(Kadamba Kanana Swami, March 2018, Durban, South Africa, Ratha Yatra Human Relationships Lecture)
You cannot become saintly by declaration, “From this day on, I will be saintly!”
Good luck, this sounds like a New Year resolution to me. Usually, such resolutions break down quite soon; if not on the first of January then definitely on the second. So ultimately, it is recommended that we try to cultivate good qualities; saintly qualities. This can be done by making a conscious effort while we are engaged in devotional service, so thereby we are purified by this process of devotional service and the combination of those two things will bear fruit in saintly qualities. This is how we can improve in our human relationships as well. And in this way, I feel that this movement in particular is challenged to live up to its philosophy.
We have such an exalted philosophy and we know the 26 qualities that a vaishnava should possess. Qualities like simplicity, non-violence, kindness, truthfulness, friendliness, humility, the ability to control anger, determination, cleanliness and so on are all mentioned here. So these are all transcendental qualities. Such saintly qualities are exactly what we need to really impact our relationships – to really make our movement what it should be – an amazing movement of amazing people! It is good if someone gives a nice lecture regarding this movement, but if we truly want this movement to be a success, it is ultimately about our qualities as vaishnavas that will make all the difference!