Do Not Offend Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.01.08 - Do Not Offend Devotees (download mp3)
by Haridas Thakur Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.1.8
brahmanyanam vadanyanam
 nityam vrddhopasevinam
vipra-sapah katham abhud
 vrsninam krsna-cetasam

King Pariksit inquired: How could the brahmanas curse the Vrsnis, who were always respectful to the brahmanas, charitable, and inclined to serve senior and exalted personalities and whose minds were always fully absorbed in thought of Lord Krsna?

Brahmanas generally become angry at persons who disrespect the brahminical class, who are uncharitable and who decline to serve senior, respectable personalities. The Vrsnis, however, were not like that, and thus they are described here by King Pariksit as brahmanyanam, or sincere followers of brahminical culture. Further, even if the brahmanas became angry, why would they curse members of Krsna’s own family? Since the brahmanas were well learned, they must have known that it is offensive to oppose personal associates of the Supreme Lord. The Yadu dynasty is specifically described here as vrsninam and krsna-cetasam. In other words, they were Lord Krsna’s own men, and they were always absorbed in thinking of Krsna. Therefore, even if somehow or other the brahmanas had cursed them, how could that curse have had any effect? These are the questions of Pariksit Maharaja.

Although the Vrsnis are described in this verse as krsna-cetasam, always absorbed in thinking of Krsna, it is clearly indicated that Krsna desired that the brahmanas become angry and curse the Yadu dynasty. The Supreme Lord desired to remove His personal dynasty from the earth, and therefore uncustomary offensive behavior was exhibited by the young boys of Krsna’s own family.

It is to be understood from this incident that when a man displays envy and ridicule of devotees of Visnu, his brahmanyata, or high spiritual qualifications, along with his reverence for Sri Krsna, are all destroyed. Contempt and ridicule directed toward respectable persons and true brahmanas vanquish all good qualities. If there is a break in etiquette toward His devotees, the Supreme Lord will become ill-disposed even to His own relatives and friends and thus arrange to destroy those who oppose His devotees. If foolish persons in the guise of members of Krsna’s personal family express enmity toward Vaisnavas, such offenders cannot properly be called offspring of Lord Krsna’s dynasty. That is the supreme equality of the Personality of Godhead.