(Kadamba Kanana Swami Govinda Valley, Austrailia, 2011) Lecture – S.B.3.25.27

When a community makes a commitment, that’s when the community can support each other in that way, and that is needed. It doesn’t matter what shape that community exists but that is one function of sadhu sanga. We often think that the association of devotees is meant for inspiration. It’s like:

“I need devotee’s association to feel inspired and whenever I am with the devotees then I am so inspired”.

But we see in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, where a situation occurring, where Vallabhacharya came to visit Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and was Vallabhacharya proud of his learning (he was a great scholar) and said that he had written a commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam. He mentioned that he was not in agreement with Śrīdhara Svāmī who was the original Bhagavatam commentator. So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had no appreciation for that, because he had Śrīdhara Svāmī at a highest regard. Threfore, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not want to hear the commentary of. Vallabhacharya. So when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu didn’t want to hear, then no body wanted to hear – not a single devotee was ready to hear and Vallabhacharya would go around saying:

“Please, listen to my commentary, since you will find it very interesting”.

“No, sorry……I have no time….I really have to go”.

Everybody would make excuses and some said:

“No way!”

And some were blunt, but one devotee was very soft by nature, namely Gadādhara. Gadādhara was one of these soft natured person and Vallabhacharya had just cornered him and overpowered him with his energy by saying:

“You will hear my commentary”.

Gadādhara said:

“No, please!”

“ Yes! You will!”

And he took his right hand and started reading to Gadādhara who was thinking:

“Oh, my god what will happen now? Lord Caitanya will surely understand, because he knows my heart and that I don’t want to hear it. But the devotees will never tolerate that I heard the commentary, because they are not so tolerant”.

So that particular passage is interesting because that shows another aspect of devotee association, and shows the intolerance of the devotees. Or what is sometimes referred to as peer pressure….or you could say something like the village mentality. Now we are living in the village and if you act different in the village then the whole village is down on you! So everyone is living in fear of the villagers.

So the devotee community is something like that…it’s like living in a village, and we are a bit worried about being seen by the neighbours because they know that you’re going to cop it. Those dynamics are actually healthy – we need a bit of that…..we need a bit of the vigilant eye of the vaisnavas, so to keep us from becoming degraded, since the tendency to glide down is very strong…..very strong!

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