(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7th October, 2012, Melbourne, Australia) Lecture: SB 1.12.23
Srila Prabhupada, as an acarya, showed us how to should approach the end of life. That one should become more and more sensitive about not having anyone with bitter thoughts against us. When we are new in Krishna Consciousness then we are not so careful about vaisnava relationships. Sometimes when you speak about association of the vaisnavas, it’s not only meant for sweet inspiration, the other thing that you get from living in a community of vaisnavas is:
‘trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniya sada hari’ (Siksastakam, Verse 3).
That you have to become more humble than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree because it is not easy to live in such a close community. And this one is talking about me in a way that I really do not appreciate. You know what I mean!
You get all kinds of relationship issues. I mean the guy is a total poof head (an Australian expression)!
All right, is that an offence?
In the beginning we think, ‘Oh well, that’s just the way I speak. I call this one a poof head and I call that one an idiot. This guy, that guy and then someone American comes in.’
You know ‘this guy and that guy’ but you can see in Vedic culture that ‘guy’ is a cow. We call each other prabhu, ‘this prabhu and that prabhu’… it’s respectful. So this modern culture is actually a little offensive and gradually one becomes to lose value but a vaisnava is very precious! There are so few, and life is very long in a way while life is short in another way. It’s a long road to go to Krsna. You have to stay a devotee for your whole life. You will be tested in so many ways. A whole life. A whole long life and never step over the line?! It’s difficult.
‘durgame pathi me ‘ndhasya
santaḥ santv avalambanam,’ (Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Antya-lila 1.2)
My path is very difficult. My feet are slipping again and again but with a stick of the association of the vaisnavas for my support, I can do it. We need the devotees, we need them! Therefore, we have to be careful about these relations. As we get older as devotees, we begin to realise that,
‘Oh my God, I should stop being so harsh with the devotees. I should really become more careful. They are not ordinary people. I need them! Even if they are different in character, I should learn to appreciate them. I should appreciate them for their service.’