Of Saints and Critics

3,575 Views / EMail This Post / Print This Post / Home » Of Saints and Critics

By Madhavananda das

For persons aspiring for service and ecstatic love for Krishna, fault-finding is a great impediment. In his purport to Caitanya-caritāmṛta, ādi 8.62, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has described the qualification of a vaiṣṇava:



It is a qualification of a vaiṣṇava that he is adoṣa-darśī: he never sees others’ faults. Of course, every human being has both good qualities and faults. Therefore it is said, saj-janā guṇam icchanti doṣam icchanti pāmarāḥ: everyone has a combination of faults and glories. But a vaiṣṇava, a sober man, accepts only a man’s glories and not his faults, for flies seek sores whereas honeybees seek honey.



In his Sārārtha-darśini commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.4.12, Srila Viswanath Chakravarti Thakur has described four types of saintly persons according to how they see good qualities and faults:

1) Mahat (“great person”) — A mahat has the ability to see some good in everyone. They also perceive faults in others, but they consider that those faults can be eventually transformed by certain methods into good qualities. Thus, if they feel that a person may be benefited by discussing that person’s faults, they may, under appropriate circumstances, speak harsh words. Neem juice tastes very bitter, but it can cure diseases when administered appropriately. It should be noted that a mahat will never reject or condemn a faulty person, but thinks only how that person may be benefited.

2) Mahattara (“greater person”) — A mahattara also sees good and bad qualities in others, but focuses on and praises the good qualities. Seeing a materialistic merchant, a mahattara will think, “Although he is a sense-gratifier, he takes good care of guests and is worthy of deliverance.”

3) Mahattama (“especially great person”) — A mahattama sees whatever good qualities others have and magnifies them, not seeing even the smallest fault. Viswanath describes their attitude, “This person has stolen my cloth because he is cold, and though he has a weapon, he doesn’t attack me because he is merciful. He is virtuous.”

4) Ati-mahattama (“extremely great person”) — An ati-mahattama sees good qualities in others even where there are none. Their attitude is, “In this world there are no bad people. Everyone is good.”

In the same purport, Viswanath also delineates four types of asādhus, wicked or bad persons, who are characterized according to their propensity for fault-finding:

1) Asādhu (“wicked person”) — An asādhu sees some good qualities in others but presumes that eventually those good qualities will be overshadowed or spoiled by some fault. For example, upon seeing someone working for another person’s benefit, the asādhu will conclude that eventually he or she will want to exploit the person whom they are helping. Simply put, asādhus are not gentlemen.

2) Asādhutara (“very wicked person”) — An asādhutara is even more improper. He or she sees only faults in others and overlooks others’ good qualities. “This sannyāsī eats ghee rice to fill his stomach. He is lusty and should be considered fallen.”

3) Asādhutama (“especially wicked person”) — An asādhutama takes small faults and magnifies them, seeing no good qualities at all. Viswanath gives an example: An asādhutama will criticize and condemn a renunciate as being a “bogus rascal”, for the fault of giving up the forest and living in the house of a married man. The asādhutama will conclude, “His obvious motivation is only to steal the money of that householder.”

4) Aty-asādhutama (“extremely wicked person”) — An aty-asādhutama sees faults in all others, even where there are no faults. “In this world, or in this society, no one is good. Everyone is evil.” They are the very worst.



Excerpted from issue number 238 of Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu the fortnightly email magazine from ISKCON Gopal Jiu Publications. For information about obtaining a free subscription to Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu, write to:


or visit our website:





— Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. English translation and commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Los Angeles. 1975.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam with commentaries by Srila Viswanath Chakravarti Thakur and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Gaudiya Math. Bagbazar. 1992. Bengali.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Sārārtha Darśinī commentary of Srila Viswanath Chakravarti Thakur. English translation by Bhanu Swami. Sri Vaikuntha Enterprises. Chennai, India. 2009.

Please click the "Like" button below if you haven't done so already!
3,575 Views / EMail This Post / Print This Post / Home » Of Saints and Critics

Comments • [comment feed]

1 ccd

For some reason (cut and paste) the words A mahattara became Amahattara and A vaisnava became Avaisnava. Taking the meaning to let’s say — wrong level.

Comment posted by ccd on November 17th, 2010
2 pustakrishna

These are wonderful qualities to contemplate…the goal being to dive deeper into Krishna consciousness, perceiving everything in relation with Krishna. Interestingly, we can perceive that the world we live in is made of Krishna’s lower energy, apara-prakriti, and that the souls that are life itself are of the Para-prakriti, part of Krishna’s higher energy. But, both are Krishna’s energies and property. Everything is “strung upon Krishna like pearls on a thread”. Somehow or other, we find truth and freedom (freedom from the illusory conceptions) when we accept Krishna as the Proprietor…The Truth Shall Set you Free!

Again, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu applauds that giving honor to others (amanina manadena) is an important quality if one wants to be qualified to remember the Holy Names always. Enlightenment also means understanding what is best for oneself, and what is best for everyone. Our problem spirals out of control when we also find fault with the fault-finders. There is no end to that snare. Therefore, the positive quality must be applauded as most beneficial. Godhead is Light, Nescience is darkness…where there is Godhead, there is no darkness.” The positive is what we are searching for, the positive is the source of love and joy, the positive is Krishna, Who created this world out of compassion for the fallen and envious souls, to give them the opportunity to return to their Krishna consciousness by association with vaishnavas and the Holy Names.

Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on November 18th, 2010

Comments are closed. Please check back later.

Home » Of Saints and Critics
  • Post Details

Author: Administrator Administrator's website Administrator's email
Post Date: Monday, November 15th, 2010
Categories: Articles
Trackback: Trackback
  • Last update: Mon September 29

  • Who is online

    • 35 currently online
    • 170 maximum concurrent
    • 12219341 total visitors

    Registered users online

  • Registered users: 6403

  • Navigation

  • BC VTE Bhakti Sastri Online
  • Bhaktimarga Swami's blog
  • Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
  • Bhaktivedanta College
  • Bhaktivedanta Institute (Alachua)
  • Bhaktivedanta Manor
  • Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network
  • Bhaktivedanta Vedabase Online
  • Cooking with Kurma
  • Darshan of SS Radha-Londonisvara
  • Dharmapatnis
  • Diary of a Traveling Preacher
  • Euro GBC
  • Forbidden Archeology
  • Gaudiya Vaisnava texts
  • Indradyumna Swami Media
  • ISKCON Bangalore Official
  • ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry
  • ISKCON Health & Welfare Ministry
  • ISKCON Ministry of Educational Development
  • ISKCON's Congregational Development Ministry
  • Iskcon-desire-tree
  • Iskcon.com
  • Jayadvaita Swami's personal site
  • Krishna Dharma's website
  • Krishna Lila Entertainment
  • Krishna.com
  • Krishnamarriage.com
  • matchlessgifts.org
  • Mayapur Academy
  • Mayapur Days
  • Mayapur International School
  • Ministry of Educational Development
  • Our Spiritual Journey
  • Parisisvara
  • prabhupadavani.org
  • Radio Krsna Central
  • Saligrama Sila site
  • Sridham Mayapura
  • The Bhaktivedanta Archives
  • The ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry
  • The Official GBC site
  • The official website of Radhanatha Swami
  • Trivikrama Swami
  • Vaisnava Calendar
  • Vaisnava Calendar Reminder
  • Vaisnava care website
  • Vanipedia
  • varnashrama.org
  • Vedic Astrologer
  • Vedic knowledge online
  • Vedic view on controversial issues
  • Website in Bengali language
  • Yadunandana Swami's personal site
  • Alachua Temple Live Podcast
  • Comments by author
  • Donate through searching
  • Founder Acarya
  • Incoming Links
  • Iskcon News TV Channel
  • Iskcon Radio stations
  • Iskcon Universe Feed
  • Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
  • Krishna conscious "youtube"
  • Krishna Conscious Media
  • Most commented articles
  • Most read articles
  • New Dwaraka Archived Lectures
  • Polls
  • Stats
  • Temple webcams
  • Thanks!
  • The last seven day's most read articles
  • Prabhupada Now book
  • Bhaktivedanta Manor Introductory Course for Women, UK
  • Detroit ISKCON Celebrates Pushpa Abhishek Festival
  • Preaching in South Korea
  • We are all Hare Krishnas now, meditation goes mainstream
  • WSN August 2014 - World Sankirtan Newsletter
  • New book publication from the Bhaktivedanta Academy: Defeating Vatsasura
  • SRI MURARI GUPTA - A Very Intimate Associate of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
  • Right intention attracts Krishna
  • Vrajavadhus Logo Contest

    "Artwork and photos courtesy of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. www.krishna.com. Used with permission"