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Title: Vaishnava Association
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-14 07:03:25
1. Vaishnav association is like walking on the razor's edge, most essential and yet the most difficult thing to sustain, because each individual has his opinion and his way of dealing with life's circumstances. Please guide on the correct vaishnav ettiquette that one must follow to have effective association.
2. If a particular person is very comfortable under the guidance and shelter of his/her spiritual master and does not want to associate and hear from other contemporary bonafide vaishnava acharyas, is it wrong? I don't want to associate because I am completely satisfied and I realise that each preacher has his individual rasa and preaching style and I don't want to create a muddle in my head, is this wrong? Not that i do not respect these bonafide vaishnav acharyas or will shut my ears when they speak, only that i would not go out to actually seek their association.
3. Also if amongst ones own god brothers and god sisters one chooses to limit his interaction with only like minded devotees is this offensive in any way. Please guide is this being a chaste disciple or is this getting sectarian or getting into some form of groupism.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
That is why precisely why one can sustain Vaishnava association only if one is constantly in the mood of trinad api sunichena...considering everyone else as a devotee and giving respects to them at all times while thinking oneself as a non-devotee and never expecting respect for oneself. I remember when I was the travelling bus party leader while distributing Shrila Prabhupada's books all over India, I had to manage devotees from all different parts of India with different mentalities in the small bus. One has to always feel oneself as the servant of other devotees while being in their association.
Normally, Shiksha Gurus are accepted because they illuminate the path of following the instructions of the Diksha Guru. So if Shiksha Gurus can help us in this way then their association and teachings to be accepted. Since it is a very confidential secret in Kali Yuga, I agree that is very rare to find a Vaishnava who agrees, encourages, and supports the chanting and spreading of Nityananda Gauranga Naam along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. One can surely seek out the right-minded association (sva-jatiya) in this regard. But one should always mentally honor and respect and never even mentally criticize any Gaudiya Vaishnavas unless they themselves are blasphemous of Guru, Guru Parampara, Nityananda Gauranga Naam chanting etc.
One can always choose one's like-minded association by consulting our Gurudeva. There is no groupism or sectarianism in this as long as we dont become proud of our own bhajana.