By H.H. Bhakti Tirtha Swami
We stress four guidelines we want to live by. We write them on signs and stick them on walls. Everybody sees them and thinks of them throughout the day.
First: Whenever there is a conflict, we ask devotees to first look at their own fault and think, “What can I do to improve? What did I do that was improper? What did I do that was not understood?” We want to examine first the sphere of our own fault.
Second: We ask devotees to think of the person they have the greatest affection or love for, and try to have that same mentality towards everyone. Extending the feeling in this way will make the relationships very strong with love.
Third: We ask devotees to look at whomever they associate with in the spirit that the success or failure of their own devotional life depends on how they treat that person. Every interaction should be of a certain quality.
Fourth: The people we live with will most likely be the people we will leave our body with. The consciousness at the time of death is very important for a Vaisnava. That’s why we take very seriously how we associate with the devotees in this project, in this community, where we are probably going to leave our body. We know that we have the responsibility for one another to help create the right atmosphere for the time of death.
(Excerpt from the book ‘The Nectar of Congregational Preaching’ by ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry)
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