Practicing Tolerance by Sacinandana Swami
This famous verse form the Siksastaka (3) describes how one should chant to awaken one’s love for Krsna:
trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
Srila Bhaktivinoda thakura comments:
“Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree, he tolerates everything in two ways. When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. The tree delivers its fruits, flowers, and whatever it possesses to anyone and everyone. It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still gives shelter to others. Although a Vaisnava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Krsna.”
(Bhajana-rahasya, p. 41)
There is a secret in the practice of humility: you can become humble if you practice tolerance. The example of tolerance Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives is that of a tree. When someone hurts a tree it doesn’t stop giving its shade and fruits. And when the tree has an unfulfilled need, like no water, it doesn’t protest, it simply tolerates.
If you tolerate the mistakes of others and the difficulties coming from the environment, you will start feeling humble. Humility is the one quality Krsna wants to see before showering the nama-krpa (mercy).
You can apply the following three steps in order to practice tolerance:
1) When something happens that upsets you don’t give in to your automatic reaction, stop!
2) T hen take on a spiritual perspective: whatever happens is arranged by the divine couple, there is a reason behind everything. Ask yourself what you need to learn in this situation.
3) C hoose a proper reaction based in the spiritual perspective.