“Do you want to know God? Then learn to understand the weaknesses and imperfections of [others]. But how can you understand the weaknesses of others unless you understand your own? And how can you see the meaning of your own limitations until you have received mercy from God, by which you know yourself and Him? It is not sufficient to forgive others: we must forgive them with humility and compassion. If we forgive them without humility, our forgiveness is a mockery: it presupposes that we are better than they.”

Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1955: 163.

“A sadhu, a devotee, is never angry. Actually the real feature of devotees who undergo tapasya, austerity, is forgiveness. Although a Vaisnava has sufficient power in tapasya, he does not become angry when put into difficulty. If one undergoes tapasya but does not become a Vaisnava, however, one does not develop good qualities. For example, Hiranyakasipu and Ravana also performed great austerities, but they did so to demonstrate their demoniac tendencies.

“Vaisnavas must meet many opponents while preaching the glories of the Lord, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends that they not become angry while preaching. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given this formula: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna/ amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. “One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.”

“Those engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord should be humbler than grass and more tolerant than a tree; then they can preach the glories of the Lord without difficulty.”

SB 6.4.5

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