The Glories Of Humility by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
The living entity is by constitution an eternal servant of Lord Krishna, and therefore his eternal nature and duty (dharma) is to chant the holy names of the Supreme Lord, whether he simply transits in this material world or permanently enters the spiritual sky. There is no better means for humanity’s all-round benefit and success than chanting the Lord’s holy names for such chanting brings good fortune to others and all kinds of auspiciousness to oneself.
The way to avoid offense against the holy name: How to avoid chanting at the level of nāmāparādha and namabhasa. One whose intelligence shies away from Krishna and rushes instead towards the intoxicant of material enjoyment can never perceive his true infinitesimal stature. By the nature of his error, one who tries to be an enjoyer cannot realize the reality of his insignificance; nor can he be tolerant. He is not even slightly inclined to give up his false ego and false prestige. A gross materialist is unwilling, even incapable, of acknowledging anyone as his equal.
The Vaishnava who experiences ecstasy in the Lord’s name, on the other hand, is humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree. He is unconcerned—even unwilling—to receive respect, but is eager to offer respect to others. Such an elevated soul alone is qualified to chant constantly. When these pure souls offer their praise and
worship to the guru and senior Vaishnavas, they do so out of manada. And when they give advice to disciples and sadhakas to chant, they encourage them with words of appreciation. At such times they exhibit their innate quality of amanina—desiring no respect or praise in return.
The glories of humility : A pure devotee understands that these words of praise and appreciation are not empty mundane flattery but acknowledgement of spiritual qualities; and if the foolish misinterpret this as mundane, then he tolerates their causeless castigation, thus exhibiting deep forbearance. This is his nature. The unalloyed Vaishnava, who chants without offense, considers himself to be lower than the straw in the street that is trampled underfoot by the walking masses. A true saint never thinks himself to be a Vaishnava or claims to be a guru.
He humbly regards himself as a servant of the whole world, and as the most lowly and fallen soul. Knowing every atom and the infinitesimal spirit soul as the residence of Lord Krishna, he never mistreats anyone as his inferior. He is never desirous of anything nor does he covet the possesions of others. Even if he is treated witho enviousness and
spite, he never retaliates; on the contrary, he prays for the well-being of his tormentors.
A pure devotee is faithful to his guru : The devotee who chants the holy name without offense never rejects the devotional process he received from his guru, nor does he introduce a new method, replacing the mahā-mantra with some concocted and imaginary rhyme. A Vaishnava’s humility cannot be doubted or challenged if he preaches the glories of the holy name and writes books, as long as he strictly adheres to the instructions of his guru. One who, though lacking genuine humility, tries to cheat and deceive others, by making a show of it just to gain cheap adoration is not truly humble. The mahā-bhagavata who is constantly chanting does not see anything in the material world as available for him to exploit for personal gain.
Rather he sees everything as diverse paraphernalia meant for utilisation in service to Lord Krishna His associates and devotees. He never thinks that this world is his to enjoy. Although he becomes proficient in chanting he never considers giving up the mahā-mantra. He is not interested in propagating novel ideas or personal opinions. He realizes that to regard oneself as a guru of Vaishnava devotees rings the death knell of his humility.
Lord Caitanya’s instructions : The plain truth is that one who does not heed Lord Caitanya’s instructions in the Śikṣāṣṭaka prayers is chasing after material gains. His sole intention is to satisfy his senses, thereby forgetting his true spiritual identity as a servant, not a master. He begins to hanker for recognition and the status of an elevated Vaishnava and guru, but the holy name can never be chanted by such offenders. Even an otherwise sincere and faithful disciple cannot become worthy of hearing and chanting the pure holy name if he hears from such an offender.
— Śrī Sanmodana Bhāṣyam on Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka, Purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Translated by Sarvabhāvana dāsa.