"Please Forgive My Offence"

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
8 July 2012, speaking online to Caracas


Devotee: When some devotees do service, sometimes ego can come to them. Why is it like this?

Everybody is different, and ego can come easily through some aparadh: service aparadh, Vaishnav aparadh, etc. Actually, when we go too close, it is very difficult, that is why we sing every day, "বন্দোঁ মুঞি সাবধান মতে, vando muni savadhana mate, I carefully offer my obeisance."

For example, every day when householder people wake up in the morning they pay dandavat to their Guru. Before they go to work also they pay dandavat to their Guru and the Deities in their house. Is it correct or not? At the same time, I saw that sometimes a personal servitor who lives with their Guru, does not pay dandavat to their Guru at all. Then you can understand how much offence they are doing. They think, "Oh, I am feeding him, I am doing service to him, I live in the same room with him, so it is not necessary to pay dandavat to him." I saw also Gurudev's mother—when Gurudev was out, she would every day pay obeisance to him.

So, ego comes through seva aparadh, Vaishnav aparadh, Nama aparadh...

Devotee: How can we avoid seva aparadh?

Somebody dresses the Deity, somebody does puja, somebody cooks, etc. but we must always be careful: "O Prabhu, I cooked this for You, please take it—take the food from my hand. I do not know how to cook..." Those who dress the Deity, they too must think, "I am making so much offence—Prabhu, I am touching Your hand, I am disturbing You so much, please forgive me." You must be careful. Sometimes the pujari takes Tulasi leaves on the dvadasi day or even at night time, and disturbs Tulasi so much—Tulasi is the dearmost devotee, so some offence is coming through that.

If a devotee makes some offence unconsciously, it is not a problem; but if somebody knowingly makes some offence time after time, thinking, "No one can see me!"—if somebody secretly does nonsense, bad things—they must fall down.

Devotee: If we have made an offence, and we know we have made an offence, how can we rectify it?

Through service. Do not make more offence, and through service your offence will be removed. If a devotee unknowingly makes an offence, Krishna will not ask for atonement:

অজ্ঞানে বা হয় যদি 'পাপ' উপস্থিত ।
কৃষ্ণ তাঁরে শুদ্ধ করে, না করায় প্রায়শ্চিত্ত ॥

ajnane va haya yadi 'papa' upasthita
krsna tanre suddha kare, na karaya prayaschitta

If somebody unknowingly commits an offence, Krishna purifies them without putting them through any atonement.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.138

If somebody feels, "I have made an offence. It is not good for me,"—if this feeling comes to their mind—it is good. If, on the other hand, you think, "I am not an offender. I have not done anything,"—if this kind of ego comes—it is very bad.

I always think I am making offence. When I pay dandavat to the Deity, I always pray, "Please forgive my offence." When I pay dandavat to a devotee, I always think, "Please forgive my offence." Always say this in your mind—it is not necessary to show it or say it out loud. When you pay obeisance to the devotee, pray, "Please forgive my offence." If you make any offence to a Vaishnav, then you must go to the same Vaishnav and ask them, "Please forgive my offence."

You should do prayaschitt, atone, by paying obeisance to each other like this, and without discrimination who is senior and who is junior. "বৈষ্ণব কখনো মন-বাক্যে উদ্বেগ দিবে না, Vaishnav kakhano mano-vakye udvega dibe na": when a Vaishnav talks with anybody, they will never use bad words, will never think bad—they will never be harsh, will never give any pressure to others, even mentally. Your behaviour must not give pain to others.


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