A Sadhu's Character

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
18 December 2010


A sadhu should be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others:

তৃণাদপি সুনীচেন তরোরিব সহিষ্ণুনা ।
অমানিনা মানদেন কীর্ত্তনীয়ঃ সদা হরিঃ ॥

trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna.

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.239


Once a sadhu was sitting on the bank of the Ganges, and he saw that a scorpion was going towards the Ganges, where it was sure to die. He caught the scorpion and kept it away in a safe place. As he was doing it, the scorpion stung him. Soon it again started moving towards the Ganges, so the sadhu picked it up and kept it in a safe place again. It repeated many times, maybe 10 or 12 times, and every time the sadhu did it the scorpion stung him.

A man, seeing this, thought, "What is going on there? Is this sadhu crazy? What is he doing?!" He came to the sadhu and asked him, "O sadhu! What are you doing? Have you lost your mind? You save this insect from death, it stings you, but still, again and again, you keep saving it. What is this?!" The sadhu replied to the man, "My character is to protect those who are going in a wrong way. Why should I change my character if this scorpion cannot change its character?"

It is necessary to have such quality: somebody may do something wrong, but still we must correct them.

I also heard another story. There was a sadhu who would go every day to bathe in the Ganges after the mangal arati (morning worship). Once, when the sadhu finished his bathing, some naughty boy of that area threw cow dung at him. The sadhu had to bathe again. When he finished bathing for the second time, the boy threw some mud at him, and the sadhu had to bathe again. Time after time, the boy kept disturbing the sadhu: he threw some dogs' stool, monkeys' stool, or even some men's stool at him, and every time the sadhu went to bathe again. The boy could see that the sadhu did not say anything, he only silently went to bathe again, so finally the boy cried to him, "But why?! Why are you not becoming angry? Why are you not saying anything to me?! I have disturbed you so many times, but you only go and bathe again!"

"You did not disturb me. Actually, you did me good."


"Every day I take bath only once, but today I had to bathe ten times. Today, in one day, I have got ten times more sukriti. This is my benefit."


Can you see? This is an example of tolerance.



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