A falldown rectified
Posted June 22, 2004
Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.30)
In his purport to this verse, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada clearly discusses the possibility of falldown for devotees. The idea that, if someone falls, he or she becomes disqualified is herein denied. Srila Prabhupada clearly indicates, though, that the idea is to rectify the faults and not continue them. This verse and purport clearly seem to clear up any contention concerning the disqualification of a devotee due to a temporary falldown. Srila Prabhupada further cites the Nrsimha Purana to support this view:
"If one fully engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is sometimes found engaged in abominable activities, these activities should be considered to be like the spots that resemble the mark of a rabbit on the moon. Such spots do not become an impediment to the diffusion of moonlight. Similarly, the accidental falldown of a devotee from the path of saintly character does not make him abominable."
In my humble opinion, His Holiness Srila Satsvarupa Maharaj has more than qualified himself as a very sincere devotee of the Lord. Instead of trying to decry his wonderful service by unforgiving criticism, Srila Prabhupada points out that we must still respect and honor him as before, because he has rectified his mistake. Srila Prabhupada even says if we don't, then we ourselves become guilty of disobeying the orders of the Supreme Lord. It could not be more clear.
Srila Prabhupada has given us the GBC to help address such
matters. That they have considered the matter with love and respect and
given good counsel, and that the resulting decision was that His Holiness
should continue with some restrictions, should be enough for serious
devotees to put this matter to rest.