Radhanath Swami: Great personalities are like swans, someone who is always seeking the essence and not concerned with anything else. They see only the good qualities in others and do not take any pleasure in hearing about faults in others. Only if it’s necessary to help someone, they may point out some faults. My spiritual master Srila Prabhupada gives the analogy of crow and swan to explain fault finding. Crows are very eager to taste sewage and other forms of abominable stuff whereas the swan is only interested in tasting the nectar from the inner whorl of the Lotus flower.
Sometimes people, like crows, are addicted to gossip and loose talk and they feed on literature which talks only about other people’s scandals, and their personal mundane activities. But Swan like people do not care for these things. We have examples of saints like Raghunath Bhatt Goswami, Haridasa Pandit, Anantacarya and many others who would never listen about faults in any other person. If someone would speak of the faults in another devotee they would simply walk away because they believed that the fact that a person is serving God is good enough for them.
Definitely, it’s not an easy standard to follow. So to avoid developing a habit of fault finding, like saintly people we have to get into a habit of hearing something better and higher. By hearing glories of God and his pastimes, our mind will stop feeding on garbage like a crow and become absorbed in goodness like a swan. – Radhanath Swami