Lecture held on 6. December 2020 at Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Traiskirchen, Austria, by
Śrīla Bhakti Sādhaka Muni Goswāmi Mahārāj
First we need to understand who is God, who I am, and what is my relation with Him. First we really need to realize, we need to pray to the Supreme Lord:
„please forgive me for my offense.
I made so many offenses to Your Lotus Feet.
I was breaking all the rules of these material laws of human being and human body.
So I have to ask You, please forgive me and You accept me as Your servant“.
This is the basis, what we first need to understand. So if we want that God forgives us, then we also should become able to forgive so many things that we think are done against us. Be always a devotee of the Lord, a real devotee, and He will forgive whatever offenses are committed. But He will not forgive any offenses committed to other Vaishnavas. This is also stated in the Sastras. So Vaishnava Aparadha or offenses against Vaishnavas are very dangerous. Whatever we experience in this material world now, it is a result of our past activities. Do not blame anyone in this world. Everyone has his position and is guided by higher authorities or higher control and everything is coming according to our karma. So, we cannot blame anyone, we have to learn to tolerate. Always think that we were sinful in the past so now we get a result. If I act in a different way, if I think that others are bad and I am good, then you will create more troubles in this material world, you will not understand what is reality.
Forgiveness is one of the most appreciated qualities a person can develop.
There is the story of Haridas Thakur. He was an example of this. He was born a Muslim but from his birth he was attracted to chanting the Holy Name of Krishna, so his whole life he was chanting the Holy Name of Krishna. He got the name Harinama Acarya by Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally. He became very close to Him. But at the beginning, the leaders of the Muslims, they were hating him because he took another process. He took the process of the „non-believers“. Some groups of Muslims where hating all those who are not following, so they wanted to kill them. So the leader wanted to kill Haridas and so they punished him. What was this punishment? They were beating him with a whip in twenty two marketplaces until he dies. So they beat him and Haridas Thakur was always chanting and they started to notice that he could not die. They were beating him like anything and at the end they were lamenting: „why are you not dying? If you don’t die then the leader will kill us“. Then Haridas Thakur said: „okay, I will die, I don’t want that you get killed by the king“. So with his mystic powers he became lifeless. So he soon fell down and they could not see any signs of life in him, they threw him into the Ganga. You see, even though he was whipped by them, even though he was tortured by them, he had some mercy, forgiveness. He understood that they were also just tools, they had to do this according to their past activities. He was thrown and he was floating down the Ganga and just a few meters later, he came out of the Ganga. The king was informed about this, so he could later understand what great personality he is so he let him go. In this way he walked on and in this way we can see that forgiveness is selfless. We should not go after revenge, we should not be disturbed. Haridas could understand that Krishna has given this punishment to him and has also given punishment to others through this. I have to accept like this. He had faith in the Lord. Why? After he met Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu showed him his back and said „I took this pain on me. I could not do otherwise. I accepted because you are my dear devotee. I will protect you, don’t worry“. So He took the pain and the torture and put it on Him, He took on His back.
So when we are becoming devotees of this class, then we are not disturbed by our false ego or whatever might come. A real devotee sees it as Krishna´s arrangements and this is called Krishna Consciousness. This is a high level of understanding but at least theoretically we should understand that forgiveness is one of the most exalted qualities of a devotee. Those who make offenses to devotees, they are already punished. A real devotee will never be disturbed by these things, but Krishna will not accept. Devotee will save you but Krishna will not allow His devotee to be offended. We should be careful not to see or hear criticism or getting criticized ourselves.
But all these things are not touching a real devotee.