Envy – The root of Aparadha

The Srimad Bhagavatham in its first Canto, first  Chapter, second verse says dharma projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāā satāṁ” , which means that the Bhagavatha Dharma is for one who is free of cheating propensity and for one who is “nirmatsara” that is one who is completely devoid of envy. If this vice occupies the heart there is no question of purity in Bhakti. Srila Veda Vyasa could have said “nirlobham” or “nirmoham” (One who is free from greed or illusion); but right in the beginning Vyasa has rejected only envy. All other vices can be transformed by applying them to the service of the Lord; yet it is crystal clear that envy cannot be deployed into the service of the Lord. One has to be free from this vice at once if one remotely intends to serve the Lord in true spirit.

EnvyA devotee may be ornamented with great qualities of a Vaishnava but if envy burdens his soul, then that devotee is indeed unfortunate. One who is blinded by envy automatically develops cheating propensities by which one stealthily tries to dominate even the Guru and the Lord. However the reality of things may never dawn upon such an individual unless one attains a submissive attitude realizing his folly. A devotee who is in the grip of envy tries to have independent means of so-called service to the Lord and Guru; but will fail to realize that the Lord and Guru at beyond the ken of materialistic contamination. Envy is so subtle that it clouds preliminary intelligence. It breeds hatred in the heart and promotes illusion on its own. It develops illusion in such a way that the devotee under its grip will find all that is unsuitable for Bhakti as suitable and vice-versa. Such an illusion which is caused by envy will hide the truth and bewilder the devotee completely. One cannot identify envy in one’s own heart in any way. This is the greatest debacle that envy can cause.  One who is bewildered by envy will become susceptible to cause Vaishnava Aparadha frequently. The illusion caused by envy may also induce a feeling of hurt in the heart of one who is envious even when there is no cause of hurt. Such is the poisonous weed of envy.  

There was a great devotee Brahmin of Lord Gauranga. However the Brahmin did not have respect for Sri Nityananda Prabhu because of Lord Nityananda’s avadhoota nature (one who apparently acts dubiously because of one’s transcending material nature beyond body consciousness). The Brahmin was a great devotee of Lord Gauranga but Lord Gauranga never showed affection towards the Brahmin. Pained at the Lord’s demeanour towards him, the Brahmin submissively enquired from the Lord about His detachment from the Brahmin. Lord Gauranga said that anyone who was envious of Nitai is not dear to the Lord. The Lord said “Nitai is in me and I am in Nitai hence we are non-different”. The Lord said that even if Nitai had an extra-marital affair with an outcaste or even ate beef, He is most dear to the Lord. This shook the Brahmin and without any further questioning begged forgiveness from Nitai Chandra and thus was accepted by Lord Gauranga.

A devotee who has envious tendencies should blindly accept the Sadhguru’s instructions and strive to serve him in a way that is pleasing to Sadhguru. One who obeys the Sadhguru and tries to develop attachment to Sadhguru may only succeed in getting freed from the malicious feelings that contaminates the heart. It is only when one who is attacked by the six vices associates with Sadhguru all the time unabated that one receives true “kripa”. One who is affected by envy should surrender one’s emotions and intentions at feet of the Sadhguru and blindly take specific instructions from him. Use of one’s intelligence in service is debilitating and one may cause harm to one’s own chances of attaining the Prayojana. Thus one needs to sacrifice one’s entire’s being to the Sadhguru “forcefully” if one truly intends to purify oneself. Perfect obedience to Sadhguru is the only solution to Envy!

In connection with envy Srila Gurudeva says that when we attain our Prayojana (The manjari form and the mood); the manjaris will be happy to see the other manjaris serving the Divine couple. This will double a manjari servant’s mood looking at her “sakhi” (dear-most friend) serving the divine couple. Instead of envy there will be jubilation and ecstasy in the hearts of all the on-looking manjaris. There is revelling and celebration when there is service and no question of any malice. Srila Gurudeva says that only beings with such an attitude are qualified to enter the transcendental domain of Goloka. This mundane platform is a great playground to practice these moods of the hand-maids of Sriji. One who fails to understand this philosophy is indeed unfortunate.

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