Etiquette-the Ornament of the Vaisnava

July 3, 2014 in Articles by Nityananda Rama dasa

70-02-20.Jag Letter: Jagannatham Prabhu My Dear Jagannatham Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. I am so glad to receive your
letter dated 10 February, 1970, redirected from my New York center.
Perhaps you are the eldest amongst us now living as disciples of Srila
. You are now eighty-one years old, and I am only
seventy-four. Therefore I am your younger brother and I shall always
expect blessings from you.

70-01-14.Jad Letter: Jadurani
So far Devahuti is concerned, she is elder woman but very nice and
sober as well as qualified
. Because she is of the age of all of your
mothers, she should be treated very respectfully
. Nothing should be
ordered to her but simply suggested so that she may work in her own
way. You should personally see to the comforts and conveniences so
that she may feel very happy to stay with you all young boys and
girls. So far I have studied and it is quite natural that she requires
a little respectful dealing from the young boys and girls.

70-04-17.Jay Letter: Jayapataka
Whatever the Spiritual Master gives in His own hand, it should be
accepted immediately as His grace. In the beginning in New York I was
cooking myself and was distributing at least one or two capatis to all
my disciples, at that time not less than a dozen. Gradually,
Kirtanananda Maharaja took charge of the cooking and learned the art
very nicely from me, and he educated all others how to make our
present Prasadam. So in the beginning I was cooking, so there is no
objection to take from the Spiritual Master. It is a question of love
that sometimes I cook, you eat and sometimes you cook, I eat. Our
Krishna Consciousness movement is based on complete fellow feeling and
love, but there is a word maryada which means respect which should
always be offered to the Spiritual Master and elderly members.

69-06-16.Aru Letter: Arundhati
Regarding your second question about greeting karmis, if a karmi is
a friend, you just greet him Hare Krishna, and with folded hands touch
your forehead. If the karmi is a superior relative, then chant Hare
Krishna and bow down to him on the ground
. That should be the
etiquette in our society transactions.
Whenever you have questions,
you ask your husband or ask me. You should always be very sound in
knowledge about Krishna Consciousness. But as you are very much
attached to chanting, there will be no difficulty for you.

75-09-18.Bhu Letter: Bhurijana
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter
dated September 12, 1975 with enclosed check for $127.68. In this way
you are rendering very nice service and the more you render service,
the more you advance. This is the only way. Therefore the Vedic
regulation is that whenever one goes to see some saintly person or to
visit a temple, he must offer something. That will help him
. It is
enjoined that one should first of all dedicate his life and if it is
not possible to do that, that one should dedicate his money. If he has
no money, then he should utilize his intelligence how to spread Krsna
consciousness. Or if he has no intelligence, then he should utilize
his words that, "Yes, they are doing nicely. This is a nice movement."
This is the process for advancement in Krsna consciousness.
I hope this meets you in good health.

76-08-07.Sum Letter: Sumati Morarjee
Everything will become clear if you kindly read this chapter with
attention. For example, we see that two lawyers in the courtroom may
fight vigorously about a law point, but upon returning to the law
library, they talk and embrace like friends. So you should always
remember that we have no ill feelings towards Vallabha Bhattacarya. We
have full respect for him, so there is no harm if these facts are
discussed in the society of devotees. Devotees always humbly offer
respect to everyone, but when there is a discussion on a point of
sastra, they do not observe the usual etiquette, satyam bruyat priyam
bruyat. They speak only the satyam, although it may not necessarily be
I hope you will understand the whole situation.

69-03-21.Mr. Letter: Mr. Windisch
Please accept my blessings. I am very much pleased to receive your
letter dated March 18. Your writing in the second paragraph is so much
encouraging for me and your appreciation of devotees like Upendra and
Ananda is super excellent
. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this
lesson–one who appreciates a sincere devotee is eligible to approach
the Supreme Personality of Godhead

70-08-06.Upe Letter: Upendra
Now all my disciples must work combinedly and with cooperation to
spread this Sankirtana Movement. If you cannot work together then my
work is stopped up
. Our Society is like one big family and our
relationships should be based on love and trust. We must give up the
fighting spirit and use our intelligence to push ahead. You should
accept help from your Godbrothers.

73-03-10.Bhu Letter: Bhumata
Because we are all individuals sometimes there is disagreement
between devotees. When non-devotees quarrel they cannot stop and end
up killing each other. But the devotees’ disagreement does not last
long because they patch it up for Krsna’s sake, because they are all
working for the same end–Krsna’s service.

69-09-28.Ham Letter: Hamsaduta
Regarding your question about faith in devotees, faith must be there. But we should always take instruction from devotees who are considered to be elevated.

KB 64 The Story of King Nrga
Lord Krsna continued: Therefore I instruct you, all My boys and relatives present here, do not, even by
mistake, take the possession of a brahmana and thereby pollute your
whole family. If someone even wishes to possess such property, let
alone attempts to take it away by force, the duration of his life will
be reduced. He will be defeated by his enemies, and after being bereft
of his royal position, when he gives up his body he will become a
serpent. A serpent gives trouble to all other living entities. My dear
boys and relatives, I therefore advise you that even if a brahmana
becomes angry with you and calls you by ill names or curses you, still
you should not retaliate. On the contrary, you should smile, tolerate
him and offer your respects to the brahmana
. You know very well that
even I Myself offer My obeisances to the brahmanas with great respect
three times daily. You should therefore follow My instruction and
example. I shall not forgive anyone who does not follow them, and I
shall punish him.
You should learn from the example of King Nrga that
even if someone unknowingly usurps the property of a brahmana, he is
put into a miserable condition of life."

"Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Listen to Me attentively ! Anyone who worships
Me directly, but neglects My servants and devotees is most wretched. By doing so, he virtually cuts My body into pieces. Indeed such worship is like placing burning coals on My body. Every living being is My servant and so I cannot tolerate any violence to them. I destroy anyone who tries to hurt My servants.
(Caitanya Bhagavat)