A Drop of Ink on a White Cloth

“The disciple thinks as follows: ‘I have taken shelter of the guru and been initiated by him. I have now embarked on the road to pure devotion. If my behavior is faulty, then people will not stop at criticizing only me, but will also find fault with my spiritual master, my worshipable deity, the devotional path, the entire Vaishnava Sampradaya, the previous acaryas, even religion itself. They will disparage the scriptures, the great authorities who wrote them, and everyone who follows their injunctions. In the end, they will criticize belief in God itself and all doctrines leading to a higher, transcendental goal in life. They will even condemn my father and mother and their families. As a result, I will have become blameworthy before all these people and end up in hellish existence for many births with nothing to say in my defense.  …If I fall from the standards of behavior expected of a saintly person and Vaishnava, then immediately all the generations of my family will fall into hell. Can I fall down in this way and become the shame and misfortune of my entire family?’

“Just as a drop of ink on a white cloth is clearly visible, the misbehavior of a person who has taken to the religious life stands out and attracts the criticisms of all.”

~Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja, from Art of Sadhana

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One thought on “A Drop of Ink on a White Cloth

  1. …great metaphor… I have often wondered that it is human nature that stains the sheet of faith or is faith itself the stain on the consciousness of man… and I still wonder…

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