Dhanurdhara Swami December 11th, 2002
It got back to me that a devotee I knew was being critical of me. Initially,I became critical of him. But then I thought that maybe he was right.
We should not find fault in others. Why? Unless we are correcting that person out of affection, our words are just a manifestation of envy. When we criticize people out of envy, especially a devotee, it generally means that we are making the mistake of identifying someone’s weaknesses or faults as the whole person. That’s especially dangerous to do in relation to a Vaishnava because we are neglecting their primary nature as devotees of God.
We are all conditioned souls with many faults. Faults can be found with anyone, just as even the bright moon has pocks. And if you want to hone in on another’s weakness in an inimical way, there are probably plenty of ill-intentioned people who see our own conditoning as our person, and not just incidental parts of our nature to be purified. How does that feel?
I remember a friend of mine who made a serious mistake and needed help. I called up Tamal Krishna Maharaja and asked if he could help. He said he would. To make sure Maharaja understood all the facts, I reminded him what this person had done. His answer struck me and is probably the basis of my comments above.
“Anyway, his faults are not the whole person. I love [name withheld]!”