“Thus even if the devotees see the mischief-mongers, they do not accuse them for the sufferings inflicted. “

September 21, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-the below letters by SP to his disciples were meant to calm the fire of anger and dissension so many had towards each other at that time, and at the same time to keep them in the movement working for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhus mission.
These letters and philosophical reasons are even more applicable today.
 
Now years later, we can partly see the philosophical reasons for these letters for now we have  most of the information needed to make informed decisions based upon the philosophy of Vaisnavism. One has to approach this with a cool head as Prabhupada used to say, in order to understand the proper course of our individual actions.
 
This article by Krsna’s grace, is in my humble opinion ,one of the best for proper understanding of overall Vaisnava behavior and action
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das
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Nov 5 1967 letter…
Please accept my blessings. Replying your letter dated Oct. 21, I quite appreciate your statement and I am happy that you have now taken care of the Gita Mss. I have already written to Hayagriva that the instructions which I impart are not dogmas. Our instructions are all based on sufficient logic and philosophy. The thing is that while conducting missionary activities it is quite natural that sometimes the situation may become very provocative, but we have to deal in these matters very carefully. The boy who spat upon the person of Kirtanananda must send a letter of regret and apology. That will be nice. You should always try to pacify the living entities in their rebellious propensities. These individual propensities are factual evidence for their becoming individual entities.
 
Note—Sometimes devotees say that the letters are not important because they deal mostly with someones individual situation and are not applicable to all. Yet here Prabhupada tells us his letters are not dogmas and they can apply to many others as well.
 
Nov 5 1967 letter...
We invite outsiders to come and hear our kirtanas but I think Kirtanananda might have been disturbing the peace of the Temple and therefore you all asked him not to enter the Temple. I do not know what had actually transpired but the incident is not very happy. If possible the boy who had spat upon Kirtanananda in the presence of Hayagriva must be requested to send a letter of regret and apology for the mistake he had done. I have already given you a list of good behavior for the devotees. The person who is a devotee must develop those good qualities. Kirtanananda’s attempt to defy me might have provoked all these undesirable incidences, but in the future we shall be very much careful to deal in such provocative situationsI can understand the provocation in this situation was set in motion by Kirtanananda’s uncalled for behavior. Hope you are well.
 
Note-Kirtnaandas “provacative” behavior started a long time ago and SP noted it.
 
 
Nov 18 1967 letter….
Please accept my blessings. Replying your letter of Nov. 9, I beg to inform you that Kirtanananda and Hayagriva’s recent standing is being directly dealt by me; at least Hayagriva is not as fanatic as Kirtanananda. His latest letter reveals that he is not out of Krishna Consciousness as we understand. The whole episode was generated by personal grudge. This personal grudge is not inhuman and as I have told many times, that individualism is the cause of personal misunderstanding. When such individualism is employed in the center of Krishna there is no harm even if there is personal misunderstanding. Personal misunderstanding exists even in the higher levels. There is competition of loving Krishna even in the party of Srimati Radharani. It is a kind of rasa to compete in loving affection centering around Krishna. We shall, therefore, try to bring back Hayagriva and Kirtanananda to their senses. After all we must understand that we are dealing with persons affected by Maya. Every one of us is under the influence of the external energy, Maya. The best way to get out of the clutches of Maya is to concentrate our attention in the loving service of Krishna. I understand that Hayagriva and Kirtanananda are continuing to chant Hare Krishna is their center. I hope therefore they will not go astray and the misunderstanding may be cleared up in due course of time. (Even amongst our God-brothers we have misunderstanding but none of us is astray from the service of Krishna. My Guru Maharaja ordered us to execute his mission combinedly. Unfortunately we are now separated. But none of us have stopped preaching Krishna Consciousness. Even if there was misunderstanding amongst the God-brothers of my Guru Maharaja none of them deviated from the transcendental loving service of Krishna. The idea is that provocation and misunderstanding may remain between one man and another. But our staunch faith in Krishna Consciousness may not allow any material disruptionPlease therefore try to be sympathetic with any person even if they differ. The only qualification we have to scrutinize is if one is acting in Krishna Consciousness as far as one is able to do it.)
 
July 28 1969 letter
So far as your question about controversy amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, that is a fact. But this controversy is not material. Just like in a national program, different political parties are sometimes in conflict and make propaganda against each other, but their central point is always service to the country. Similarly, amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati there may be some controversy, but the central point is how to preach the mission of His Divine Grace. If the central point is fixed up then there is no harm in such controversy. Every individual being must have his opinion; that is the significance of individuality, but all such differences of opinions must coincide in Krishna. In the battlefield of Kuruksetra were Arjuna and Bhisma who were fighting with one another, and because Krishna was on the side of Arjuna, sometimes Bhisma pierced the body of Krishna also with arrows. But still they remained the greatest devotees of the Lord, and Krishna accepted the friendship of Arjuna just as He accepted the inimical arrows of Bhisma in the same loving spirit. So you do not be disturbed by such controversial points. Better you engage your mind very seriously in the matter of the service entrusted upon you. That will make you progressive in Krishna Consciousness.
 
Note-These two are very instructive letters by Srila Prabhupada regarding how to deal with individuality amongst Godbrothers. He tells us that even in the Gaudiya matha, despite their disobeying their guru Srila Bhaktisddhanta Maharaja, Prabhupada considered that they were still engaged in the loving service of Krsna. So this is an important instruction when we deal with others who do not share the same “understanding” as we.

 
July 17 1968 letter….
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter and check duly. I have already sent necessary instructions through Hamsaduta. You are all my limbs of my body. Unless you cooperate, my life will be useless. The senses and life are correlative. Without life the senses cannot act and without sense, life is inactive. I have advised Hamsaduta to cooperate fully with you. The 50% arrangement is agreed.
 
Jan 21 1969 letter…
Perhaps you know that there are many political parties in a country, but when the country’s total responsibility has to be executed, they become combined. To have some little disagreements amongst yourselves is not very unnatural because we are all individual beings. But as we are all working on behalf of Krishna we should always forget our personal interests and see to the prime cause.
 
April 3 1969 letter…
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated March 27, 1969, and I have carefully noted the contents. In the first portion of the letter you have expressed your desire how to learn surrender. This surrendering process is unconditional. Surrendering does not mean that one should surrenderly only in favorable circumstances. That is not surrender. Surrender means in any condition the surrendering process must continue. ….. In the spiritual world there is also competition, but the center is always Krishna. In the material world there is competition, but the center is sense gratification. That is the difference. So competition, disagreement, or even dissension, if they are there, and the center is Krishna, such disagreement is not material. Even in Krishna Loka, there are rival parties of Srimati Radharani whose name is Candrabali, and there is competition between the two parties how to serve Krishna the best.
 
April 30 1970 letter….
Regarding your questions how to offer respects to Sannyasis. Every Sannyasi, even if you see a Mayavadi Sannyasi, offer him your respects—there will be no harm. As you have observed we shall follow Lord Caitanya’s instruction that we give all due respects to others regarding their position, but there is no need of always associating with each of them. Even if one is Vaisnava, but not of good character, we can give him the Vaisnava respect, but we cannot associate with him.
 
Oct 1 1969 letter…
Relationship between Godbrothers must be very genuine and pleasing. Otherwise, the future of our institution will not be very hopeful. After all, very soonAs I am ging old, I wish to retire from an active part. Of course, I shall be behind the scene, but I am thinking of writing a constitutional will on my return from Europe. Enclosed please find the proclamation you have requested. I hope this will meet you all in good health.
 
Some Conclusions—The above letters by Prabhupada are a beacon of hope and light for us after some 40 years of infighting among devotees who follow the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya sampradaya. One overall theme in all the letters expressed by Prabhupada above was to cooperate with each other. Even when we differ in opinion.
I know this is not what many want to hear but those are his instructions above. He gives as his proof that even in the spiritual world there is competition and strife among the Lords devotees.
And if these devotees keep the pleasure of guru/Krsna as their central point they can remain in the spiritual world. If they desire something for their own sense gratification then to the material world we are sent for rectification.
And here we find ourselves now today, each trying to rectify our own anarthas and misunderstandings which hopefully will be pleasing to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krsna.
 
One final point to be made is some statements made below by Srila Prabhupada regarding how to “see” spiritually. I humbly consider these points relevant and highly important.
 
This immediate statement  below shows how an actually liberated soul “sees” things….
 
Jan 18 1971
Prabhupāda: Sama-darśinaḥ means you have no distinction what is sin and what is...
Guest (1): Sama-darśinaḥ means to treat everyone as equal.
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Sama darśinaḥ means there is no distinction between sin and virtue. That is sama-darśinaḥ. As soon as you see, “This is virtue, and this is sin,” it is not sama-darśinaḥ.
Guest (1): Virtue and sin become the same in sama-darśinaḥ.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is sama-darśinaḥ.
Guest (2): In other words, the sin does not remain sin any longer.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. But he has no vision that “This is sin, and this is virtue.” That is sama-darśinaḥ. As soon as you make distinction, you are not sama-darśinaḥ.
 
BG 4.16–Even the intelligent are bewildered in determining what is action and what is inaction. Now I shall explain to you what action is, knowing which you shall be liberated from all sins.
 
 
Note–If we see some person or devotee as a wrong doer then we are also guilty of that same wrong act if we do not see the hand of God within those actions.
See last quote below…
 
SB 1.17.18–O greatest among human beings, it is very difficult to ascertain the particular miscreant who has caused our sufferings, because we are bewildered by all the different opinions of theoretical philosophers.
PURPORT-There are many theoretical philosophers in the world who put forward their own theories of cause and effect especially about the cause of suffering and its effect on different living beings. Generally there are six great philosophers: Kaṇāda, the author of Vaiśeṣika philosophy; Gautama, the author of logic; Patañjali, the author of mystic yoga; Kapila, the author of Sāṅkhyaphilosophy; Jaimini, the author of Karma-mīmāṁsā; and Vyāsadeva, the author of Vedānta-darśana.

Although the bull, or the personality of religion, and the cow, the personality of the earth, knew perfectly well that the personality of Kali was the direct cause of their sufferings, still, as devotees of the Lord, they knew well also that without the sanction of the Lord no one could inflict trouble upon them. According to the Padma Purāṇa, our present trouble is due to the fructifying of seedling sins, but even those seedling sins also gradually fade away by execution of pure devotional service. Thus even if the devotees see the mischief-mongers, they do not accuse them for the sufferings inflicted. They take it for granted that the mischief-monger is made to act by some indirect cause, and therefore they tolerate the sufferings, thinking them to be God-given in small doses, for otherwise the sufferings should have been greater.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit wanted to get a statement of accusation against the direct mischief-monger, but they declined to give it on the abovementioned grounds. Speculative philosophers, however, do not recognize the sanction of the Lord; they try to find out the cause of sufferings in their own way, as will be described in the following verses. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, such speculators are themselves bewildered, and thus they cannot know that the ultimate cause of all causes is the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead.
 
…”Thus even if the devotees see the mischief-mongers, they do not accuse them for the sufferings inflicted. “

This is the conclusion of all of the above regarding misunderstandings between devotees. When bad things happen it is very easy to accuse the obvious one for some wrong doing. But that accusation means the accuser is just as guilty as the one who is the wrong doer. See below for the proof.
 
SB 1.17.22 purport…
A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace. In case of benefit, no one will deny that it is God-sent, but in case of loss or reverses one becomes doubtful about how the Lord could be so unkind to His devotee as to put him in great difficulty. Jesus Christ was seemingly put into such great difficulty, being crucified by the ignorant, but he was never angry at the mischief-mongers. That is the way of accepting a thing, either favorable or unfavorable. Thus for a devotee the identifier is equally a sinner, like the mischief-monger. By God’s grace, the devotee tolerates all reverses. Mahārāja Parīkṣit observed this, and therefore he could understand that the bull was no other than the personality of religion himself. In other words, a devotee has no suffering at all because so-called suffering is also God’s grace for a devotee who sees God in everything. The cow and bull never placed any complaint before the King for being tortured by the personality of Kali, although everyone lodges such complaints before the state authorities. The extraordinary behavior of the bull made the King conclude that the bull was certainly the personality of religion, for no one else could understand the finer intricacies of the codes of religion.
 
Therefore the final conclusion-to chant the Holy Names of the Lord in a humble state of mind thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street more tolerant than the tree and be able to offer all respect of others. In such a state of mind one can chant the Holy names constantly.