Qualities of a Saintly Person

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.11.16-17 - Qualities of a Saintly Person (download mp3)
by Radhapati Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.11.16
na stuvita na nindeta
 kurvatah sadhv asadhu va
vadato guna-dosabhyam
 varjitah sama-drn munih

A saintly sage sees with equal vision and therefore is not affected by that which is materially good or bad. Indeed, although he observes others performing good and bad work and speaking properly and improperly, the sage does not praise or criticize anyone.

SB 11.11.17
na kuryan na vadet kiñcin
 na dhyayet sadhv asadhu va
atmaramo ’naya vrttya
 vicarej jada-van munih

For the purpose of maintaining his body, a liberated sage should not act, speak or contemplate in terms of material good or bad. Rather, he should be detached in all material circumstances, and taking pleasure in self-realization, he should wander about engaged in this liberated lifestyle, appearing like a retarded person to outsiders.

According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, this verse describes a type of discipline recommended for the jñana-yogis, who by intelligence try to understand that they are not their material bodies. One who is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, however, accepts and rejects material things in terms of their usefulness in the loving service of Lord Krsna. One who is trying to preach Krsna consciousness should be seen as very intelligent and not jada-vat, or stunted, as described here. Although a devotee of the Lord does not act, speak or contemplate for his personal sense gratification, he remains very busy working, speaking and meditating in the devotional service of the Lord. The devotee makes elaborate plans to engage all the fallen souls in Lord Krsna’s service so they can be purified and go back home, back to Godhead. Merely rejecting material things is not perfect consciousness. One must see everything as the property of the Lord and meant for the Lord’s pleasure. One busily engaged in spreading the Krsna consciousness movement has no time to make material distinctions and thus automatically comes to the liberated platform.

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