I cannot leave that story of Pundarika Vidyanidhi as I described it yesterday – the main lesson to learn from it is actually quite the opposite of what I was talking about.
Yes, it’s bad to seek fault in devotees but if we consider that story carefully it might actually be the best thing that ever happens to us.
First of all, Pundarika Vidyanidhi was on the seventh heaven when Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama slapped him on his face in his dream. Yesterday I made it appear as if it was a heavy punishment. Well, it appeared so, with his cheeks red and swollen, and other people made fun of his appearance,too, but he himself was having the best time of his life and both Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami and Vrindavana Das Thakura specifically stressed his happiness.
If he was seeking faults in some regular people he might have had a mild case of mind pollution (if it is at all possible for devotees of his caliber) but because he directed his displeasure at a devotee the Lord Himself appeared in his dream to dole out the “punishment”.
You do something and the Lord appears before you – how’s that a bad thing?
Okay, slapping on the face is probably not the most convincing case of Lord’s mercy but that’s not the only such case in Pundarika Vidyahidhi’s life.
This particular story begins with Pundarika Vidyanidhi giving another initiation to Gadadhara Pandit, and how did Gadadhara Pandit got his first initiation? By having offensive thoughts towards Pundarika Vidyanidhi, of course!
There are so many people in this world who can’t find a guru. Maybe they are going about it the wrong way – they have to offend a vaishnava, the Lord would make them suffer for a while and then make that vaishnava their guru. Problem solved.
There are other cases as well. One “unfortunate” crocodile happened to bite a foot of a vaishnava once and got liberation. I’m talking about the story of Gajendra, of course. Technically, though, the crocodile became a gandharva, but Srila Prabhupada says in the purport that he also became an associate of the Lord in the spiritual world.
Gajendra, an elephant, didn’t look like a vaishnava and so the crocodile got really really lucky. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we have to go around biting other people’s feet, hoping to find a vaishnava, or, if we found a vaishnava we should try to bite him, but if we consider the background of the characters in that story it might appear as a legitimate option.
Gajendra was a king in his previous life and he got cursed by Agastya Muni. The result of the curse was liberation personally granted by Lord Vishnu Himself. Not bad, huh?
The crocodile also wasn’t a generic reptile, he, too, got cursed by a sage to become a crocodile, “accidentally” bite Gajendra, and got liberation.
Or how about Nalakuvara and Manigriva, two demigods who weren’t afraid to appear drunk and naked in the presence of Narada Muni, got cursed, and as a result got a chance to participate in Krishna’s pastimes?
Who do I have to offend to get some mercy around here? That seems to work all the time.
It also should make us feel twice about the duality of this world – good or bad, if something is connected to the Lord or His devotees – it’s all beneficial, there’s no discrimination, it shouldn’t worry us too much.