Wait Until I Am Dead

By Kavicandra Swami - 30.6 2022

Whenever a devotee leaves his or her body, we hear so much praise of them. Everyone becomes happy to be absorbed glorifying a devotee. It seems that we do not do enough of praising devotees while they are with us. Of course a devotee should not be hankering to be praised. St. Francis of Assisi would tell those who started to praise him, “Wait until I am dead, I could fall down at any time”. Of course that just makes him more worthy of praise.

“Offering all respect to others, but not expecting anything in return” Siksastakam 3.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu took great pleasure in praising devotees. He gave both a personal example and guidelines.

“‘One should see that because of the meeting of material nature and the living entity, the universe is acting uniformly. Thus one should neither praise nor criticize the characteristics or activities of others.’

This verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.28.1) was spoken by Lord Krsna to Uddhava.

“Of the two rules, Ramacandra Puri obeys the first by abandoning praise, but although he knows that the second is more prominent, he neglects it by criticizing others. PURPORT The above-mentioned verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam gives two injunctions. The first, called purva-vidhi, is that one should not praise, and the second, para-vidhi, is that one should not criticize. As will be apparent from the following verse, the injunction against praise is less important than the injunction against blasphemy. One should carefully observe the para-vidhi, although one may neglect the purva-vidhi. Thus the actual injunction is that one may praise but should not criticize. This is called slesokti, or a statement having two meanings. Ramacandra Puri, however, acted in just the opposite way, for he neglected the para-vidhi but strictly observed the purva-vidhi. Since he avoided following the principle of not criticizing, Ramacandra Puri broke both the rules. Antya 8.79 “‘Between the former rule and the latter rule, the latter is more important.’ PURPORT This is a verse from the nyaya literatures.

“Even where there are hundreds of good qualities, a critic does not consider them. Rather, he attempts by some trick to point out a fault in those attributes. Antya 8.81

“One should not, therefore, follow the principles of Ramacandra Puri. Nevertheless, I have to say something against him because he is making our hearts unhappy. Antya 8.82

The following occurred when Srila Rupa Goswami first came to Jaganath Puri..

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited the two important verses, He felt great pleasure; thus, as if He had five mouths, He began to praise His devotee.

The two verses referred to are those beginning with priyah so ‘yam (79) Antya 1.106 “My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana.”

PURPORT This is the verse composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami. It is included in the Padyavali (386), an anthology of verses he compiled. Antya 1.79 and tunde tandavini (99). “I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Krs-na’ have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”

PURPORT This verse is included in the Vidagdha-madhava (1.15), a seven-act play written by Srila Rupa Gosvami describing the pastimes of Sri Krsna in Vrndavana. Antya 1.99

These verses were composed by Srila Rupa Goswami. All the senior devotees became blissful to hear Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu praising Rupa Goswami..

sarvabhauma-ramanande pariksa karite sri-rupera guna dunhare lagila kahite

Just to examine Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya, the Lord began to praise the transcendental qualities of Sri Rupa Gosvami before them. Antya 1.107

Sometimes we may hesitate to glorify a devotee for fear of others not agreeing. In Kali Yuga being an expert at fault finding is considered a sign of great intelligence. Amongst symptoms of the mode of ignorance, Lord Krsna states:
“an expert in insulting others” Bg 18.20

It is the test of a devotee that he becomes happy to hear other devotees praised.

After reciting many glories of Srila Sanatana Goswami, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him;

“I offer you praise not because I think of you as being outside an intimate relationship with Me but because you are actually so qualified that one is forced to praise your qualities. Antya 4.170

The following describes the relationship between Lord Nityananda and Srila Advaita Acarya.

Thus They both went on talking and praising one another, although Their praise appeared negative, for it appeared as if They exchanged ill names.

>>> >>> Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 12.196

And of course we have the example of Srila Prabhupada, who took great pride in praising his devotees.

The first offense against the holy name is to blaspheme devotees. The best defense is to be absorbed in praising devotees.

The following conversation between Haridasa Thakura and Sanatana Goswami is very powerful.

“My dear Sanatana,” Haridasa Thakura said, embracing him, “no one can find the limits of your good fortune. Antya 4.92

Sanatana denied his own value and replied:

Sanatana Gosvami replied, “O Haridasa Thakura, who is equal to you? You are one of the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore you are the most fortunate.

“The mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for which He has descended as an incarnation, is to spread the importance of chanting the holy name of the Lord. Now instead of personally doing so, He is spreading it through you. “My dear sir, you are chanting the holy name 300,000 times daily and informing everyone of the importance of such chanting. “Some behave very well but do not preach the cult of Krsna consciousness, whereas others preach but do not behave properly. “You simultaneously perform both duties in relation to the holy name by your personal behavior and by your preaching. Therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, for you are the most advanced devotee in the world.”

Sanatana Gosvami clearly defines herein the bona fide spiritual master of the world. The qualifications expressed in this connection are that one must act according to the scriptural injunctions and at the same time preach. One who does so is a bona fide spiritual master. Haridasa Thakura was the ideal spiritual master because he regularly chanted on his beads a prescribed number of times. Indeed, he was chanting the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times a day. Similarly, the members of the Krsna consciousness movement chant a minimum of sixteen rounds a day, which can be done without difficulty, and at the same time they must preach the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu according to the gospel of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. One who does so is quite fit to become a spiritual master for the entire world. In this way the two of them passed their time discussing subjects concerning Krsna. Thus they enjoyed life together. Antya 4.100-104

Neither was anxious to receive praise, but hearing themselves praised inspired them to praise others.

I feel strongly that if we can work on developing a culture of appreciating and praising the devotional service of others we can dissolve and avoid many of the so called problems that we encounter.