Criticism and finding fault
Question: How can we overcome the propensity to find fault and criticise others?
Answer by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaj
Our Most Revered Gurudeva occasionally warned us by saying that after the disappearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His personal associates as well as the prominent Vaishnav Acharyas Narottam Thakur, Shyamananda Prabhu and Srinivas Acharya etc., darkness descended on the horizon of Shuddha Bhakti and many pseudo sects cropped up. The renowned saint Totaram Das Babaji Maharaj mentioned thirteen pseudo sects `Aula, baula, karttabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani, sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani ativadi, cudadhari, gauranga-nagari, tota kahe ei tera sanga nahi kori'. Sincere aspirants should be careful to avoid association of the pseudo sects each of the pseudo sects try to establish that they are actually preaching Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings. But actually they are defaming, disrespecting and tarnishing the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Our Guruvarga refuted their contentions with strong words so that sincere souls would not be misled and deprived of getting actual spiritual devotional benefit. A novice, beginner, may be cheated. But at the same time, they gave a warning to us - don't attack, out of personal grudge, the persons who are preaching pseudo sects. We are not to attack any person in this world as he is from Krishna, by Krishna and in lace w:st="on">Krishna lace>. Sadhus have got no personal grudge to anybody in this world, but for the eternal benefit of all, they refute the anti-devotional contentions only to save sincere souls from being misled. If we attack those proponents with hostile mentality, those bad qualities of the pseudo sects will revert to us and we will have a spiritual fall. Even if followers of those protagonists come to the sadhus, they pay respect to them and serve them with prasad because they have got no personal grudge. If they sincerely want to hear pure devotional conclusive thoughts, sadhus speak to them mildly, establish devotional thoughts and show the defects of anti-devotional thoughts. But they remain silent when they find the person has come not to hear sincerely, but to show pedantic fits. Shuddha Bhaktas do not like idle talks. They have no desire to speak unnecessarily because they want to engage themselves fully for the service of God and His devotees. They know any moment they may leave this most perishable world. They are completely disinterested in non-eternal worldly affairs. Real aspirants utilise their time for their actual benefit, and they have no time to find faults and criticize others.
Vaishnava is Paramhansa. As a swan can extract milk from a mixture of water and milk, Vaishnavas can see good qualities in human beings. Human beings have both good and bad qualities in them. When good qualities predominate he is called good and when bad qualities predominate he is called bad person. Emancipated Realised souls have only good qualities. They are the rarest in this world. The vaishnava has got the capacity to see good qualities in all human beings. They have got no propensity to see bad qualities. They see bad qualities in themselves. When a votary sees his own bad qualities, he can rectify himself. Vaishnavas have got no vanity or pride. They give respect to all but do not aspire for getting respect from others.
The root cause is false ego and false interests. The material world is finite, so if anybody gets some property, others are deprived of it. When human beings are taught that they are physical bodies, they all try to get requirements of the body and compete against one another for this. Actually the real self is neither physical body nor material body. Being enveloped by the material energy they wrongly misconceive. So the Indian Rishis first tried for material property and afterwards they found it would lead to extreme suffering. Actually the requirement is Complete Bliss, Who is God - Purna-sukh - Absolute Bliss or Infinite Bliss. Infinite Sachchidananda is Infinite Bliss. If the attention of human beings is diverted towards Infinite bliss and if anybody gets this Absolute Bliss, others will not be deprived of it. According to differential calculus mathematics - Infinity minus Infinity is Infinity. Infinite jivas can get Infinite bliss. There is no possibility of clashing. When persons lost their interest for material acquisitions, they become indifferent to it and clashing with others for such things cannot occur.
As long as we shall remain in this world, we should be satisfied by getting minimum material possessions. Atma requires Atma for it's sustenance, not Anatma. Anatma is foreign to it. If one attains the property of one whole world, he will have the desire to get another. The material world is actually devoid of genuine bliss. The material world is the shadow of the Supreme Lord - who is All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-Bliss. The material world is the outcome of Maya which means `not that'. Similarly the shadow of a tree has got no actual existence.
tasmad idam jagad asesam asat-svarupam
svapnabham asta-dhisanam puru-duhkha-duhkham
tvayy eva nitya-sukha-bodha-tanav anante
mayata udyad api yat sad ivavabhati
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.22
This entire universe is non-eternal, so it is dream-like (illusory), transitory (not permanent), devoid of knowledge, inert and extremely painful. But O Lord Krishna! You are All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-Bliss and therefore Infinite. The entire universe has been created and destroyed by your inconceivable power, yet it appears to be truth actually existing.
The Supreme Lord is Supreme in all aspects. He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and He is All-Bliss. By the grace of Absolute Bliss we can get complete bliss. Grace descends to a surrendered soul. All desires of the votary will be fulfilled if he takes unconditional total submission to the Supreme Lord.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has written
Manasa, deha, geha, yo kichu mora, arpilun tuya pade nanda-kisora!
ampade vipade, jivane-marane, day mama gela, tuwa o-pada barane
marobi rakhobihjo iccha tohara, nitya-dasa prati tuwa adhikara
O Supreme Lord Sri Krishna! You can kill me or protect me. You can do whatever you want. You have got every right over your eternal servant.