Talking to Deaf devotees of the Hare Krishna movement was an enriching experience.
They looked so blissful; the promises of the Hare Krishna process were true in their lives. It was as if the spiritual world had recreated here in this material world. I was wondering if I was being insensitive in calling them deaf but they laughed it off saying that’s what they are and there’s no need to speak euphemisms like ‘hearing challenged’. And they also expressed they wouldn't want to trade places with anyone or anything else in this world.
As we spent over three hours sharing realizations through a translator of sign language, I was enriched by the experience of being with them. I quickly figured out the secret of their fulfilment in Krishna consciousness. It was their one pointed spiritual practise that was free from fault finding and gossip.
Many seniors on the spiritual path fumble and get cynical as they get older. The reason for this: exposure to criticism and gossip. While spiritual practises nourish one, frivolous, and negative talk sucks our enthusiasm. It’s like extinguishing the fire of spirituality with the water of materialism.
It’s really speaking foolish, if not sheer madness, that while we spend many hours chanting God’s names and performing various spiritual rituals, a few minutes of unnecessary criticism spoils the show; mundane gossip of other sincere practitioners takes away all the merit that we might have earned from our spiritual practises.
There are subtle laws that work when we harbour ill feelings towards others. When we appreciate others, we contribute to overall goodness in the universe. And when we criticize we simply add to the muck. If you live in a gutter filled with sewage, what do you think you’d smell of? If we carry malice in our hearts, we’d be unattractive to others; they wouldn’t want to be friends with us. Seeing them avoid us, we’d get more vicious, imagining that our beliefs about them are true. Thus negativity simply feeds on itself; the vicious loop of criticism and less friends makes us nastier. Eventually we spread hatred and negativity beyond ourselves and fall down from goodness and grace.
A mature spiritual practitioner accepts responsibility for what happens in his or her life. Instead of playing the blame game, he seeks to observe within, learn lessons from his mistakes, and move on gratefully in life. Harbouring no ill feelings towards anyone, he becomes an instrument of divinity, and spreads happiness around.
These deaf devotees of Lord Krishna are lucky. They simply love Krishna and they just can’t hear the mundane criticism that this world offers. Therefore they are attractive.