If We Do Not Become Tolerant? by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Sri Gaurasundara taught us that in order to chant the Lord’s holy names, we must feel ourselves lower than the straw in the street. Unless we consider ourselves insignificant, we cannot call upon another for help. Only when we pray for another’s help do we genuinely consider ourselves helpless. In such a state of mind we think that without another’s help we will be unable to do anything as we would feel it impossible to do alone that which is meant to be done by five people.
Sri Gaurasundara has instructed us to chant the Lord’s names and this instruction comes to us through our spiritual master. To chant the Lord’s names means to take His help. But if while chanting we consider Him our servant, or expect Him to do our bidding, then there is no question of actually our living with the conception, “I am lower than the straw in the street.”
An external display of humility is not necessarily genuine humility; rather it is often duplicious cheating. Our calls will not reach the Lord if we call Him as a master calls his servants. He is supremely independent and not under anyone’s control. Unless we transform our false ego and become sincerely humble, our prayers will not reach the supreme, independent Lord.
Furthermore; we have to remember that while humbly chanting the Lord’s name, if we do not become tolerant, our chanting will remain imperfect. If we display our intolerance by being greedy for particular
objects, then we are opposing the principle of humility. When we develop complete faith that the Supreme Lord is the Absolute Truth and by chanting His names we will not experience poverty, then we will have no lack of tolerance. As soon as we become greedy and become impatient or try to exhibit our own skill, we cannot call to the Supreme Lord properly.
We often think we are doing the Lord a favor by offering Him prayers. We maintain that we could have engaged in some other activity than chanting His name. Such a mentality is an example of a lack of tolerance. We need someone to protect us from such a mentality, someone to help us become lower than the straw in the street. For thie reason we certainly need to take shelter of a person who will deliver us from such sinful motives. Srila Narottama Thakura says, “Lord Krishna does not reject those who worship Him under the shelter of the spiritual master. Others simply live and die uselessly.”
—Amṛta Vāṇī – Nectar of Instructions for Immortality, Adapted and Published by Īśvara dāsa. Translated from Bengali by Bhumipati dāsa