AVOID VAISHNAVA OFFENSE – STORY
One day in Vrindavan Srila Rupa Goswami sat rapt in meditation, feeling great bliss in his heart.
While he was sitting in his Samadhi, he observed a wonderful pastime. The gopis were decorating Srimati Radharani while Krishna stood behind Her watching.
Krishna revealed His presence to the sakhis, bringing an increasing festival of joy to their hearts, but Radharani was unaware that He was there.
In many wonderful ways, the gopis braided and decorated Radha’s hair.
Then they placed a mirror before Her.
As She gazed at the beauty of Her own face, Radharani also saw Sri Krishna’s moon-like face in the mirror.
Radha became very shy and quickly covered Herself with Her cloth.
The gopis happily laughed at this, and Srila Rupa Goswami also joined in their laughter.
Just at that moment, a vaisnava arrived who was very eager to see Rupa Goswami.
Seeing Rupa laughing, the vaisnava did not say anything, but feeling very sorrowful in his heart he went to see Srila Sanatan Goswami.
[According to the tradition in Vrindavan, this vaisnava was a famous devotee named Krishna das. It is said that Krishnadas was lame and unable to walk and that when Rupa Goswami laughed, Krishna das thought that he was laughing at his disability.]
The vaisnava told Sanatan, “I went to see Sri Rupa, but when he saw me he suddenly burst into laughter. My heart filled with sorrow! I don’t know why he acted in that way. I didn’t say anything, but came to ask you about it.”
Sri Sanatan then explained the true reason for Rupa Goswami’s laughter. Hearing this, the vaisnava became repentant at heart.
Lamenting greatly, the vaisnava said, “Why did I approach him at that moment? Not understanding his heart, I have offended him.”
The vaisnava became very agitated. Sanatan Goswami pacified him and made him peaceful again.
Meanwhile, when the vaisnava had felt offended, Srila Rupa Goswami suddenly lost his vision of the Lord’s pastimes. He became very disturbed and looked everywhere.
Considering the situation carefully, he concluded that someone must have come to see him while he was absorbed in seeing Krishna’s pastimes.
“I did not honor the person that came, and thereby I committed an offense.”
Thinking in this way, Rupa also went to Sanatan Goswami’s place.
When he saw Srila Rupa Goswami coming, that vaisnava approached him.
Falling on the ground, he offered his respects. With great humility he told Rupa, “O great soul, I have committed an offense to you. Please forgive me. Previously when I went to see you I did not understand that you were rapt in meditation.”
(How to deal with the erring devotees without Vaishnava Offence? KNOW HERE!)
Standing before Srila Rupa Goswami, the vaisnava prayed, “Please be kind and forgive me for my offense. If you are merciful to me, only then can my heart become peaceful.”
When he heard these words, Srila Rupa Goswami became very agitated at heart.
Falling to the ground, he offered respectful obeisances to that vaisnava.
Folding his hands, he said, “I have no power to say how great was the offense that I committed to you. Please kindly forgive me.”
Both devotees were very humble and both were filled with bhakti-rasa.
Forgiving each other, they both became peaceful.
The two of them then went to Srila Sanatan Goswami.
For a long time they all plunged into relishing nectarean topics of Lord Krishna.
When everyone heard about this incident they all became filled with wonder.
(What is Vaishnava Aparath? How to get relieved from it? READ HERE!)
Concluding this story, Srila Narahari Chakravarti cautions everyone:
ohe bhai vaisnavete sabadhana habe
pranapana kari’ aparadha ksamaibe
O my brothers, please be very careful in dealing with the vaisnavas. Beg their forgiveness for any offense with your heart and soul.
vaisnavera dosa-drste habe sabadhana
nirantara karibe vaisnavera guna-gana
Be careful not to see a vaisnava’s faults, and always sing their glories.
purva purva bhagavata-gana ei kaya
vaisnavera kriya-mudra vijne na bujhaya
All of the previous great devotees have said, “No one can understand the behavior of a vaisnava.”
sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu priya-bhakta-dvare
anyere dilena siksa ei ta’ prakare
Although Srila Rupa Goswami is a highly elevated devotee very dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord used him to teach all of us of the dangers of vaisnava aparadha.
bhakta-pada-padma dhari’ mastaka-upara
bhakti-rasa-sayare dubaha nirantara
Hold the devotees’ lotus feet to your head and always dive in the nectar of pure devotional service.
(ALSO READ: Will Krishna forgive vaishnava offence If we hurt Krishna devotees ?)