Krishna consciousness and tolerant nature

Hare Krishna,

While I would call myself a neophyte devotee, I have full faith in Krishna consciousness and regularly read scriptures like Bhagvad Gita and lot of other Srila Prabhupada books (based on guidance by a trained devotee/guide).

Also, I am an introvert person and have been making a conscious effort to avoid reacting to any kind of stressful or situations at home (say some argument between my wife and mother) to the best of my ability. 
One of my friends () recently commented on this situation in 2 broad points 

1. He is highly appreciative of my tolerant nature and constantly keeps saying that he wants to learn the same from me, since he cannot tolerate lot of things in his personal life. (I try to not get puffed up by this praise and in my mind, give credit for this to my guide in Krishna consciousness)
2. The other point he made though is he mentioned that I might slowly "lose my self" (his words) , if I stop reacting to lot of things on my personal front.

Even before he made the 2nd point, it is a question/fear in my mind as well and it is kind of a small battle within. Though, I always feel that not reacting is the best way to deal with situations.

The other thing I had is, can people can take advantage of the tolerant nature. Kind of like the saying "Straight trees are cut first". This point is more specific to working with people in an office/professional setup.
Please let me know your suggestions/comments on if I need to change my behavior/dealing with people on the material platform. Any references from the literature would be highly appreciated.

Hare Krishna


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  • Hare Krishna prabhuji. Please accept my humble obesciences at your lotus feet.

    I am very insignificant and incapable of answering your query. But I will try my best to add some value through my amswer. Also, if you find anything offensive or error in my answer, kindly forgive me as I am a conditioned soul and also correct me.

    Now coming to the answer. Prabhuji, In one of the lectures of HG Amarendra prabhu similar question was asked, i will present my answer based on that. In Sikshashtakam we find that one should feel oneself as lower than a blade of grass lying on the ground and be as tolerant as a tree. Here to decipher, it actually means one should not get puffed up by praises from seniors. In such cases it is advised that the praises should immediately be transferred to ones guru and krishna ... i.e., to think that the person praising is very kind to praise us and is not seeing our anarthas. All these praises are by the mercy of krishna and guru. I am getting praised because he wants me to get praised for my endeavour otherwise what position is of mine to receive praise. I am very insignificant for such praises. One should think so and immediately transfer the praises to krishna and guru. In the beginning it may be difficult because outside we may say so but inside we are puffed up but by constant practice we will become humble and not expect any praise from anyone. Seeing our constant endeavour, krishna will shower some mercy.

    And for the being tolerant part. You need not undermine yourself in front of others by being calm all the time. However u should not even reciprocate when u beleive that it will add no value. Chaitanya mahaprabhu says we should not be tolerant in 3 cases , when our guru is blasphemed, krishna is blasphemed, sastras are blasphemed. We should strongly give back with proper sastric proof, if not possible leave such place immediately. However in cases where above matters are not the cause, one should think that the person who is chastising us or is passing comments or finding loopholes is so kind towards me. He is not looking what am I . I am zero he is saying me as 5/6/7. How merciful he is. Also how merciful is krishna , me to isse zyada taane sunne ke yogya tha but he is not letting his devotee listen so much chastisement. And is reducing my quota. In such way when one is tolerant and praises krishna for his mercy. He gradually becomes composed and any such criticism or any sort doesn't affect him. It comes by practice. Abhyasena tu kaunteya.

    However , when you are dealing with materialists you need present yourself as a naive/ fool . You should present yourself normally. Just try to avoid giving back . However , if things heat up. You can pray to krishna and deal with such person calmly.


    I seek forgiveness for any fault in my answer. Also, if I could add any value to you, kindly pray for me so that I can advance in the path of bhakti and attain love of krishna.



  • Hare Krishna,

    Not reacting to any stressful situations at home ( FINE). Are you not reacting to happiness also?? Like if there is some good news at home are you participating in enjoying, sharing good news?? or you became a sadhu ( tolerant sage) who is equipoised in all circumstances ( be is stressful or happy situations). If you became equipoised that means you became tolerant. Otherwise, you are just chosing not to react because you don't want to add confusion to already prevailing confusion ( be it with family ladies.. mother- wife) or ( boss- collegues).

    When You are chosing not to react to some situations that is not called total tolerance. It is partial tolerance.

    Second thing is. .. 

    Well, It is nice to be an introvert. You can avoid many arguements with others but surely your will have internal tumoil. Because an introvert wants to talk and add his opinion but fears what if his opinion is not valued? what if his opinion is going to hurt someone of the two members in the conflict. What if.... what if so many ifs and buts.. in his mind..but he couldn't place his opinion at the end of the day....... thinking what if wife would get angry if he supports mother..? what if mother would get unhappy if he supports wife. 

    If the seniaro is with boss or his friends circle or be it with wife/mother.. 

    all the time there is internal turmoil going on in head. Not able to put forth your opnion thinking what if .. what iff.........

    that is nothing to do with tolerance at all.

    Your inablity to state what you feel is right !!! is not called tolerance.

    You must stand with the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! even if it may hurt some people that is dharma.

    If you mother is at wrong you must say it straight forward. Mother even though I love you so much, at this juncture I feel my wife correct. I know it may be hurting you. But I am neither supporting her or you in this arguement. I am just tell what I feel is right. If I am wrong pls. correct. I am always your son. 

    If your wife is at fault you must say it to her in a pleasing way.  You must neither insult anyone or hurt anyone. But place your opinion in a smooth way. There is a small knack in putting ur opinion without hurting anyone's feelings.

    Never directly pinpoint at other's faults. You must tell them in a way that is not hurting at all in a pleasing way. This should be win-win for both.  parties.

    Stand on your pointis and say I think this is right I stand by this this is my opinion. I don't know you may like it or not. But It is just my opinion.

    simply fighting internally thinking what others would think.. not going to help you in anyway. You will lose peace of mind in this way actually.

    There are three ways to reply to anyone:-

    1. say it whatever you feel is right without thinking about consequences.

    2. keep ur opinion out and say this is my opinion, I have the right to put out what I feel is right isn't it? 

    3. handle situations manage both parties in a conflict by talking to them individually & seperately, and giving ur suggestions to them in a pleasant way not hurting anyone.

    If you mess up than handle cleverly, tactfully.

    When Lord Sri Krishna went for Sandhi ( Truce and peace talks) He tried first to pacify all by respecting all the great men assembled there and also pointed out what is dharma.. That is...It is unjust to completely occupy Hastinapur by Kuravas alone as Pandavas also are having a right of share on the Land. ( you can understand at that time LORD was not supporting anyone of the parties He came there as a middleman. NO FAVORITISM. But He put forth HIS opinion and asked them to regress  and follow dharma and give their brothers the land they own rightfully.  Isn't it?

    Lord says action is more important than inaction !!! ( in bhagwad gita) Arjuna said I cannot see my own kith and kin fight and kill each other. It is better I dont fight and take sanyas and sit quietly. LORD calls Arjuna as coward!!! 

    One must follow what Lord says and did. WE MUST PUT FORTH AND STAND BY THE TRUTH even if it may hurt some near and dear. 

    Hare Krishna.

    • Hare Krishna !

      Thanks a lot for the detailed response. Your observations are quite accurate specifically around the internal turmoil.
      I have one question though and I am asking this not in the mode of questioning you, but from an understanding standpoint on the point about being vocal about what I feel is right. 

      Now, there are constant situations in the professional sphere where I feel that lot of things not being right (e.g. both in terms of the actual work and even in terms of the office politics)
      Do you think in such cases if it is sometimes better to go above the right and wrong argument (though not sure if avoiding argument is the incorrect way) ? 

      Just to add, I have got feedback and do have support from my skip manager in being vocal. Her point is if I do not speak up strongly and have an impact, it would not help me. Her point was that it is very difficult to work if we always try to avoid conflicts and avoid over stepping on someones's work.

      While I do agree somewhat on this comment, my biggest difficulty in following the same is my inherent nature being very different.

      Hare Krishna

      • Hmm, I can understand what you want to say. Like backbiting or escalating to seniors about the co-workers at office front. You don't want to spoil ur relationships with ur collegues at the same time you cannot speak ill about them to seniors. You want voice but you cannot and should be facing politics. So being vocal and speaking up, doing things what is right is tough. I know

        Bishma Pitamah was as in the tight situation. He taken a vow that he wont get involved in the official affairs ..he will just be  support to the kingdom but wont raise his voice against the Kingdom of hastinapura. But when draupadi kul vadhu is being disrobed his silence is not right on his part. He could have atleast tried to stop this act. Keeping his vow aside. To teach this fact only... Krishna also made a vow never to lift weapons in the war of Mahabharata but when Arjuna was fearing to lift bow and fight Bishma Pitamah. Krishna who made the vow, kept aside His vow and lifted the wheel of the chariot and came swiftly to attack Bishma Pitamah Himself. This act was to just show Bhishma that if time comes and if we have fighting for dharma everything is just and right. EVEN a vow also doens't matter, it can also be broken for the sake of dharma.

        Silence always is not good.  At the same time  should not be like always acting like a snitcher or a backbiter. No one like trust you than. 

        If one or two roaches enter our house we try to kill them or shoo them. If there is pest infestation than it needs extermination.

        Hare Krishna.

        • Hare Krishna,

          So, I did take a conscious decision to stop being entirely silent (though that is my prefererred/natural way) and did talk to my manager regarding my colleague who has been behaving oddly and even nasty at times. However, I raised it in a slightly milder/toned down manner mentioning to the manager that the colleagues behavior is a bit odd recently and he is unnecessarily causing issues.

          While I did get some kind of assurance from the manager saying that I should not be worrying too much, still I did not get full confidence from her. Also, while she did mention that she'll talk to my colleague, to me, it does not look like she has kind of spoken/warned him in any way so far (it has been more than a week)

          I did speak to one more person senior to me in my team and since he was witness to one of the situations where the colleague had behaved rudely, I later checked with him about the right thing to be doing and he mentioned that I did the right thing by complaining to the manager. Though one thing we both agreed was that raising such concerns always spoils the team environment and it always goes in the wrong direction.

          Please guide me if there is anything further that I can do given the situation and the very odd behavior of the colleague.

          Thanks !

          • Hare Krishna,

            Okay you took action against a collegue and let the superiors know about his behavior. Now wait patiently. You did your job. They will keep a watch on him. If they also find some misbehavior then some action will be taken. Or, if 2-3 people also report the same about this person then they will take an action. But you did your job that is good.

            Secondly, whatever happened and whatever is happening right now and whatever will happen in future, you are not responsible.  Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions.  If you are wrong time will correct you. If they are wrong time will correct them. ( how will time correct? time corrects thru some cascade of events which will happen one after another which will lead to make changes).

            See, If a person behavior is wrong or he is rude to you or he is rude to many matters. If one person only this person is behaving bad with, that means there is some incompatibility between you and him. If he is disturbing many people and many people report against him then it becomes a concern to the company. Because team enivironment is distrubed by this man's behavior the team doesn't function properly and productivity will be low this could impact the company in some way. If you both have issues then it will resolve with time or you both should sit and talk openely as professionals and small warning could change his behavior.

            Manager is a person who will surely take care of the issue when time comes. Now be silent as you did your job. She ( your manager) is keeping a watch on him. If someone else also reports the same against this man than surely she will take some action. don't worry. Your duty is over.

            hare krishna.



        • Hare Krishna

          I have got similar examples from my office colleague like ....If you don't ask for food when you are not hungry even mother will not serve you
          But he also gave me the example that in professional life, If you just focus on just your karma without worrying about the fruit, someone else will take away the fruit of your efforts (to which I did not argue, but only mentioned that I do not agree to this point).

          So just trying to connect everything together and what is being vocal about the right things, though that comes up with counter reaction from people (even with false things)...So I guess, I need to be vocal, but before that be prepared to handle the negative reactions that would come with being right and countering against the wrong points put forth by someone.



          • Any karma be it done in material or spiritual platform has its own fruits and the person who does only get the fruits of that karma. No one else can snatch away your karma. At somepoint it may look as if the credits which you had to get gone for another because of you silence but in due course everyone will know what is truth. Who is the real person who worked sincerely and kept silent. But the thing is you cannot sit silent you have to put out ur mind into words. People cannot understand what is going on in ur head.

            Let us see one example. You are playing a chess game and you know the result of the game who is going to win the game also. But if you sit quietly will you reach the desired outcome.

            Sahadeva was a great astrologer. He predicted the outcome of Mahabharat way before the Mahabharat yudh took place itself.  But Krishna called Sahadeva aside and warned him not to reveal the outcome because to reach to the outcome one must first play or fight. If they sit thinking why do I need to fight when we know the outcome of the war ...we are only the winners then they cannot reach the outcome at all.

            If you want to achieve something you need to open up and tell. If you keep waiting and thinking thinking surely the outcome is not reached. work /Karma should be done.  We must do our karma and raise voice against injustice and following dharma work for the goals giving our 100% involvement.  If Arjuna didn't have a goal like shooting at the bird's eyes will he be able to shoot the bird's eye only?

            ofcourse doing nishkaam karma means to do work with 100% involvement body, mind and soul into the work and not thinking about the results of whatever you do.

            Look at a child who paints a picture give him some water colors. he will pour some down, rub to his hands face and paint. now, his picture may not be so great to an artist but the child ha completely enjoyed the work and did with full concentration. Nothing else was in his mind at the time of working.......the child didn't think what if ........the teacher will not like my work? what if someone else didn't like? what if .. but.. if but this all was not in the mind of the child at that time. He was just involved in doing the work. that is called doing any work without caring for results.

  • Hare krsna prabhu, I can understand your predicament, The first thing you have to do is increase your spiritual strength, and that can be done by extra chanting and by serving devotee.The more strength you have the more you are able to handle situations and people around. LikeHealthy person will easily cope up with small infections.  And about your 2nd question, Set your limit of tolerance, dont let others mess with your dignity. Be firm and tell people that you will not tolerate any nonsense.  Krsna told Arjuna "Mam anusmar yudh ch" fight with remembering krsna. We are not suppose to run away from the war, we are supposed to fight it. 

  • Hare Krishna,

    The most important thing in life is inner joyfullness. It doesn't matter who is taking advantage of your peaceful behavior.  Let him/her take that privilege.  The fear of loosing urself is originating from Ego. A real devotee only things about krishna.  The rest of the world become least important.  He only do materialistic things which are important for survival.  But mind contains only love for krishna. A real lovable person will never react on any situation with hate. Coz its not his nature.  

    So live in a way where u can be joyful all time. Self respect is not reacting to odd situation to protectur ego.  It means u r not lowering urself for ur benefits.  So non reacting to the situation will not effect ur self respect.  In fact u will gain respect if u can handle situation with love.

    So be as it is as u r.

    Hare krishna..

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