Qualitative upgradation through forgiveness

Qualitative upgradation through forgiveness

By Shubha Vilas Das 

When it comes to making relations work for a lifetime, probably the most powerful and handy tool available is forgiveness. Every relationship goes through a patch where it begins to ferment from love to hate. The search is for a process that stops the fermentation from taking place.

When one embraces hate one forgets. When one embrace love one forgives. Hatred is like a storm. Every storm always begins with a small speck of dirt. Very soon the entire sky is engulfed by a dust tornado. Similarly, every hate begins with a single doubt that has hurt the ego. Very soon every corner of your intellect is covered by the tornado of negative thoughts about the person who has caused the hurt till love is just not visible. The feeling of being hurt is the highest when the person who has hurt you the most is the very person you love the most.

Forgiveness is the sign of being concerned about the future and hatred is the sign of being stuck to the past. Harbouring hatred means egoistic prosperity and emotional poverty. When you send hate signals to someone who has hurt you, your ego feels massaged at having got back aptly. But the flip side is that your emotions feel hurt, as the relationship of love has been stabbed from your side also. When the virus of hatred enters into your system it wrecks you emotionally.

Adopting forgiveness means egoistic depression and emotional prosperity. The ego is bound to feel depressed when you don’t retaliate while succumbing to hurt. However, with forgiveness, the relationship survives the storm of hatred. Forgiving when you are right means you value being right in the relationship over being right in your opinion.

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Envious and non-envious behavior

 Envy-Vaisnavas

By Devaki Devi Dasi

Envy towards seniors, juniors and equals.

The verse and purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.34 describe the envious and non-envious behaviour towards seniors, equals and juniors. Srila Prabhupada explains things in simple yet profound terms which are of very practical relevance to us all.  In our relationship towards seniors, envy manifests by the fact that we are not jolly to receive them. We might think “Oh no, now this devotee is coming here to steal my show. Let’s hope he will leave again soon”. And we might ask him with a smile: “Nice to see you, Prabhu! How long are you staying?” 

And we might be relieved to hear that he is leaving again after three days.  The Hari-bhakti-vilasa cites the following quotation from the Skanda Purana  from a conversation between Markandeya and Bhagiratha, where it is said: “Whoever is envious of a Vaishnava or angry with him, or whoever does not  offer him obeisances or feel joy upon seeing him, certainly falls into a hellish condition.” Since envy leads to pride and arrogance we might even entirely ignore his presence and not give him any importance or attention whatsoever. We don’t offer respect and service, but rather we find fault and criticize. In this way, we diminish his position and thus establish ourselves to be superior. Sometimes these things go on in a very subtle way, and unless we are honest and introspective we might not even recognize they are there in our heart. A senior person might have given a class, and devotees might glorify him how well he spoke. But we feel impelled to comment: “Yes, it was OK, but he  could have quoted more verses-it was not so shastric.” Even if it wasn't-just the fact that we like to immediately point it out shows our propensity to diminish his position. Stating the negative only creates more negative energy and enlarges it. It does not purify or uplift anybody. Or someone might express his appreciation of a senior devotee, and we might feel compelled to say: “Actually, I know something about this person which you might not know,”-just to make it clear that he is not so advanced after all, and ultimately I am superior to him.

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Three Pieces of Helpful Advice for Marriage in Bhakti

Three Pieces of Helpful Advice for Marriage in Bhakti
During our engagement my wife and I had the opportunity to meet with our guru-maharaja, he made the point that we should become best friends. Best friends have each others best intentions at heart – they want the best for each other and are there to support one another in achieving the ultimate best thing – favourable devotional service to Krishna. A spiritual relationship is based on knowledge in Krishna consciousness. Knowing that we are spirit soul, part-and-parcel of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that the goal of life is krsna-prema (love for Krishna) is the essence of that understanding.

This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā by the Lord Himself: “One can understand Me only through devotional service.” In beginning His teaching of the Gītā, the Lord said to Arjuna, “Because you are My devotee, I shall teach these secrets to you.” Vedic knowledge means ultimately to understand the Supreme Lord, and the process of entering into His kingdom is devotional service. That is accepted by all authentic scriptures.

Relating to ones spouse as a servant of Krishna, understanding that their purpose in life is to please Krishna, rather than someone separate from God whose purpose is to satisfy our own needs is a practical implementation of this essential spiritual understanding. My wife/husband is an eternal servant of Krishna trying to reawaken their lost relationship with Him. This philosophical understanding can be practically applied in a marriage. We can ask ourselves, how can I support and encourage the devotional mood and service of my partner? What can I do to support their sadhana and service? To discuss each other's spiritual needs and aspirations and support one another in fulfilling them is important.

Aside from direct devotional activities in and around the home, it is also important that couples provide one another support. Taking time to listen to each another, to share experiences, and to spend time together are all important components of cultivating a meaningful friendship. Couples that sacrifice spending time together for other priorities, whether they be devotional or otherwise, are likely to become distant from one another over time which can result in all kinds of issues. Relationships take time and effort to maintain, cultivating a meaningful Krishna conscious relationship with your spouse is service. Investing time into your relationship is directly creating and maintaining stability within the Krishna consciousness society. Taking it to an extreme, men or women that are not satisfied within their marriage are likely to try and meet their needs outside of their marriage, causing so much disturbance and unhappiness within society. The maintenance, expansion, and progress of the Krishna consciousness movement are largely dependent on householders – who make up the largest social sector of our movement. For a householder sacrificing the quality of one’s relationship with one’s partner in the name of devotional service is folly.

NOTE: To cultivate a meaningful relationship among partner is the important aspect of Grhasta Ashram. Taking time to listen to each another, share experience, and spend time together are all important component of the relationship. Most Importantly one should understand our wife/husband is the servant of Krishna, their purpose in life is to please Krishna, not to satisfy our own need. All this activity that seemingly material actually part of the service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore one should take with full heart responsibility their cultivation of relationship in Grhasta ashram. 

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