Tolerance vs Chastity
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: In Golden Volcano Srila Param Guru Maharaj is talking about humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others, and he is also saying in this material world we can tolerate but we cannot tolerate madmen. So, I was trying to find some balance in my mind...
You must consider the circumstances... If somebody is kicking your Gurudev's chair, then what, will you be sitting at that time?
hari sevaya yaha anukula
"It is wrong to reject something favourable to the service of the Lord, saying, 'It is visaya, material.'"
(Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur)
When something is favourable to devotion, at that time there are no rules and regulations. For example, you are taking prasadam and at that time there is some problem and your Gurudev is falling down—will you first go to wash your hand and then catch your Gurudev? That is not the rule.
I told many times also this story in Bengali. Sometimes you hear, "You must wash your hand, why do you touch this with the hand you have just taken prasadam with?", "Why are you going inside the room in your dirty clothes?" and so on. When you go to the toilet [to pass stool], your clothes become dirty, and you cannot go to the room in those clothes. That is the rule, but suppose, you are in the toilet and you hear that your six-month baby has fallen from the bed. I ask them, "What will you do? Tell me. Are you going to change your clothes first?" They have no answer. When you have that kind of love and affection to your Guru, Deity, and Vaishnavs, at that time there are no rules and regulations.
Humility, tolerance, giving honour to others is the rule, but when you see there is some problem, there is no tolerance at that time—it is not the time for tolerance.
I also heard from Gurudev this story about a foolish disciple, I have told it many times, and you probably know it.
It happened in the old days. A Guru and a disciple were travelling, and Gurudev told the disciple to carry his things. In those days there were no suitcases, no big attaches, so the Guru gave the disciple a bundle with his things—his clothes, paduka (shoes), umbrella, etc. There were no cars, no vans, or rikshaws then, and they were travelling by a horse-cart. Gurudev ordered his disciple, "Be careful with my things! If anything falls down, immediately catch it!"
So, the horse started off, and soon the Guru saw that the disciple had dozed off, "Hey! Do not sleep! If anything falls down, you must catch it!" The disciple became alert. Suddenly he saw the horse passed stool and he immediately caught the stool. His Guru was shocked,
"Are you a fool?! What are you doing?!"
"Gurudev, you told me if anything fell down, I had to catch it... It fell down, and I thought..."
"Hut! You are foolish!" The disciple then took out a pen and said,
"OK, tell me what your things are, then I will know what I must catch and what I must not."
Gurudev told him what things he had, and the disciple wrote everything down in a list and kept it in his pocket. After a while, there was some bump on the road and the horse jumped—both the Guru and the disciple fell off. The disciple was young, so it was not a problem for him, he quickly got up and got back on the horse; but the Guru was an old man, and he cried, "Please help me! Please!"—the disciple took out his list and started checking it...
Do you understand what I am trying to say?
There are other examples in the scriptures, and Mahaprabhu also gave an example, it is written in Chaitanya-charitamrita. Once, Govinda asked his Guru, Ishwar Puri, "Prabhu, whom shall I serve after you?" Ishwar Puri replied, "Why, after me serve Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!" After Ishwar Puri expired, Govinda came to Mahaprabhu and said, "Prabhu, please engage me in Your service—please give me any service..." Svarup Damodar and Ray Ramananda were there, and they were old and expert persons. Mahaprabhu asked them, "What am I to do now? The scriptures say that you must always give obeisance and serve the servitor of your Guru, so how can I engage him in My service?" Svarup Damodar and Ray Ramananda replied, "Prabhu, yes, the scriptures said this, but what shall you follow—what the scriptures said or what your Guru said?"
So, suppose somebody attacks your temple. You think about humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others, but your Gurudev told you, "Protect my temple," so that is your answer.
Do you understand? Did you get the answer to your question?
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