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True Beginner

Thursday, 30 October 2008 / Published in Blog thoughts / 3,082 views

Jagadbhandu das: “All persons of this world are really superior to us in every way as far as this world is concerned.” –L’Envoi, Srila Saraswati Thakur

Sometimes it seems that the first thing I learned in an organized religious context was to demonize and think ill of all with apparently inferior divergent ideological viewpoints. But I’m so tired of learning to think ill of others regardless of what they may think, say or do. Aren’t you all tired of it too?

In my sojourn through this life I am inevitably bound to encounter many ideas and instances with which I may beg to differ. Certainly intelligent discernment should be sought and encouraged. But why must disagreement become dislike (or possibly even hatred)?

If I think ill of others, how will I be able to follow Mahaprabhu’s Third Beautiful Precept of always giving honor to them? How can I be humbler than the grass if my heart is afflicted with dislike and hatred of the “inferior,” less intelligent and “impious” from amongst ignorant, “infidel” unbelievers? What could possibly be of any real spiritual benefit from such condescending “compassionate” outreach? How can love grow in a heart full of hate and ill-will?

If I can carefully consider and imbibe the essence of Srila Rupa Goswami’s and Srila Haridas Thakur’s own moods of extreme self-abnegation; my heart will be filled with genuinely scathing shame in my feeble approach to the Supreme Divinity of Absolute Affection. This will cause me to reflect that I am myself an infidel of the infantile pretender class. And I wouldn’t know true devotion proper if it hit me like a brick between my “eyes of hate.”

Srila Saraswati Thakur tells us that rather than feel ourselves superior to others, we must in fact consider ourselves inferior by comparison. In every way. Because of this, I think of myself as a mleccha really. Mere vegetarian white trash. A soul at best. Even Buddhists, Christians and Muslims are above me.

From this true inner beginning, I might then truly pursue a positive life eternal, devoid of condescension, ill-will and sectarian party spirit. And enthused with a genuine respectful affection for all souls combined with the tolerant endurance of trees. By the Grace of Sri Guru and the True Vaishanavas, Sri Nam Prabhu may then finally soar from the empty depths of my lowly soul and consume all my existence, all the time. At last.

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