(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 June 2020, Radhadesh, Belgium, Caitanya Caritamrta Lecture: Disrespecting Vaisnavas)

If one commits an offence, one has the duty to denounce that immediately; to denounce the offender. In the Caitanya Caritāmṛta, we have the story of how Gopāla Cāpāla became envious of Srivasa Thakura, who is a great devotee, and tried to diminish Srivasa Thakura’s prestige, due to which Gopāla Cāpāla then suffered leprosy as a result. He was then forced to stay outside the village as lepers are very contagious. Then one day, Gopāla Cāpāla met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and fell at His feet and asked for relief. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You are an offender of Srivasa. I will have you bitten by these germs for many millions of births.” So now we are seeing that the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead has turned into a punishing Lord. He turns into a Lord who will have someone bitten for millions of births! Therefore, offending a devotee is described as the mad elephant offence. It is described to be the offence that can uproot one’s entire devotional creeper – the bhakti-latā-bija which is the seed of pure bhakti. So it is said about the seed of pure bhakti:

śravaṇa-kīrtana-jale karaye secana
(Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 19.152)

When it is watered by hearing and chanting, then it can sprout. But it is said that this criticising of the vaisnavas is the mad elephant which can uproot and destroy one’s entire garden.

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