What kind of compassion is indicated by the phrase “more tolerant than a tree”?
The phrase “more tolerant than a tree” indicates that although a tree is cut, it does not protest. Rather, it helps others by its shade, fruits, and flowers. Similarly, Krisna’s devotees should show greater compassion than a tree by helping everyone whether friends or enemies. Such compassion is the ornament of the non envious devotees who chant the holy names.
TEXT 17.42|| SB 11.23.42 ||
nāyaṁ jano me sukha-duḥkha-hetur
na devatātmā graha-karma-kālāḥ
manaḥ paraṁ kāraṇam āmananti
saṁsāra-cakraṁ parivartayed yat
The brahmana said: These people are not the cause of my happiness and distress. Neither are the demigods, my own body, the positions of the planets, my karma, or time. Rather, it is the mind alone that causes happiness and distress and perpetuates one’s bondage to the vicious cycle of repeated birth and death.
We need this wholesale and radical cure: ‘I do not belong to me, I have my eternal master.’ We need slave mentality.
“One day Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur sitting in his bhajan kutir told the devotees, ‘All the residents of the Math should always be engaged in the service of Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnava. They should always be engaged in hearing Hari-katha and discussing Hari-katha. If one becomes averse to Hari-katha and Hari-seva then one will again be entangled by one’s material desires. Then one’s time will be spent in gossiping, criticising others, fighting with others and gratifying one’s senses. If the residents of the Math do not understand that Vaisnava-seva is the most beneficial thing, then they will not make progress in the realm of devotion. One has to cultivate one’s Krishna-conciousness by sincerely serving the Vaisnavas and by endeavoring to please the Vaisnava with body, mind and soul. By the petition of a Vaisnava, merciful Krishna will give His mercy to this sinful soul.’ This we have to remember all the time.
– Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja
Divine Words of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
“One who is sincere to dedicate himself naturally comes into contact with a higher and more subtle plane of life. By his readiness to give and serve, he will attain to a higher society and achieve an appropriate master.”
—Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Divine Words of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami
Learning the Gift of Giving Yourself
We must be very, very careful when we follow the highest object of our eternal life. Our Guru Mahārāja gave a special warning – “sevonmukhe”. We were not allowed to read much – even these ordinary subjects dealing with sādhana, devotional practices – what to speak of the higher literatures. But we were encouraged by “śravanaṁ-kīrtanam,” hearing from the real source and acting accordingly. In this way, by serving, learn to give yourself properly. There are different methods of service: śravanam, hearing; kīrtanam, chanting; smaranam, remembering; and vandanam, praying, etc. Then, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has mentioned sixty-four kinds of devotional practices and it is further mentioned – a thousand kinds of devotional practices
The Key to the Hidden Treasure
Work Under the Guidance of a Vaishnava
But practices are not very important. The very life of the practice is all-important and that is self-dedication, self-giving. So, be very particular to learn dedication and self-giving. This means practically to work under the guidance of a Vaiṣṇava devotee – getting ready to work under a proper agent. This will help you a great deal to learn, to practice what is dedication to that Sweet Lord. Guidance must come from those above you. It is very rare, but it is most valuable to us. Whatever directions are coming from above, we must selflessly embrace that as all in all. This is the clue; this is the key to the Hidden Treasures in your heart. I will not work with my whims or serve men on my level. But we shall very eagerly obey what directions will come from the above plane. This is service proper and it will be a real help for progressing on the path of dedication and self-giving.
Song Name: Kabe Mui Vaisnava Cinibo
Official Name: Ucchvasa: Prarthana Lalasmayi Song
Author: Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Book Name: Kalyana Kalpataru
kabe mui vaisnava cinibo hari hari
vaisnava carana, kalyaner khani,
matibo hrdaye dhori’
1) Oh Hari, when will I be able to recognize a Vaishnava
The feet of the Vaisnava is the source of auspiciousness
Keeping those feet on my very heart I will be fully ecstatic
baisnava-thakura aprakrta sada,
krsna-name priti jade udasina,
jibete dayardra hoy
2) The venerable Vaishnava is always transcendental
He is innocent and joyous He feels pleasure in chanting the name of Krishna, at the same time he is oblivious to the material world He is deeply compassionate to the living entities
Divine Words of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami
We are finite beings that are lost here. We have a long journey ahead with much trouble, but the disappointment and dejection is minimized if we have good association on that long journey.
By talking with them about the Lord, we can go on. We forget the weariness of the journey.
krshna-bhakti-janma-müla haya ‘sådhu-sanga’
krshna-prema janme, teho punar mukhya anga
The root cause of devotion to Krshna is association with advanced devotees. Even when one’s dormant love for Krshna awakens, the association with devotees is still most essential.
(Cc. Madhya 22.83)
The very origin of devotion to Krshna comes from the association of the sådhu – krshna-prema janme, teho punar mukhya anga. And when we acquire a drop of divine love within our heart then also our hope, solace, consolation, health, everything comes from the association of the devotees. The devotees are all in all, from the beginning up to the end. Our favorable companions can help us in our journey towards the Infinite. They are something solid, something concrete – similar in nature to us.
सर्वैर्गुणैस्तत्र समासते सुरा: ।
हरावभक्तस्य कुतो महद्गुणा
मनोरथेनासति धावतो बहि: ॥ १२ ॥
yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
yasya — of whom; asti — there is; bhaktiḥ — devotional service; bhagavati — to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; akiñcanā — without any motive; sarvaiḥ — with all; guṇaiḥ — good qualities; tatra — there (in that person); samāsate — reside; surāḥ — all the demigods; harau — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; abhaktasya — of a person who is not devoted; kutaḥ — where; mahat-guṇāḥ — good qualities; manorathena — by mental speculation; asati — in the temporary material world; dhāvataḥ — who is running; bahiḥ — outside.
All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord’s external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?
Divine Words of The Guardian of Devotion
“Do not desire any position or prestige for yourself, and always be ready to give it to others,” means, “Try to feel your insignificant character.” If you can do so you will be able to draw the attention of the higher. If you feel yourself to be poor as anything, to be the poorest of the poor, then you will be able to draw the attention of the Supreme towards you.
“I am needy. I am the most needy.” First, feel yourself to be this, then put forward a petition. “I am the most need of Your grace, my Lord.” It is a simple thing. “I am the most needy, the most desolate. Please help me.” It is a simple attitude. Surrender is real and practical. Otherwise, it is only limited hypocrisy. He is omniscient. He sees everything, even the subtlest things. He can see what is within us. He can see within us what we cannot see. It is not very easy to acquire the qualification necessary to approach the Absolute.”
– Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāja
His Divine Grace Gaudiya Gosthipati Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupad
It is better not to talk about people belonging to useless, unauthorized sampradyas. You should continue chanting the Holy names of Hari without offense, avoid bad association, and read Sri Chaitanya – caritamrita, Prarthana, Kalyan Kalpataru, and Prema-bhakti-candrika. This will certainly benefit you.
Blasphemy of others should be rejected.
Krishnanagar, Nadia, June 2,1918