Five Potential Regrets Of The Saintly Person

[Chaitanya Mahaprabhu]“Talking of Krishna or singing of Krishna is called kirtana. Lord Chaitanya also recommends kirtaniyah sada harih, which means always thinking and talking of Krishna and nothing else. That is called Krishna consciousness.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality Of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 32)

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There is that central teaching from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, about finding the proper mood for chanting the holy names. These are the names of the one known as Hari. The mood facilitates constant chanting. No stopping.

We tend to stop after getting what we want. This is the mood of taking. Who could have more to offer than Hari? He can give us whatever we want, such as the rare parijata plant, which is only found in the heavenly region.

“Once Narada took a parijata flower and presented it to Krishna’s senior wife, Shri Rukminidevi. On account of this, Satyabhama developed an inferiority complex; she also wanted a flower from Krishna.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 4)

Mahaprabhu says kirtaniyah sada harih. Always chant the names of Hari. Whether He gives a lot or takes everything away [living up to one meaning of the name Hari] continue to chant. Whether you find yourself in the heavenly region, amidst a festive gathering of friends and family, facing punishment inside a facility, or suffering in a hellish region. Continue to chant the names of Hari.

[Chaitanya Mahaprabhu]The ideal conditions feature tolerance and humility. There will be so much negativity coming your way. There will be so many opportunities to get off the train, so to speak. There will be so many excuses to give up, to feel too offended to continue, to wonder if things will ever get better.

If a person perseveres and tolerates the difficulties, they will surely be successful. They will be well-known for their allegiance to Hari. Even if the fame is limited to a close circle of people, there is still elevation.

Within those circumstances, how is a person supposed to remain humble? How is the second part of the deal supposed to remain intact? An observer might offer praise along the following lines:

“Just see how much you have accomplished. You mean the world to us. You sacrificed everything, and you took nothing in return. You simply want others to be happy. That is not a desire limited to religion. You are more than religious. It is like someone from above has sent you to bless our experience through this journey. Where would we be without you?”

It may seem difficult to believe, but the saintly person can remain humble within such praise. This is based on an honest assessment they apply to their own life experience. They feel that they can certainly do more, and they remember the past mistakes as if they are a permanent black mark on their record.

1. Why did I wait so long?

“I spent so many years of my life in darkness. I would say it began right after childhood, when I first became aware of eventual death, there was this dreaded malaise. I was hopeless about the future. I thought everything was pointless. Life did not make sense to me.

“It was only by chance that I came upon the teachings of the acharya. I know that it is better late than never, but just see how many negative experiences I accumulated. The memories remain. I regret so many foolish things I did. My behavior was not always proper.

“These other people are like the nitya-siddhas described in shastra. You can’t locate a point in their timeline when they weren’t liberated. It is like they took to spiritual life from birth. No sin. They continue on. They are the ones I look up to.”

2. Why is my knowledge so limited?

“I appreciate the kind words, but what do I really know? Maybe a book or two, but I barely have any important shlokas memorized. I have to rely on technology to pull up important reference material. Even still, I am always surprised at how much knowledge I have forgotten.

“These other people are like walking encyclopedias. They can recall Hari’s activities within a moment. It is as if they are always living within that lila. We are so fortunate to have such pillars of virtue and spiritual strength to rely upon.”

3. Why can I only speak one language?

“I know one language. That is it. The language I know is not a derivative of Sanskrit. It is therefore a kind of lower-class language. The people proud of that language wouldn’t agree with the categorization, but that is because their exposure to timeless culture is limited.

“These other people I know are real saints because they can travel to any area and rescue people. They are not limited by the language barrier. They can pick up the ways of the locals. They can bring them into the sanatana-dharma way of life. They can teach the Sanskrit names used in mantras. They are undeterred in their passion for spreading love of the Divine.”

4. Why is my service so narrow?

“What can I really do? I am somewhat skilled in a few areas. That is about it. I wouldn’t even attempt other things, because I would be an embarrassment. I stay in my lane, so to speak. This is the safe path, that helps me to maintain some semblance of a reputation.

[Prabhupada]“Just see these other saintly personalities. They can do everything. They are not afraid to try new things. They are not above anyone, at least in how they behave. Their behavior is so endearing that people overlook any perceived deficiencies. They see only the devotion, which is at the highest level.”

5. Why have I offended so many others?

“If I am a saintly person, then why have I offended so many others? The list is too long to review in one sitting. These offenses are both through words and deeds. Don’t get me started on thoughts. I am always envious. That is the biggest offense I commit within the mind.

“I know that others are superior to me in their devotion to Hari. In order to make myself feel better, I put them down, in my mind. I desperately search for any flaw and then focus on it. I highlight it for myself, in the form of an ad hominem attack.

“If I was truly saintly, I would never look at others in this way. I would always appreciate what they do. I would shed tears at the mere sight of such people, who are more innocent than me in their allegiance to Hari, who is the husband of the goddess of fortune.”

In Closing:

Always a higher standard to reach,
By their humility to teach.

That despite accomplishing much,
Of arrogance not a touch.

Thinking of welfare how,
To rescue others now.

Through sacrifice qualities showing,
How servant of Hari knowing.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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