If someone rationalizes their wrongdoing by saying that Krishna loves us unconditionally, how do we respond?
Duration: 3 min
Transcription by: Sundarinath das
Question: If someone rationalizes their wrongdoing by saying that Krishna loves us unconditionally, how do we respond?
• In any relationship, we need to be conscious of our duty towards the other person.
• Krishna does not overlook our devotion if we commit a mistake. However, Krishna also does not overlook our wrong-doing just because we are a devotee.
• In bhakti, our relationship with Krishna does not depend on anything external. However, if we are practicing bhakti as a leader then we need to have an exemplary character.
In any relationship, there are two aspects: (i) what the other person is doing for us and (ii) what we are doing for the other person.
It is Krishna’s love for us that even if we do something wrong, he is ready to accept us but if we keep doing the wrong thing and don’t even try to rectify it, then we are not doing our part. We are not showing our love for him.
There are two aspects to our actions; the moral and the transcendental. There is always a tension between the moral and the transcendental. Prabhupada says in the second chapter of the Bhagavad-gita that because Bhishma stayed silent when Draupadi was disrobed, he had to be punished. Bhishma had to be killed and he deserved to die. The point is that just because Bhishma was a devotee, Krishna did not overlook Bhishma’s mistake. At the same time, just because he committed a mistake, Krishna did not overlook his devotion either. Devotion is given due credit but at the same time, a mistake was also not spared.
If somebody in a leadership position does something grievously wrong, then from the transcendental perspective, whatever service they have done for Krishna that will remain. The devotee will still have a relationship with Krishna. The devotee can still practice bhakti and keep growing. However, from the moral perspective, such a person should not be given a leadership position since they are supposed to set an ideal example for others.
Bhakti in a particular position requires certain attributes. For example, anybody can sing kirtans at home, and Krishna will be pleased by that. However, if it is a public program a person with good music sense should lead the kirtan.
At a social level, if somebody is practicing bhakti as a leader, then they must have an exemplary character. They cannot rationalize their wrong-doing by saying that Krishna still loves us. If the wrong-doing is there then certain forms of bhakti will not be appropriate for us.
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