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Title: Association and Aparadha
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-21 19:18:00
How do we choose our association viz-a-viz Vaishnava Aparadha? Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
† Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! One should not do anything which makes others commit offenses and also which makes one hear offenses
†So it is better that one only goes to that sanga (asssociation) of devotees where one does not have the remotest chance to hear envious offenses towards any devotee or group or to become the cause of others' committing offenses and where the only goal of the devotees is to hear and chant about Lord Gauranga-Krishna. An association of devotees where the devotees are very cautious never to criticize or minimize any devotee even indirectly, is the sanga where Gauranga-Krishna Katha can flourish and such association should be sought after. If one does not find such a sanga then Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada writes in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi Khanda 11.21 Gaudiya Bhashya commentary:† ďWherever there is no direct manifestation of the Supreme Lord or His dear advanced associate, nirjana-bhajana, or solitary worship of the Lord, is appropriate.Ē† This shows that naam yoga bhajana alone or in a† small group of sincere devotees is much more preferable than in a big association where gossip, backbiting, devitation, judgement or criticism of others is widely prevalent and especially if it is not stopped by those who have the power to stop it in their respective sangas.