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Why a Devotee Tolerates Offenses?

Today is the divine disappearance day of our dear spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. No devotee likes to meditate on the disappearance of his or her spiritual master. In fact, since the spiritual master is situated in transcendence, there is no question of ever being separated from him. On this day, therefore, let us meditate on the wonderful quality of tolerance a pure devotee manifests whenever non-devotee offends him. The following verse and purport is very meaningful in this connection.

Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, since Narada Muni is an approved saintly person, when cursed by Prajapati Daksa he replied, "tad badham: Yes, what you have said is good. I accept this curse." He could have cursed Prajapati Daksa in return, but because he is a tolerant and merciful sadhu, he took no action.


As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.21):

titiksavah karunikah

suhrdah sarva-dehinam

ajata-satravah santah

sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah

"The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime." Because Narada Muni is the most elevated of sadhus, devotees, to deliver Prajapati Daksa he silently tolerated the curse. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught this principle to all His devotees:

trnad api sunicena

taror api sahisnuna

amanina manadena

kirtaniyah sada harih

[Cc. Adi 17.31]

"One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Following the orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one who preaches the glories of the Lord all over the world or all over the universe should be humbler than grass and more tolerant than a tree because a preacher cannot live an easygoing life. Indeed, a preacher must face many impediments. Not only is he sometimes cursed, but sometimes he must also suffer personal injury. For example, when Nityananda Prabhu went to preach Krsna consciousness to the two roguish brothers Jagai and Madhai, they injured Him and made His head bleed, but nevertheless, He tolerantly delivered the two rogues, who became perfect Vaisnavas. This is the duty of a preacher. Lord Jesus Christ even tolerated crucifixion. Therefore the curse against Narada was not very astonishing, and he tolerated it.

Now, it may be asked why Narada Muni stayed in the presence of Prajapati Daksa and tolerated all his accusations and curses. Was that for Daksa's deliverance? The answer is yes. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that after being insulted by Prajapati Daksa, Narada Muni should have left immediately, but he purposely stayed to hear all Daksa's strong words so that Daksa might be relieved of his anger. Prajapati Daksa was not an ordinary man; he had accumulated the results of many pious activities. Therefore Narada Muni expected that after delivering his curse, Daksa, satisfied and freed from anger, would repent his misbehavior and thus get a chance to become a Vaisnava and be delivered. When Jagai and Madhai offended Lord Nityananda, Lord Nityananda stood tolerantly, and therefore both brothers fell at His lotus feet and repented. Consequently they later became perfect Vaisnavas.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Sixth Canto, Fifth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. entitled "Narada Muni Cursed by Prajapati Daksa."

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