Should a devotee be merciful even to cruel and clever people?
A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
hare Krishna prabhuji, in your one post, u told that we should talk to everyone, at least we should maintain hello or hi. my question is what about the person who is naughty or cruel, should it be right to maintain any relation with them? how can we maintain any relation with a person whom we don’t know and their nature?
‘Maintaining relation’ and ‘Maintaining just contact’ are different. We need to follow different approach with every category of people.
If they are devotees of Lord Krishna, we have many things to share with them. We can talk about Krishna, Guru, vaishnavas, etc. We may even share Prasadam, Kirtans, etc. So, this association is deeper than any other association.
(Like to know about Dealing with Gossiping persons among devotees and non devotees? READ HERE!)
However, personal affairs or talks should not be included in our association with the devotees. We should interact only to enhance our devotion to Lord, not to enhance personal relations or affairs. This too will result in problems because the purpose of association with the devotees is spiritual, not personal.
In case any devotee has any personal issues, he has to try to solve them based on scriptures. In case that issue is unable to be solved individually, we must consult reliable senior relatives who are dealing with such issues without any partiality.
As far as the association with other persons is concerned, we have to manage our relations with them so as to manage our day to day life. They need not be devotees. They may even be materialistic or drunk or smokers.
For example, we need to have normal HAI, HELLO, HOW ARE YOU contacts with the neighbours whenever we see them. It is the basic decency. They too may be required in times.
( After coming to devotion, you may hate and avoid non-devotee family and others that makes them angry. Why Krishna allows this? READ HERE! )
For example, if any thief comes to our home, we need the support of neighbours. If we treat them as untouchables, they will not come for help in emergency. However, we can avoid exchanging food materials with them. In case they give, we may donate the same to some other maids, servants, etc. or, atleast to crows. However, we may give our prasadam to them. Atleast they will come to talk to us about it and then about Krishna.
They may be rude or naughty. But, they will be required in emergency.
Even in schools, colleges or offices, we need to have normal and formal contacts with everyone though they behave differently. We should not enter into deep topical discussions with them. In case they ask about Krishna, you may give them some tips or books of Srila Prabhupada. This is enough. Though they behave rudely many times, they too will have some soft corner in some aspects. For example, the policemen may be rude in their work some times, but, many of them will behave softly with their neighbours and family members. Even a killer kills out of sudden emotions, but, he too might have been a good behaving guy with the neighbours. Just because we wish them HAI, HELLO, we are not going to invite problems. Usually, problems arise only when we interact deeply and personally with anyone.
In other side, even the kind persons may cut relations if need arises. Take SrilaPrabhupada. He was so kind and devotional. But, He deserted his family because of non cooperation of his family members who did not understand his genuine efforts to serve Lord. But, he remained so merciful with his disciples. He did not desert them even now even after his leaving this world.
(Why should we love our family members since Krishna advices to give up attachments? READ HERE!)
Thus, even a kind person will desert family for serving Lord. At the same time, even rude persons will remain more attached with their family and friends. If Srila Prabhupada discriminated others based on their character and level of purity, how could he change the society? He interacted with everyone. How? He remain unaffected by the activties of others because of his purity. But, he gave his merits to others. This is the desirable quality everyone should develop.
So, if you like to remain in this world, you should develop your purity so that you give purity to others, and do not get impurity from others. First concentrate in sadhanas of Krishna Consciousness and love and devotion to Krishna. With this devotional mindset, you can talk to others limitedly and strictly need based.
This may be considered as an art of living. This can be followed by everyone if he is sincerely following Krishna Consciousness. A sadhu does not hate even dogs. He sees Krishna in both brahmanas and dogs and even dog eaters.
So, my advice to you is: Even a criminal will be touched by you in his heart, if you are sincere in Krishna Consciousness and if you do not interfere in their personal affairs, but maintain a sweet smiling HAI, HELLO with them. This does not mean association, but, just the maintenance of day to day living in the sweetest possible manner.
Hope you have understood this point.
( ALSO READ THIS: 15 Tips to follow the right way of maintaining the association of devotees! )