Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada
Question to HH Radhanath Swami:
How should we deal with people who clearly are out to cheat the world, clearly are more towards evil than good? What should be our attitude towards them ?
Answer by HH Radhanath Swami:
To a certain extent we have the power to change our environment. But ultimately it is very limited; we may not be able to change the whole world or how people think or how people act or why people do what they do. Of course, we can try our best to help, but there is one thing that we could always change and that’s ourselves. If we live by the power, if we live with that potential of devotion, if we carry God’s grace in our lives and express it through what we do, that’s the greatest way in which we can influence others and there will be many people you do seriously influence. And of course there will be other people you may not be able to influence so much. But you can be transcendental to that. We cannot always change everything in this world but we can change ourselves and that gives us this great strength to be an instrument of change.
So how to deal with people like that? There are certain universal laws of spirituality. It is said we should hate the disease but not the diseased. Aham bija prajapitah. In Bhagvad Gita Krishna tells that he is the father and mother of every living being. So that means everyone is our brother and sister, everyone is inherently divine. Everyone is part of God, but due to disease of the ahankar or the ego one becomes incriminated in ever increasing bondage of lust, envy, anger, pride and greed, and one becomes a servant of these things. If our mother is sick we hate the disease but we love our mother. So when our brothers and sisters, in the form of whoever they may be in this world, when they are acting in such a cruel , evil or selfish way, it’s the symptom of terrible disease. If we see it that way, instead of hating them we will actually feel compassion for them. To feel hate for a diseased person, that hate burns our heart; it doesn’t heal our heart.
At the same time we have to do the needful; we can’t let them cheat us. We can’t let them hurt us. Arjuna was fighting, but he was fighting out of compassion; he wasn’t fighting out of arrogance or anger or greed. Whether we fight with them or not, that’s according to the need. But even if we do fight, it’s not with arrogance or greed; it’s with compassion.