by Çréla Bhakti Rakñak Çrédhar Gosvämé Mahäräja
[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font (available here)
for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English]
The disease Ill fated are those who are very eager to find fault in others and who have no time to find fault in themselves. The other side of your necessity is not to find defects in others, but to find their attributes. Why do you allow yourself to engage in finding fault? There is ample place to find goodness in the devotees. Why are you not engaging yourself in that association?
Why is there the tendency to find fault in others? Could there be a more faulty person than yourself? Why do you engage yourself only in seeing the lower rather than fixing yourself in the higher? Upon doing so, you will find that the devotees are of a higher quality than yourself. Why not attend that section? Why, unfortunately, do you go to the lower section with your attention to find fault? On one side there are beautiful flowers, on the other side there is rubbish. Why do you inspect the rubbish instead of all the beautiful flowers?
You yourself stand in the witness box. You are the criminal. You are the culprit. Why should you look at the rubbish when so many beautiful flowers are there? You see injustices but you do not see justice? Why not merge to the positive portion? If one hand is working and the other is paralysed, shall I only attend to the diseased part, giving no attention to the working hand? I must care for the paralysed hand surely, but what already has full capacity, I must also utilise that. Why are you always looking towards feeling the pain of the diseased part and continuously preaching this, ignoring the healthy parts? (excerpts from “The Panacea”)
On one side there is good – God is there. Why do you go to Satan and keep company with satanic persons only while there are godly persons? Why not to God’s side? On one side there is heaven and on the other side there is hell. God has no fault; yet by the fault of Satan, we must suffer? That reasoning has got no logic. You are suffering from your own misdeeds – that is the real logic. Neither God nor Satan is responsible for that. Therefore, concentrate on your own self, pray to the Lord and try to keep aloof from Satan.
You are holding a marginal position. Your limited free will is your capital. You should always utilise that towards the godly side, taking it away from the satanic side. This limited capital that you have, you are to begin your business with that. But you think that you will begin a business when you get a good capital. This is imagination! Whatever little capital I have got, I shall start my business with that. My attention, my energy, will help me in the future.
The best benefit of limited consciousness A man on a journey has an accident and loses consciousness.
But when he regains a little consciousness what will he do? He will utilise that consciousness telling,
“Take this body to my guardians, my home is there. O my friend, carry my body to my home.”
That will be the best benefit of the limited consciousness which returned to him; he was able to use his
good knowledge. Whoever will take care of this body affectionately, it will be put under their care.
So whatever awakening we have in consciousness, we shall utilise that by putting ourselves in the care of godly persons; only then is there value of devotion to God. Those who know the value of devotion to God, they are our near relations. They will appreciate this inner awakening, and they will take care of our devotional self – Sädhu-saìga. When medicine or our own attempts cannot heal us, the doctor advises us to make a change. Then the air and the water will naturally come to help improve our health. So, also, the atmosphere around saintly persons improves our spiritual health. Anyway, we should always remain in the company of devotees in the same sampradäya, the same line – but superior devotees, so that we take the lower position. Such association is most desirable for any person aspiring to progress spiritually.
The gist of the advice given in Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé is: “We are to associate with those superior to us but in the same line of Kåñëa consciousness. They carry the same conception of the spiritual Truth, but they are superior to me. If I engage myself even as a sweeper in that camp, it will be highly valuable for my future spiritual life.”
Your free will is responsible
If you look and see injustice, then who is responsible? You are held responsible. What is bad, that is your share. You are to take the whole responsibility of misdeed in your hand. If you cannot feel this responsibility then you are insincere; not only you but everyone. Your free will is responsible for all misdeeds and misguided circumstances in the environment. This is the first principle of spiritual life. What is bad in me, I am responsible for that. You are responsible for seeing, for coming in connection with, that vision. There are good dealings in another sphere. Why have you come to see this misjudgement and mistreatment of so many who are quarrelling with each other? There are so many good dealings and you have not acquired a position to remain in that layer? Then why?
“I am responsible for all the undesirable things in me –that is a fact. My weak free will has taken me down into this present undesirable environment and no one else is responsible.” This fact you are to realise. If you ignore this, then you are in mäyä, misconception, illusion. When you sincerely realise this position, then your dark days will come to an end. When you feel that only you yourself are responsible for all these miserable things, then good days will awaken for you. This is the fact. It is not only a conception to achieve some end. It is not an imaginary conception to take help of in order to get out of the present condition. It is not like that; it is a fact. It is for everyone whether good or bad – he is responsible. Neither God nor Satan is responsible.
If suddenly I find myself in the prison house, then who is responsible? There are so many culprits, so many deceitful persons, so many thieves in the prison house. If I find myself in the midst of them, then who is responsible? I have acquired that position. There is also heavenly association but instead of that why am I put in the prison house where wherever I look I see culprits? Why am I here? Why am I not with heavenly association? Who is responsible? Who?
Penetrating to the root cause
In this way, I am to try and understand that I am responsible for being here. First there must be the diagnosis, then the treatment and nursing. Nursing and treatment is good, but it must follow the diagnosis. The diagnosis is, “I am the culprit!” And the medicines must be applied accordingly. A thorough cure will be advantageous, not a patch-job.
Then the thorough, wholesale treatment is like this:
tat te ’nukampäà su-samékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim. (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 10.14.8) This is the magical cure for fault-finding. Çrémad-Bhägavatam recommends the system of a magical cure. This is the diagnosis proper. Preaching must be on the basis of this truth. Otherwise, all is haphazard. The Çrémad-Bhägavatam’s preaching is like this – deep penetration to the root cause of the disease.
Dreamless sleep induced by renunciation? That is not the conclusion accepted by the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. The Çrémad-Bhägavatam has accepted the wholesome organic life. It is unavoidable that we have to live with some particular paraphernalia. Complete retirement, entering into samädhi or dreamless sleep, is also not the conclusion of life. That is a temporary arrangement. But permanent adjustment must be for Him – everything for Him.
“I am for Him and not for myself. He is also holy, so accommodating and so good. I am for Him and that is my best prospect. My best prospect is with Him – the Absolute Good, the Organic Whole – and I cannot leave that. I cannot look after my separate goal. My goal must be part of the Whole; such adjustment is necessary. So if I am to live in a holy atmosphere, in an organic environment, then I shall always by cautious and careful to detect my own fault.”
Neither exploitation nor renunciation can give permanent solution. “Dedication” – the basis of dedication is that the eye is not faulty.
karmaëy evädhikäras te / mä phaleñu kadäcana
mä karma-phala-hetur bhür /mä te saìgo ’stv akarmaëi
You have the right to perform your prescribed work, but you have no right to the fruits. You should not consider yourself to be the cause of the result of your actions, nor should you become attached to neglecting your duties. (Bhagavad-gétä 2.47)
“The whole of your attention must be towards the discharge of your own duty without caring for the
environment. That is in My command. I am to look after that. You must give your whole attention to
the discharge of your own duty.” And if all the units are wholly connected to discharge their own duty,
then it will be heavenly. But we would rather find fault with the environment. “They are thieves and I
shall also become a thief.” Should that be the conclusion?
The furnace of purification
Everything here is undesirable. I may not even know the extent of undesirability in me.
There are many things underground and they will gradually come to the surface. I shall
then find, “Oh! All these undesirables are in me?” They must go out and then the real
gems will come forth. The gold should be cast into the fire. When the alloy portion
vanishes [is burned off] then the real gold will be visible. Now the pure gold is mixed
with some alloy. So “Die to Live” – throw yourself into the fire. Your socalled ego at
present is mixed with alloy and that alloy must be destroyed by the fire of suffering. Fire
means suffering, and the golden gems will then come out. Alloy is not a part of your
body or your soul; it is acquired. The inner soul’s svarüpa will then come forth. So, if you
want to live a real, proper, noble and holy life, what you think you are at present, that
“Physician, cure thyself”
And preaching will be part of your adjustment. If this environment is not suitable, then I shall try another environment that may be more suitable to me. That is a small thing. A small partial adjustment may vary differently from place to place. Anyhow, the main line must be “No complaints against the environment”. A bad workman quarrels with his ‘stools’; the origin is he – the workman. So there is no benefit in quarrelling over them. Before, that was food; and in his association it became stool. So shall we preach against the injustices of the environment? Never.
What is necessary you will feel from within – not as a pleasure, but as a duty – and only if it comes
from above, if you find some inspiration for the cause of the higher conception, and not for your
personal cause. If you criticise for your personal interest, then that fault will come back to you. It will
enter into you. But if for purification and not out of envy you seek help from the higher, you will be
purified. Otherwise the next moment you may find yourself in the same position. I am vulnerable. I
criticise something to be so bad, but the next moment I may be left in such a deplorable position, thus
becoming that which I just criticised. I do not know the ways of the infinite environment. I am a doll
playing in the hands of the Infinite.
In the next moment, I may have to go from a human birth to a dog’s birth, a cat’s birth or an insect’s birth. They are descending into the mental system. So don’t criticise. Don’t be hungry to find the fault of others. But if some fault comes to you, then you may put it to the higher: “I heard something like this. Whether or not it is real, I don’t know. Please try to help me.” No enviousness, no spirit of competition that I am good and he is bad. No mischievous motives underground. Otherwise I shall have The basis of dedication is that the eye is not faulty. to suffer. So, “Physician, cure thyself” before you attempt to cure others. This is your primary duty; then you will really be able to cure others.
Bad temperament stands in the way
In conclusion, my advice is that you should try to be submissive to the Vaiñëava devotees. Submissiveness to them will promote your spiritual merit. We shall also pray, “O Lord, my bad temperament stands in the way of my association with the devotees; please remove it.” Association with the devotees of the Lord is a primary necessity. It improves our position with the higher, so we shall always remain in prayer to the Lord, “O my Lord, this bad temperament in me, this inconsiderate thinking and this feeling concerning the outer world, is disturbing my association with the higher Vaiñëava devotees. They are the real source of improving our own inner wealth. So please purify me by dismissing all these tendencies in my mind which the devotee section do not adore.
” We shall always try to be in such a position that the servants of the Lord will like our company and service. They will utilise me, for this is my primal necessity. If they do not like my presence due to some contamination in me, then it will be a loss to my spiritual life. So we shall have to repent.
mat-samo nästi päpätmä / näparädhé ca kaçcana
parihäre ’pi lajjä me / kià bruve puruñottama
Dear Lord, let me inform You that no one is more sinful than me, nor is there any offender like me. Even if I wanted to mention my sinful activities, I would immediately become ashamed. What to speak of giving them up! (Vijïäpti Païcaka 1)
bhümau skhalita-pädänäà / bhümir evävalambanam
tvayi jätäparädhänäà / tvam eva çaraëaà prabho
Just as the ground is the only support for those whose feet have slipped, so also You alone are the only shelter, even for those who have offended You. (Vijïäpti Païcaka 3)
“If we slip and fall on the ground, then the ground is the only help by which we can stand erect; we cannot leave the ground.” We shall sincerely pray, “O Lord, I am committing a mistake regarding You, I am ignoring You; but I have no other alternative to get out of this disadvantage. Except by Your help, I cannot correct myself. Under no condition can I leave You, my Lord. If I commit a mistake against You, an offence against You, still, I can only be purified by Your help. I have no other alternative. Please forgive me and help me so that I may be saved by Your most intimate associates, for without their grace I may not be able to enter Your domain of Divine Love. It is only through the devotees that I may go. I have no other alternative. There are so many agents. If I am disappointed by one agent, then in a mild temperament I may try another without speaking much against that previous party.
” It is better that we consider ourselves to be faulty. To put blame on another’s shoulders is ultimately not considered to be very happy or valuable. We should try and Everything here is undesirable.I may not even know the extent of undesirability in me. There are many things underground and they will gradually come to the surface. I shall then find, “Oh! All these undesirables are in me?” They must go out and then the real gems will come forth.learn to blame ourselves. What is coming from outside I
have no concern. The Lord can see and He sees everything. He is seeing who is responsible. But I
won’t try to put the blame on another’s shoulders. It will not be fruitful.
“I am responsible for this disgraceful condition”
I shall gain if I can find fault within myself and not complain to others about the environment. The environment should be considered to be within His jurisdiction, and it is really so. I am concerned with seeing the defect in myself only. If I attain success, I shall try to attribute it to others – to the grace of the devotees. If there is any failure, then I shall try to find the cause within myself. Through this process we can make real valuable progress and that is the most universal process of progress – to find fault with our own selves. I am responsible for this disgraceful condition, but if there is any good then that is coming from Him. He is all-good. He is watching the environment and is in full control. So this is included in Him, in God’s party. One party, myself; another party, God’s. He controls everyone and He is conscious of their activities.
This position would be very advisable. If without looking at the fault of others I can search myself and find out that the fault is with me, not with them, then this is the key to success in spiritual life. Çrémad-Bhägavatam has advised us to go on this way. You will thrive, but when you are finding fault with others then you will become a loser.
This verse from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (tat te ’nukampäà su-samékñamäëo) is very effective, very true and safe in all respects. It is also His grace to be able to see that the environment is always helpful to you even in punishment. When the mother is punishing the child, it is from the guardian’s side – but it is for the good of the child.
You will be purified in this process, in time
So on the whole the Lord and His paraphernalia are not vindictive. Yet the punishment comes; to correct you. They are fully aware of your defects and your real interest. They are all-affectionate. You are responsible. In this process, in time you will be purified to the highest degree. So don’t go to quarrel with the environment. The environment which you are presently facing, is a product of your own karma. So the environment is produced by your own action. You cannot lodge any complaint against it as you yourself are responsible. This is true. If in this life you can accept such a truth in your sädhana, then in no time you shall prosper because divine grace will be attracted most intensely towards you.
oà tad viñëoù paramaà padaà sadä
paçyanti sürayo divéva cakñur ätatam
tad viporäso vipanyavo jägåvämñaù
samindhate viñëor yat paramaà padam
The suras (pure devotees) always behold the supreme
abode of Bhagavän Çré Viñëu, just as the unobstructed
eye sees the sun within the sky. (Åg Veda)
His vigilant eye, like the sun, is seeing everything and He is omniscient. His presiding guardian eye over our heads is always looking for us. We shall be able to draw His sweet attention, His divine grace, towards us very soon if we take this miraculous process of seeing the defect within us –blaming ourselves and not the outside environment.
(Courtesy – Çrépäda B. P. Håñékeça Mahäräja)
Rays of the Harmonist No. 11, Karttika 2002
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