April 4, 2020
Vaisnava Blog
Lecture Reading Vaisnava Etiquette

Offense to the Vaisnava, that can be like a thunderbolt

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“Only one thing we have to fear – that is aparadha. Why someone fall down?

The main cause is some Vaisnava aparadha. Other aparadhas are there also:

Some of the nama aparadha are mostly connected with the Vaisnavas. Holy name comes from Vaisnavas, So if you offend Vaisnava, holy name also runs away. Still, six Vaisnava aparadhas are the most strong. If one makes an offense to Krsna, that is not so big obstacle. He can chant the holy name and become saved. Still, we are not recommending it.

But offense to the Vaisnava, that can be like a thunderbolt. So who is the Vaisnava and what are the offenses?

Who took diksa and Visnu mantra, and who is worshiping Visnu, that person is Vaisnava. There are three levels of Vaisnavas:

  1. kanistha,
  2. madhyama and
  3. uttama.

Of course, even the offense to kanistha Vaisnava can cause the obstacle. Even Rupa Gosvami showed that pastime of being affected by Vaisnava aparadha.

Rupa Gosvami was chanting and remembering the pastimes of Krsna. At Kusum sarovara there are many kusum trees. Kusum flower looks like ball with many sparkles, very sweet smell, very sweet. So Krsna was hiding in one of these trees. Then Radharani and Her sakhis were picking flowers there. There was one branch there with many flowers. Then Radharani thought: Oh, that is very high, how I will reach? So Krsna, who was on the tree, push the branch with His feet. Radharani thought: Oh, Vrindavan trees really fulfilling all the desires, kalpa vriksa! So She was holding the branch with one hand and was picking flowers with the other. Then Krsna removed His foot, the branch went into the air and Radhika also went up with the branch: Oh, save me, save me! So Krsna came down and took Her and fulfil His desires also.

So Rupa Gosvami was seeing this in his meditation, so he began laughing, thinking: How clever is Krsna! His eyes was closed and he was internally completely absorbed. There was one Vaisnava – Kangal Krsna das. Kangal means: lame – cannot walk. Some deformity was in his leg. He walked, but in some funny style.

So when Kangal Krsna das saw Rupa Gosvami laughing, he thought: Oh he is laughing at me!

But Rupa Gosvami did not even seen him, because he was absorbed internally. But Rupa Gosvami could not remember the pastimes of the Lord anymore. There are two type of remembrance. One is by mantra, by some verse, then one can remember those pastimes. But the more advanced is one which automatically comes. So those flower pastimes stopped and Rupa Gosvami became very disturbed. Because bhajan is their life and soul.

So he went to Sanatana Gosvami and asked him: What happened? Why some obstacle has come to my bhajan?

Sanatana Gosvami answered: Only one thing must be – some aparadha to the Vaisnavas!

Rupa Gosvami said: No, I have not done! Never!

But Sanatana Gosvami said: Still, unknowingly you must have done. So what to do? Make a feast and invite everyone. And who does not come, that means you offended that person.

So everyone came to that feast except Kangal Krsna das.

Rupa Gosvami went to him, did dandavat and said: Oh, Prabhu, if I offended you, please forgive me!

Kangal Krsna das said: When I was walking near you, you were laughing at me.

Rupa said: Oh, no, no, some pastime I saw and that is why I laughed!

Then they embraced each other, everything was ok and remembrance on Krsna again came into the heart of Rupa Gosvami. Of course, Rupa Gosvami is the personal associate of Mahaprabhu, so there was no any aparadha, but still he was teaching us through this pastime.

Aparadha is that what pushes us away from sat sanga. Aparadha causes that we loose taste in harinama, become weak in our devotional practice. Your service will stop by aparadha. There are six Vasinava aparadhas:

  1. to beat a Vaisnava;
  2. to be envious on Vaisnava:
  3. to blaspheme a Vaisnava, to say false things about that Vaisnava; he has not done, but you are saying he is. That is the danger in rumors: Oh, did you hear this?! When you hear something which is not true, but then you are spreading that to another person and making damage to the character of that Vaisnava;
  4. to see a Vaisnava and not feel happy, pretend like we did not see him and things like that;
  5. to not welcome a Vaisnava; we should become very happy when we see some Vaisnava, not that your face become black.
  6. to be angry on a Vaisnava.

So these six Vaisnava aparadhas are the cause of fall down. Sin can be easily destroyed by the process of bhakti. Mountain of sins can be destroyed by one harinama. But sin and offense are not the same thing. Sin affects only the body, it has no connection with the soul at all. But aparadha is directly connected to the soul. If you offend Krsna or that what is dear to Krsna, that is directly connected to the heart, to the soul. That affects the soul which means that your bhakti become covered.

Just now we were in Serbia. One boy was there. Seven years he was practicing at home. He never met a devotee, never. Never went to temple, never met Vaisnavas. So I said to him: In one sense you are lucky! Cause no chance for Vaisnava aparadha. Our position is more dangerous. Bhagavatam gives so much warnings.

Vaisnava aparadha is something which chase you life after life. So take care. Specially in our dealings with our godbrothers and godsisters. Our problem is that we think: Oh, he is ordinary, she is ordinary! Also we should be careful in everyday dealings with each other. “

Srimad Bhaktivedanta Damodara Maharaja
19.11.2017| Moscow

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