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devotee troubling me... please help!

Hare krishna, i'm in the iskcon movement. Though i am not a full time devotee, i regularly visit the temple. i recently noticed that one full time devotee in the temple is very partial towards me and i also observed that he is not behaving and speaking properly to the other devotees also properly. for example he chastizes us unwantedly. I was doing some service one day. he came and saw it and mentioned that even a low class person can do the service better than me. it was hurting. He could have told it in a polite way that the work is not upto the standard but he did not do so. Some times he holds up my friends until late in the night in the name of a meeting. how will we be able to get up for mangal arthi if he does this? we are also not in a position to question him. This is not the first occasion. even my other devotee friends of my same group have the same problem with him. he is supposed to be my senior devotee. if we have any problems we are supposed to report it to him but i dont feel like discussing my problem with him. he never smiles naturally and it is always artificial and diplomatic when he does so. he does not even properly attend all the parts of the morning sadhana program properly. the real problem here is it is disturbing my mind very much and i am always scolding that devotee within my mind and as a result of which my consciousness is getting affected. what should i do now? please dont advise me to go and again patch up with him and talk to him about how he is behaving. that is impossible as i will get into more trouble. i want prabhupad's movement to flourish and all my other devotee friends in my group to be happy but he is certainly not helping. How can i remain unaffected and practice kc peacefully?

Example Of Queen Kunti

Dear devotee, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I can only help you by mentioning what I learnt from Srila Prabhupada's book "Teachings of Queen Kunti." You may have read the same book also. Actually Queen Kunti addresses Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna in such a way that she asks The Lord to bring upon her more and more calamities so that Krishna will be at her side more and more. I am not sure if Queen Kunti asks Krishna to send down these calamities upon her or in fact she states that she will invite more calamities to be fall her so that Krishna will then come to her rescue and play his role as he did with Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra.

In addition I would like to state that a devotee's life should not be regarded as a bed of roses. If you read of the difficulties that many great Acaryas faced you will appreciate that devotional service takes patience, endurance and application. Even Srila Prabhupada himself while traveling to America on the Jaladutta came close to dying but still he persevered and against all odds is now our Jagat-Guru of the vibrant ISKCON which embraces the whole planet. Not only Srila Prabhupada but numerous highly evolved souls went through great material disturbances in their lives.

So please don't give up your devotional service and Krishna will guide you in your heart. Also take care to view the maltreatment from the senior devotee in the light of all the factors I have discussed above, and, devotional service is the greatest test for the spirit soul. Therefore don't give up.

Thank you.

What helps you become Krishna

What helps you become Krishna Concious should be accepted and what is not helpful should be rejected. It sounds from your post that you are very frustrated with this person. If he is really affecting your conciousness as you mentioned, I would try to find some better devotees to associate with.

A spiritual master chastises his disciples but that is for their own benefit not to take out his personal frustrations. Ofcourse, if he is a nice devotee otherwise and going through some TEMPORARY struggle then you should tolerate but if he is always like that (like you mentioned artificial smile) then I would have tried to find some better devotees. There are so many nice devotees out there who will steal your heart with their politeness.

Best of Luck!

Jai Nrshima!

See this as mercy!

Hare Krsna Prabhu,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I totally understand how you feel.

For a practical solution, I agree with Anuj Prabhu - perhaps you can speak to another senior devotee to sort this out so that he/she could speak to this devotee and help ease the situation a bit.

Perhaps the devotee is going through a kind of internal struggle. Perhaps he's facing some difficulty and is taking it out on you and your friends unintentionally. Maybe he doesn't mean to be rude but just comes across like that because of some kind of anxiety or struggle.

If you see this as an opportunity to grow in your spirituality, then by dealing with this internally, this is a great way to be very Krsna conscious! See, my Guru Maharaj likes to say, "Devotees are in the shower. They are dirty but they're becoming clean." I feel this is a really nice way to think about others who may hurt us. By being aware that this devotee is battling with his conditioning, that perhaps he's actually trying his best to tolerate his anger or rudeness, makes it easier to feel sympathetic. Compassion is really the key to deal with this. I understand it'll be very difficult, especially to tell your mind (which currently resorts to scolding him) to think positively about him. But we must try. Prabhupada always said that we must practice becoming pure devotees. And guess what? Krsna's already giving you that opportunity!

I can understand that it's very difficult to deal with this, but here's your time to practice being humble and tolerant. As humble as a blade of grass and as tolerant as a tree - as is said in verse three of the Siksastakam - trinad api sunicena...

Your mind wants to criticise him. See your mind as a separate entity from you. The mind is a rascal. When it wants to criticise the devotee, talk to your mind, try to calm him down and reason with him that the devotee must have his reasons for being like that - be it conditioning, be it personal struggle - either way, the devotee is still trying. He's trying to serve Krsna, which is the best thing he could do. Appreciation and glorification can help diminish the demon who likes to scold, and it can help us practice forgiveness instead.

But, having said that, being humble doesn't mean you can let people walk all over you. Humility and self-respect go hand in hand. That is why it's important you speak to someone senior and report this problem.

Until then, you can try your best to be as Krsna conscious as possible. If you actually think about it, by practising being calm, patient, tolerant, humble, and forgiving, you can get closer to Krsna. When you chant japa, you can pray to Krsna to help you develop these qualities. If you try to see everything as mercy, it will make a huge difference in how you deal with this. If you can see that because of this devotee, you can have a more intimate relationship with Krsna - crying out to Him to help you - you'll be able to appreciate the devotee more, seeing him a lot more positively than you would otherwise. Krsna is giving you a chance to get closer to Him through this devotee. Is this devotee actually making your life difficult or is he a gift personally sent to you by Krsna? A rare opportunity you have in your path to get closer to Krsna. Make the most of this!

I think another thing that's helpful is to know that Krsna is always watching you to see how you will respond. Krsna is seated in your heart - sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto - and He is observing you. When you have to face this devotee, always know that Krsna is seeing how you will respond, how you will react. When the devotee treats you harshly, will you react angrily? Will you try to tolerate? Will you try to forgive? Krsna will constantly observe this about you and see what you do. Prabhupada likened the relationship of the Supersoul and the soul as two birds sitting in the same cage. The soul (us) is undertaking many tasks, many activities, and the Supersoul is simply observing. (So see this as Paramatma observing how you deal with this devotee.) Even though these two birds are friends, one is still the master and the other is still the servant. When the servant surrenders to the master, the master then helps him, just as Arjuna surrendered to Krsna and Krsna uplifted Arjuna from his weakness of heart and illusion. So this is your time as the servant bird to surrender to the master bird (Supersoul).

Even if you don't succeed in tolerating or being humble, simply making the effort to control yourself and to feel compassion for the devotee - seeing his conditioning or problems speaking harshly, not the devotee himself, and thus trying to forgive him - Krsna will be very pleased. This is your chance to impress Krsna, to please Him. Do your best, Prabhu!

I really hope this helps you. Please stay strong. Krsna will certainly see your efforts and help you!

Your servant and well-wisher,

I had similar experience in

I had similar experience in the past. Most devotees are nice and polite but we do occasionally run into impolite people occasionally sadly. As you said, he is disturbing your mind so much , best is to stay away from him.

You can also write a letter explaining all facts and details to someone further senior . You can write to the GBC in-charge of your temple. I am positive that if you argue strongly in your letter showing all facts and evidence, then GBC will pay heed to your letter. Best of Luck!

Jai Gauranga!