Mad Elephant

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said that by offending a Vaiṣṇava, one finishes all his spiritual activities. Offending a Vaiṣṇava is considered the mad elephant offense. A mad elephant can destroy an entire garden which has been developed with great labor. One may attain the topmost platform of devotional service, but somehow or other if he offends a Vaiṣṇava, the whole structure collapses. Unconsciously, King Rahūgaṇa offended Jaḍa Bharata, but due to his good sense, he asked to be excused. This is the process by which one can be relieved from a vaiṣṇava-aparādha. Kṛṣṇa is always very simple and by nature merciful. When one commits an offense at the feet of a Vaiṣṇava, one must immediately apologize to such a personality so that his spiritual advancement may not be hampered.

SB 5.10.24 purport

Advancement will not bear fruit

One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was sitting on the throne of Viṣṇu in the house of Śrīvāsa Prabhu, and in a mood of His own He said, “My mother has offended the lotus feet of Advaita Ācārya. Unless she nullifies this offense at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, it will not be possible for her to achieve love of Kṛṣṇa.” Hearing this, all the devotees went to bring Advaita Ācārya there. While coming to see the Lord, Advaita Ācārya was glorifying the characteristics of mother Śacīdevī, and thus upon arriving He fell down on the ground in ecstasy. Then, under the instruction of Lord Caitanya, Śacīdevī took advantage of this situation to touch Advaita Ācārya’s lotus feet. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much pleased by His mother’s action, and He said, “Now My mother’s offense at the lotus feet of Advaita Ācārya has been rectified, and she may have love of Kṛṣṇa without difficulty.” By this example Lord Caitanya taught everyone that although one may be very much advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if one offends the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava his advancement will not bear fruit. We should therefore be very much conscious not to offend a Vaiṣṇava. Caitanya-caritāmṛta has described such an offense as follows:

yadi vaiṣṇava-aparādha uṭhe hātī mātā
upāḍe vā chiṇḍe, tāra śukhi’ yāya pātā
(Cc. Madhya 19.156)

As a mad elephant may trample all the plants in a garden, so by committing one offense at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava one may spoil all the devotional service he has accumulated in his life.

CC ADI 17.10 purport

Loses his chance to advance further

If one always follows the orders of the spiritual master, there is no question of falling down. As soon as a foolish disciple tries to overtake his spiritual master and becomes ambitious to occupy his post, he immediately falls down. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi . If the spiritual master is considered an ordinary man, the disciple surely loses his chance to advance further. Despite a very rigid life in devotional service, Bharata Mahārāja did not consult a spiritual master when he became overly attached to a deer. Consequently he became strongly attached to the deer, and, forgetting his spiritual routine, he fell down.

SB 5.12.14 purport

Can never satisfy Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Any person who disturbs a pure devotee engaged in broadcasting the holy name of the Lord is certainly punished like Gopāla Cāpāla. This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. As we shall see, one who offends a pure devotee can never satisfy Caitanya Mahāprabhu unless and until he sincerely regrets his offense and thus rectifies it.

CC ADI 17.51

Does not know where he is going

When one serves a Vaiṣṇava unknowingly, one still gets the good result, and if one unknowingly insults a Vaiṣṇava, one suffers the bad result. A Vaiṣṇava is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pleasing him or displeasing him directly affects the pleasure and displeasure of the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, in his eight stanzas of prayer to the spiritual master, has sung, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: by pleasing the spiritual master, who is a pure Vaiṣṇava, one pleases the Personality of Godhead, but if one displeases the spiritual master one does not know where he is going.

SB 4.9.23

Candidate for hellish life

“One who considers the arca-murti (the worshipable Deity of Lord Visnu) to be stone, the spiritual master to be an ordinary human being, or a Vaisnava to belong to a particular creed is possessed of hellish intelligence.” If one thinks that the worshipable salagrama-sila is a mere stone, that the spiritual master is an ordinary human being or that a pure Vaisnava preaching the bhakti cult all over the world is a member of a particular caste or material division of society, he is considered a naraki, a candidate for hellish life.

Cc Antya-lila 6.294 purport

Supreme Personality of Godhead does not excuse one

If one offends a great personality. the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not excuse one, although the great personalities themselves might not take offense. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was offended by Durvāsā, who even approached Lord Viṣṇu for pardon. Lord Viṣṇu would not grant him pardon; therefore he had to fall down at the lotus feet of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, even though Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was a kṣatriya-gṛhastha. One should be very careful not to offend the lotus feet of Vaiṣṇavas and brāhmaṇas.

SB 5.13.23 purport

Never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead

If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Supreme Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee. There are many examples of this in history. A great mystic yogi, Durvāsā Muni, offended the great devotee Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. The great sage Durvāsā was to be chastised by the Sudarśana cakra of the Lord. Even though the great mystic directly approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was never excused. Those on the path of liberation should be very careful not to offend a pure devotee.

SB 4.31.21 purport

Continues to suffer and does not give up his life

It appears that an offender to a Vaiṣṇava continues to suffer and does not give up his life. We have actually seen that a great vaiṣṇava-aparādhī is continuously suffering so much that it is difficult for him to move, and yet he does not die.

Cc Adi-lila 17.54 purport

Will not be able to speak properly

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said that all intelligence comes from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in everyone’s heart as Paramātmā. The Paramātmā gave the paṇḍita the intelligence to understand that because he was proud of his learning and wanted to defeat even the Supreme Lord, by the will of the Lord and through the agency of mother Sarasvatī he had been defeated. One should not, therefore, be too proud of one’s position. Even if one is a greatly learned scholar, if he commits an offense to the lotus feet of the Lord he will not be able to speak properly, in spite of his learning.

Cc Adi-lila 16.89 purport

The Supreme Lord keeps them always bewildered

“Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life. Attaining repeated birth among the species of demoniac life, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.” Because of their envy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nondevotees are born in demoniac families life after life. They are great offenders, and because of their offenses the Supreme Lord keeps them always bewildered. Kurvanti caiṣāṁ muhur ātma-moham: the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, purposely keeps them in darkness (ātma-moham).

SB 6.4.31 purport

Not even by chanting

The conclusion is that if Kṛṣṇa consciousness is covered by material sins, one can eliminate the sins simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, but if one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, one cannot revive it until one properly atones for the sin by pleasing the offended Vaiṣṇava or brāhmaṇa. This was the course that Durvāsā Muni had to follow, for he surrendered unto Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. A vaiṣṇava-aparādha cannot be atoned for by any means other than by begging the pardon of the offended Vaiṣṇava.

SB 4.26.24 purport



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s