Deconstructing Shishupala’s character assassination of Krishna

by Chaitanya CharanSeptember 18, 2015

Srimad Bhagavatam class (10.74.35-38) at New Ramana Reti, ISKCON, Alachua

Lecture Summary:


What we speak about others speaks more about us than about others

Criticism is phrased contextually, but the malicious intention is often intentional

Eg. Today racist

What we speak is not as defining as why we speak it

Eg. SP – rajas tamo gune era sabai acchana al

Shishupala – friendly to Pandavas, envious of Krishna



Std strategy: Dredge up old stories to denigrate others

Yayati’s curse

“He has been in good standing recently, but he had problems earlier”

VCT – vyaja-stuti

What is unknown soon becomes falsely known

Eg ISKCON devotees – cult members in US and drug users in India




Common mistake: equate geographical with cultural / spiritual

Eg. Area outside India – fallen

Pure devotee’s potency: yatra gayanti mad-bhaktah

Rumors don’t need facts – they just need feelings

Eg. People being exploited in Dwarka / Christians being exploited in India

Jiva G – Krishna shifted Mathura-vasis to Dwarka primarily to protect Vrajavasis




Different kinds of criticism require different kinds of responses:

Tiny – neglect will die out

Big – may need to be countered

It requires great strength to resist the natural human tendency to defend oneself by countering criticism

The harsh words of our enemies don’t hurt as much as the deafening silence of our friends

3 different responses:

  1. Neglect
  2. Let others respond
  3. Respond yourself
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Chaitanya Charan

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