Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Pure Heart

Prabhu: Hare Krishna Maharaja. So I would like to ask one question.
Sometimes we see our authority. How to overlook their mistake like for
example in our system I don't eat too much sweet and then the authority
says, "Take sweet..." This is just one example there are certain mistakes
when the authority makes but how to overlook it and have faith in that
authority? It can be anything like small things but then the juniors see
this, that you are not doing and you are supposed to do - small, small
things but how to have faith and overlook this types of mistakes in your
authority? Hare Krishna.

HH Romapada Swami: Several things. One thing is the big picture. By that I
mean seeing the overall example, character and standard of the leader. If
there is this but then there is this what is the nature and character of
that person? Don't just look at the spot in the moon but look at the light
of the moon. Saying the same thing in a slightly different way - is this
person a strict follower of the instructions in a broad sense? If so, they
will become purified. So the respect goes to the process of bhakti and the
bhakti that is carried in the heart of that person.

Having said that, going to the other side, there should be some
discrimination. We should know what is what. So if there was some - the
expression that you used was "small, small". So, small small. But in the
proper perspective, the discrepancy is very small - small, small - not big,
big - small, small. On that basis, I am discriminating individual and I
look at the big picture. I see the consistent behaviour of this individual.
Because it is small small, the process of bhakti will address it; but if it
is big, big then the process of discrimination is required and active - do
not abandon it, do not switch it off. Is some pattern of consistent
deviation? Discriminate.

Then there is my position. Let me never abandon my position of being servant
of the servant of the servant. In that position, from that perspective, what
are my options? Big, big. What do I do? Examine different options. We can
list some of them.

*       You can approach the person
*       You can approach the person's authority in the mood of the servant.
Not in the mood of something else.
*       Depending upon place where you live, another option is to approach
an ombudsman. Braja Bihari probably had some seminar during the ILS where he
presented the model of Ombudsman. Ombuds means something like a village
elder - a neutral mature person, who you go to in confidence. You disclose
"Something is wrong, my heart is disturbed. I don't want to be offensive
but..." If the deviation is not small small, but big big, and it is
consistent, then approach the Ombudsman. "Something needs attention. I don't
know what to do."  The village elder or the ombuds person will advise you to
keep your heart pure. Don't meditate on contamination or faults. Address the
situation through the Ombudsman - if it is not just small small, but big

Does that help?

One other thing. I want to share with you the second writing of Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur that I read as I was becoming a devotee.
First I received my first Back to Godhead Magazine, which contained an
article by Bhaktisiddhanta in it. I couldn't even pronounce the title!
"The Bhagavat: Its Ontology, Morphology and Something-ology." Then I read
the article. The text was powerful, and the experience of reading it was
likewise powerful. Every tenth word I had to look up in the dictionary! My
appreciation of the article was not because it was technical. The purity
was powerful. Three hours later, after I completed reading the article, I
felt that I had just been transported to another place. Not because it was
technical or high. It was pure. I was transported by Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur's purity to another place, a spiritual place. It was a
profound experience! So I had  from then on a very deep affection and
appreciation for this yet-unknown personality, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
Thakur, this luminary who I did not yet know, either who he was or anything.

Fast forward in time.  I became a new bhakta in the Boston temple. One week
after that Guru Dasa comes to visit the temple. He had just come from India
and had with him a stack of books. I asked him if I could look at that stack
of books, because I liked books. Guru das said OK. Right on top of the stack
of books was a book by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur! So I opened up the
book. I read in the foreword page. Although this event took place so long
ago, it is deeply embedded in my consciousness and has guided my spiritual
life since then. In the foreword, Bhaktisiddhanta wrote: "A vaisnava never
finds fault in others, for by so doing he is simply indicating that his own
heart is honeycombed with those same faults. Rather a Vaisnava is one who
always looks within. He makes his own heart pure, first and foremost. This
is a vaisnava." Wow! Powerful instruction! This is a most helpful
instruction to help you with the situation you described in your question.
First step is to make your own heart pure. When your heart is indeed pure,
then by prompting from Supersoul so many nice instructions you received from
Vaisnavas over a period of time will arise in your heart. You will then know
better how to address yourself in the situation you just mentioned, from a
position of a pure heart. Then you can truly act as a servant of the other
person - not only doing the right thing, but in the right consciousness.
First things first. Make the heart pure. That is a nice principle

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