case when one is empowered by the Supreme; just as in the case of his disciple. To correct his disciples, with a guardian's sympathetic eye, he can mark the defects, and he will help them to remove them. There must be some affectionate heart within. Not jealousy or anything of that type, but with good will; the affectionate guardian's want to remove the defects.

Either from the position of Siksa-Guru or Diksa-Guru one may detect the faults of the students of this line, and help them sincerely to get free from them. Otherwise, if we are attracted by those faults, they will come to us and we shall have to pay for it. It is a practical thing; and also based on good reason and scriptural advices. We must be careful. It is also warned in the Vaisnava literature that we must be careful about Vaisnava-aparadha that comes from the jealous spirit of competition. That jealousy is very detrimental to our spiritual life.

So we all must be very careful to not be especially attracted by any defect. If some doubt about anyone comes to our attention we may refer it to the higher authority. But if we make too much of it, either in opposition or in any other way, that will be transferred back. We must know, "I am devouring. My mind is coming in touch with that fault." That is being devoured as food, and the contamination is transferred to the critic; somehow it is entering into the mental system of the critic, and it must get its satisfaction there, as a reaction.

This is like a trade secret of our devotional line. You must be aware and very careful about these practical difficulties in the path of your life. So we have been recommended, tat te 'nukampam susamiksmano: the faculty of judgment has been discouraged; your standard of measuring things won't stand there. Jnana-sunya-bhakti. You have to learn a new alphabet here. In the devotional school you have to come in connection with a new alphabet. The old alphabet won't do. Jnana-sunya-bhakti.

Give up all the pride of your past experience. Your knowledge out of experience of the mortal world won't do here, won't be applied here. This is the position in the case of the Infinite Autocrat and Goodness. In our mouth we pronounce all these big things - Absolute Good -Absolute Truth - but we do not know about the characteristic of that. So we need His revelation. He reveals Himself. We must carefully note His nature.

BR Sridhara Maharaja :: Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Volume Two