(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 January 2015, Simhachalam, Germany, Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 7.16)
It is because we are proud, because we claim to know everything, because we are lazy, because we have no tolerance and everything disturbs us, and because we are addicted to enjoying our senses all the time, that we condemn others and cannot forgive them. Forgiveness is a big point, therefore I am emphasizing it a lot. So let us take this principle of forgiveness as a meditation. It is something that deeply affects us.
Question: How can we forgive in a case of vaisnava-aparadha, the greatest offence of offending a vaisnava? Lord Caitanya said that he would forgive everything but not a vaisnava-aparadha.
Still forgive! Because a vaisnava does not take an offence. There was this person who had put paraphernalia for worshiping goddess Kali, including wine and meat, on the doorstep of Srivas Thakur and the person who did that became afflicted with a horrible disease, leprosy, all over his body and worms were eating his body. So this person went to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and fell at his feet, saying, ‘You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, please relieve me from this suffering – please!’ But Caitanya said, ‘You are an offender of Srivas Thakur, so I will have you eaten by these worms for millions of lifetimes!’ But Mahaprabhu also told him that he could go to Srivas and beg for forgiveness. So he went to Srivas and Srivas replied, ‘That was no problem, I took no offence.’ Srivas just forgave like that and that is what vaisnavas do – they forgive!
But in case of someone else being offended, we object. We will defend others, but for ourselves we feel, ‘Who am I?’ If someone screams at me, I will think, ‘Yes, I have deserved it. Whatever they do to me, I have deserved it.’ When Haridas Thakur was beaten at twenty-two marketplaces, he still remained the well-wisher of the people who were beating him. That shows that devotees always forgive. If anyone is mistreating us – externally it may look like a mistreatment but actually for the internal reasons, it is totally right as we deserve it. We have to think like that. When I got shot in the back, I tried to think like that, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ I was trying to see that Krsna is kind to me, by giving me this special attention. We have to learn to think in this way when people mistreat us.