Concerning Offenses!

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisance!I always wanted to become a devotee. However, I feel I am not ready yet. It is especially regarding offenses that I shied away from committing myself.There are some offenses which destroys every piety and, most importantly, Bhakti, we have been blessed with through devotional practice. One such offenses is Nama Apradha. Another much grievous is Vaishnava Aparadha. However, it is very hard to be completely free of these two offenses. For example, beginners like myself struggle to meditate on the Holy Names which constitute Nama Apradha and as for Vaishnava Apradh, sometimes I feel anger and see faults of devotees while associating due to impurities I have accumulated. Also, sometimes, I might have committed offenses unintentionally towards a devotee, which also have consequences of falling down. My point being, it is very hard to avoid all these offenses in reality. Sometimes I hear people gossip and may hear something unfavorable about devotees. Just hearing faults about devotees is again one of the major offenses. Even though, I do not try to react or indulge myself in gossiping, two offenses which is the most difficult to avoid is how you feel, see & hear. Since feelings cannot be immediately checked is there any ways with which to avoid these difficult offenses? If purity and being situated in Sattva Guna is a hallmark for approaching Krishna, shall I try to situate myself in mode of goodness before approaching Krishna or His devotees? Is offenses unavoidable in the initial stage? Also, how do I know whom I have offended unknowingly? All these truths sometimes makes me nervous approaching the devotees of the Lord, yet I do because I want to understand Krishna Consciousness.Please help!Thank you.

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  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Mataji,


    Sorry for late response.

    WHat you have mentioned is an honest, sincere account of what all devotees go through. Your purpose is very pure - you want love of Godhead as early as possible. For that, you are wary of committing offences, even unknowingly.

    Gossip - please try to avoid when you hear. Try to turn the conversation towards some service or glorification of some third devotee.

    Unknown offence committed by us - actually this is bound to happen. One must beg forgiveness from all vaishnavas. Moment we enter a temple, we do vaishnav pranam.

    Known offence - immediately ask for forgiveness from that Vaishnava. Other option is to take dust of lotus feet of that Vaishnava on one's head.

    Learn from mistakes and try to not repeat.

    How we feel, see, hear - that will change gradually, with proper sadhana over a period of time. It is always good to discuss with a senior and examine which of the feelings need to be worked on. Please remember that Krsna is in our hearts as Paramatma, we cannot hide our feelings from Him. So it is better to be honest and cry to Him helolessly if we are getting some undesirable thoughts or feelings.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

    • Hare Krishna, Mataji!

      Please accept my humble obeisances.

      You make a great point. It is now undeniable that there is no other hope than Guru and Krishna to help me through this journey of devotion. Despite all my faults, i am glad at the good news that Guru and Krishna is always there to help, if I let them.

      Thank you for your kind words and advice.

  • Thank you!
  • Volunteer

    Hare krsna prabhuji,

    I understand your concern.

    All i can suggest is do and keep your sadhana strong, try to overlook the gossip you hear (it is hard but still doable), try not to judge anyone, increase your service and pray to krsna.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupad!!!!

    Hare krsna.

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