Srimad Bhagavatam 10.89.24-29 - Strengthen Relationships by Tolerating Others Indiscretions (download mp3)
by Chaitanya Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
praja bhajantyah sidanti
Citizens serving such a wicked king, who takes pleasure in violence and cannot control his senses, are doomed to suffer poverty and constant misery.
evam dvitiyam viprarsis
trtiyam tv evam eva ca
visrjya sa nrpa-dvari
tam gatham samagayata
The wise brahmana suffered the same tragedy with his second and third child. Each time, he left the body of his dead son at the King’s door and sang the same song of lamentation.
tam arjuna upasrutya
parete navame bale
kim svid brahmams tvan-nivase
iha nasti dhanur-dharah
rajanya-bandhur ete vai
brahmanah satram asate
When the ninth child died, Arjuna, who was near Lord Kesava, happened to overhear the brahmana lamenting. Thus Arjuna addressed the brahmana: “What is the matter, my dear brahmana? Isn’t there some lowly member of the royal order here who can at least stand before your house with a bow in his hand? These ksatriyas are behaving as if they were brahmanas idly engaged in fire sacrifices.
yatra socanti brahmanah
te vai rajanya-vesena
nata jivanty asum-bharah
“The rulers of a kingdom in which brahmanas lament over lost wealth, wives and children are merely imposters playing the role of kings just to earn their livelihood.
aham prajah vam bhagavan
raksisye dinayor iha
“My lord, I will protect the progeny of you and your wife, who are in such distress. And if I fail to keep this promise, I will enter fire to atone for my sin.”
Chivalrous Arjuna could not tolerate the shame of being unable to fulfill his promise. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (2.34), sambhavitasya cakirtir maranad atiricyate: “For a respected person, dishonor is worse than death.”