The necessity of humility, tolerance, and giving honour within the Mission.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Student: Sometimes the disciples of initiating Gurus are being trained under the care of their godbrothers.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: There should be some common guiding rules for this. The godbrothers should try to help them in such a way that they do not lose their reverence for Gurudev. Reverence for Gurudev should be promoted. In this way, the godbrothers have a sense of responsibility. Also, when there are many disciples of many Acharyas mixing together, their faith in their Gurus should not be disturbed. “Your Guru is of lower order; my Guru is of higher order.” Such statements should not be indulged. There should be some laws and bylaws, and if it is found that anyone is boisterous and not caring for these rules, then he should be gradually warned, chastised, and then punished, so that there may not be chaos in the Mission. If we want to go on together, we must follow some rules of conduct. And when we live together, we can help each other. We are all dedicating units, not disturbing elements. We must understand that we are all dedicating units. We should not come to fight with each other. We should behave submissively and modestly. There is the law of Mahaprabhu:

trnad api sunichena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 17.31)

[“The Lord’s Name is to be chanted always with more humility than a blade of grass, tolerance like that of a tree, honour for everyone, and without desire for honour from anyone.”]

These things must be repeatedly preached.

Trnad api sunicha: I must not be so rigid that I cannot accommodate others. Taror iva sahisnu: if still some aggression comes towards me, then I shall try to tolerate it. Amani manada: I will never seek any fame from the environment, and I will always be ready to give honour to all. With this attitude, we should march on our way. This maxim should be given very broad circulation. To become a Vaisnava, we must have some discipline—discipline on this type, and it comes from no greater a personality than Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself. So, we all, more or less, according to our capacity, must follow and respect these rulings of Mahaprabhu. In a congregation movement especially, it is required.

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur says in his translation:

sri-krsna-kirtane yadi manasa tohara
parama yatane tahi labha adhikara

[“If you aspire to chant the Name of Krishna, then very carefully develop the qualifications to do so.”]

trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
apane manabi sada chhadi’ ahankara

[“Always consider yourself lower than grass, needy, poor, and mean; give up your false ego.”]

vrksa-sama ksama-guna karabi sadhana
pratihimsa tyaji’ anye karabi palana

[“Practise tolerance like a tree, give up malice, and nurture others.”]

jivana-nirvahe ane udvega na dibe
para-upakare nija-sukha pasaribe

[“Do not cause others anxiety for your own maintenance and forget your own happiness in the course of helping others.”]

ha-ile-o sarva-gune guni mahasaya
pratisthasa chhadi’ kara amani hrdaya

[“Even if you are honourable and qualified with all these qualities, give up desire for prestige and be modest at heart.”]

krsna-adhisthana sarva-jive jani’ sada
karabi sammana sabe adare sarvada

[“Knowing Krishna is always present within every soul, always respect and honour everyone.”]

dainya, daya, anye mana, pratistha-varjana
chari gune guni hai’ kara sankirtana
(Gitavali: Siksastakam: 3.1–7)

[“Humility, compassion, honouring others, and giving up prestige—become qualified with these four qualities and engage in sankirtan.”]

Sankirtan means bahubhir militva yat kirtanam: kirtan in which many are combined. That means it presupposes all these qualifications in its members: dainya, they will be humble; daya, they will sympathetic to others; anye mana, especially, they will honour others; and pratistha-varjana, they won’t seek their own name and fame. We must have these four qualifications if we are to go on in a combined way with sankirtan.

Student: Every disciple has his own temperament.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Of course.

Student: A Guru has one temperament, and his disciple may be under the care of his godbrother who has a different temperament. So, the Guru may become a little disturbed that his disciple is developing the temperament of his godbrother.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Of course. There are difficulties. I do not deny that. It may not all be very smooth and easy, but still, if we want to go on with the movement successfully in a combined way, then some sort of check should be there. All cannot be let loose. There should be some check: some common laws and bylaws.

Student: What if a Guru is not inclined to make more disciples in a particular place because he finds that his disciples are developing the temperament of his godbrother, and he would like that they develop his temperament?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Hare Krishna. Krishna Krishna. God willing we hope there may be peace and everything will be adjusted. We pray to Him. Of course, in a such a big organisation, there will be difficulties of a big nature. But still we shall have to have hope. We cannot but hope that God may give peace and proper direction to the management and administration, and let such a big organisation go on in the Name of Mahaprabhu to help the world at large. Hare Krishna. Gauraharibol.


Spoken on 11 March 1981.