If somebody asks questions arrogantly, how should we respond?
From: Santanu Saikia
Answering a question,asked arrogantly would NOT BENEFIT the questioner .TO SAVE TIME,should we ignore(not avoid) , just like Jadabharat did at first to king Rahugana ? but if we do so,new spiritual aspirant may take it the spiritual science is wrong.What should be our response ?
Transcription (edited) by- Keshavgopal Das
Question- Answering a question that has been asked arrogantly will not benefit the questioner. To save time should we avoid answering just like Jada Bharata did at first to King Rahugana. But if do so a new spiritual aspirant may take it that spiritual science is wrong. What should be our response?
- For questions asked arrogantly the general strategy is that we direct the answer not towards the head but towards the heart of the person.
- Our answer should not only address the issue being discussed but also should be delivered in a way which is doesn’t hurt or alienate the person.
- For people who are arrogant or argumentative by nature or habit, we need to keep a safe distance.
Answer (long)- The general strategy is that our answer should not be directed towards the head of the person but also towards the heart of the person. When we are sharing Krishna consciousness it is not just a question of persuading a person logically or proving to the person that his or her conception is wrong and our conception is right. The essence of sharing Krishna consciousness is to help the person develop the faith that Krishna is his or her well-wisher and we as representatives of Krishna are also their well-wishers and we are trying to be instruments of Krishna’s good wishes and good intentions for them by conveying His message.
Essentially we need to be prayerful so that Krishna who is present in our and the other person’s heart will see our sincerity and help that person to be touched by our sincerity and open the heart and mind of the other person to receive the answer that we are giving. Therefore, when we find that somebody is asking a question arrogantly we certainly need to give an answer that addresses the issue but also we need to deliver the answer in a way that doesn’t hurt or alienate but tries to help the person develop the understanding that we are the well-wishers of the person.
Of course some people are perennially and perpetually argumentative. For such people the Updeshamrita tells us that we need to keep a safe distance from them. Will they think that we are wrong? They may think like that. If they have asked a question in a public forum and if we have given a logical answer and expressed it in a compassionate and a sensitive way, then we have done our duty. Other people will understand our intentions and logic of our answer. They will also understand the unreasonableness of the other person.
To summarize, if we find somebody is asking an arrogant or argumentative question we need to not just become more intellectually alert and hyperactive but also become more devotionally alert and prayerful to help our answer reach the heart of the person.