(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 May 2013, Radhadesh, Belgium, Venu-gita Talk)
Devotee: We hear continuously of how proud, lustful, greedy and envious we are. In addition to thanking Krsna for all the knocks in our life and in addition to chanting, is there anything else we can do to not be proud and lustful.
Maharaja: I spoke about the stalagmite and how you can work from the bottom and how you can work from the top, as well. So yes, you can approach it in so many angles. Mahatma Prabhu has kind of a psychological approach. Going the path of soul searching, trying to look deep inside to see where you went wrong in your relationships and got stuck in mental patterns. Through awareness and becoming more conscious of these patterns, break them and start again.That is an approach, a psychological approach. Forgiveness is part of that. There is the whole list of the twenty-six qualities of a vaisnava and forgiveness is one of them; one can try to cultivate it.
Another element is to do something practical, to work for Krsna because in the course of that, it all comes out. Because if you cannot forgive anyone in the course of doing work then after a while, you have to do all the work by yourself. It is like you are part of a team and you do not forgive anyone then in the end, you are going to be in a team all alone.
So in working together with devotees, a lot of our internal issues come out; they come out in the wash. They come out in these relationships. When I was in charge in Vrndavan, I had a lot of energy and a strong nature – got some fire in me, got a bit of stubbornness and so on. It works for me but it also works against me. It is like when I lead a kirtan, I have more energy than other people so that I can take it to other far levels of enthusiasm and so on. But at other times, in management I have burned out people sometimes.
Once I gave a lecture about how in my days of management, I burned a few devotees. There was a kid in the lecture, who later very seriously asked the mother, “Why is Maharaja burning the devotees?”
I did say it that I burned a few devotees. So in our interactions, we get confronted with our own qualities and our own lack of qualities. You hear it theoretically that we have lust, anger, envy and greed. You can think about that and you could say, “Do I have lust? Is it there? Maybe I do. I should try and control it.”
Anger, you can try and control it which helps. When it arises, you try not to be so angry. When a grudge exists, try to forgive; it’s like an exercise. Personally, it is hard for me too if I have to sit here and if I have to forgive you all, then I will think about it. “Yes I know, I will forgive them on almost everything but with some things…”
In the course of service, it happens. After I got shot in the back, it made me think more; I started thinking, “Well maybe I should change something.”
So, there are different paths for different kinds of people. Srila Prabhupada emphasized getting involved in service and it all comes out in that. It comes out in service.