Loving Those Who Hurt Us

How can we love those who have hurt us over & over again? Isn’t it better to remain distanced?

Our reply: It is not possible for ordinary people to develop the high level of compassion necessary to love those who have expressed malice towards them repeatedly. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.5.14), this is mentioned as being possible only for great devotees of the Supreme Lord. Devotees like Prahlada, Srila Haridasa Thakura, and several others have exhibited extraordinary levels of compassion while responding to expressions of extreme hatred by others. Without acquiring a pure vision to see the underlying spiritual essence in all beings, such behavior is quixotic at best and pretentious at worst. It cannot stand the test of time. Thus, for a person not advanced in spiritual realization, it is better to stay away from those who hurt repeatedly. Yet, we can also pray to the Paramatma in the heart of all including those who hurt us, to rectify this diseased mentality.

One can also perceive the repetition of hatred as an impetus for genuine introspection — whether one is really as pure as he thinks he is. By such honest endeavors, we may discover a genuine need to purify ourselves and thus might even develop a mood of thankfulness towards those who hurt us for setting us off on a journey of self-improvement. This approach might make it possible for us to come close to loving those who hurt us.

Significance of Peacock Feather

Why does Lord Krishna wear a peacock feather in His hair?
 —Sanjay, Pune

Our reply: Lord Krishna loves to reciprocate with His devotees’ love. He is bhakta-vatsala. One folk tale relates how once Lord Krishna created a wonderful festival near the Govardhana Hill by playing on His flute and some peacocks started dancing. They also requested Krishna to dance with them. In response to their beautiful dance, Krishna started dancing. This went on and everyone was happily dancing to give pleasure to each other. The peacocks got tired after some time but Krishna went on dancing the most exquisite steps. Everyone around was breathless and motionless seeing the wonderful movements of Krishna . Only when Lord Balarama embraced Krishna did Krishna stop. When the dance ended, the king of the peacocks along with his followers approached Krishna and overwhelmed by gratitude, offered their feathers as a tribute to Him. Krishna took the feather and put it on his turban. Since then, He decorates Himself with peacock feathers.

Also, since Krishna is an individual person, He has His own likes and dislikes. Among all decorative items, Lord Krishna prefers simple items like minerals, simple forest flowers, peacock feathers, etc.

Passing through the Tulasi Species?

When a living entity transmigrates through differentpecies of life, does it also take birth as a tulasi plant? Can we count the tulasi plant among the 84 lakh species of life in the universe?
 — Pratik Shinde

Our reply: Srimati Tulasi Devi is an eternal nitya-siddha associate of the Supreme Lord who is engaged in organizing confidential service to the Divine Couple in the spiritual world. She has taken the form of a plant in the material world especially to facilitate service to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. Thus, every Deity of the Supreme Lord has tulasi leaves decorating His lotus feet. Tulasi Devi has accepted the form of a plant but she is not an ordinary living entity who is forced to transmigrate through different species of life governed by the laws of material nature. Just like the same Supreme Lord is present in the heart of every living entity, similarly the same Tulasi Devi is present in every tulasi plant. Although the scientific community might have given a scientific name to tulasi plant, viz. Ocimum tenuiflorum, Tulasi Devi is not an ordinary plant like other plants. Therefore, an ordinary living entity does not pass through the body of a tulasi plant during its evolutionary journey through different species of life.

Answer to the above questions were given by Nanda Dulal Dasa.

How to Chant Hare Krishna

When I start chanting the Hare Krishna mantra on my beads, my mind wanders. How should I chant?
 —Govind Ubale

Our reply: One should not expect to immediately experience a peaceful mind while chanting Hare Krishna . Krishna consciousness develops gradually as one progresses from tender faith to association with advanced devotees, engagement in Krishna ’s service, and overcoming obstacles, and then steadiness, taste, full attachment, bliss, and pure love for Krishna . As they say, “Practice makes perfect.” We should be joyful to have made contact in this life with Krishna ’s pure devotees and the process of complete purification in their association. However, it will take some time for our spiritual consciousness to mature and bear fruit. We wish you all the best. Please continue with your sincere chanting, and in time your restless mind will become fully peaceful.

Answer to this question was written by Krishna.com’s Live Help volunteers.

Gratitude to BTG and ISKCON 

BTG magazine helps me to maintain my consistency and commitment in Krishna consciousness. Generally my mind and heart fluctuates due to innumerable diversions and distractions in day-to-day life. All of us face many unpleasant situations and people who distract and disturb us, but my connection to ISKCON as a whole keeps me steady, balanced and committed to devotion and remembrance of Sri Krishna . No other spiritual organization in this world has this firm, unflinching concentration on Sri Krishna as much as ISKCON has. I believe this is the direct grace of Lord Krishna on the entire mankind. My gratitude to ISKCON, which is creating a new generation of Krishna devotees on this earth. 

 — Dr. E.Kiran Kumar, M.D. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences(RIMS), Srikakulam, AP