“If anyone is beating me like the Mohammedans did to Haridāsa Ṭhākura in twenty-two market-places, I should remember how he never became angry.” He said to them, “You can cut me into lākhas and lākhas of pieces, but I will never, never, never give up harināma. I will always do harināma no matter what.” Although they were beating him in so many markets and abusing him so much, still he never became angry. Why? He thought, “I have done something for which I should be punished, so now I am receiving what I deserve. I have done so many wrong things in my past lives and now I have to taste all these reactions. Thus, they are beating and insulting me. All this is due to my past activities, so I should tolerate. Whether I am laughing or weeping, I will have to tolerate.” So he became very calm and quiet.
Devotees especially should think, “If I have some sukṛti, good impressions from past births, it has come from harināma. If I have chanted kṛṣṇa-nāma, not aware of his auspiciousness, still so much benefit comes.” Doing harināma even in ignorance will not be fruitless. If someone chants “Hare Kṛṣṇa” for his father, mother and sons rather than for Kṛṣṇa, still he will get so much good result because kṛṣṇa-nāma is so powerful.
I know that if people are insulting and beating me here and there, I must have done something wrong in my past lives. Take the tridaṇḍi-bhikṣu in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You remember the tridaṇḍi-sannyāsī? he had been a family man, a brāhmaṇa, and so rich. He never cared for his wife, children, villagers, or neighbours — he never cared for anyone. He never paid any tax to the government and he never gave any charity. If anyone came for a donation, he would take a lāṭhī, stick, and run after that person. He would never give anything. One time some government officials came and took all of his belongings. Then that night more people came and set his home on fire, and everything was burned. His sons and wife declared, “You should leave our home.” and thus he became helpless, completely alone.
By some good fortune he met a Vaiṣṇava. Becoming very polite and gentle, he fell flat at the lotus feet of that Vaiṣṇava, “Save me, save me from all these calamities. I’m so worried — so many sufferings and difficulties have come to me. My boys, my wife, all my relatives, villagers and neighbours have sent me out of my house and village. I am now penniless with nothing to eat and no possessions at all.” The Vaiṣṇava told him, “Do not be worried. I am giving you the kṛṣṇa-mantra. By this you will have everything you like. You can even get salvation, and after salvation you can serve Kṛṣṇa in Goloka Vṛndāvana or in Vaikuṇṭha, as you like.” He became happy and the Vaiṣṇava gave the renounced order to that penniless brāhmaṇa. He told him to go and beg in his own village from his neighbours.
The Vaiṣṇava gave him some pots and ordered, “Go there at once.” When he reached his village, his wife and children, his neighbours and all the villagers became furious and began to abuse him. “You are an imposter, pretender, hypocrite! You are an offender!” Saying all these things, they began to beat him. They took his pot and put stool in it instead of rotī. They snatched his daṇḍa and beat him with it. Then they dragged him away. He reported this to Gurudeva who replied, “Oh yes, very good! You should again go to that place. Did you also abuse them and try to beat them?” “No, Gurudeva.” “Again go and tolerate.” He returned and again they did the same, but he was quite silent. He was thinking:
tat te ‘nukampāṁsu-samīkṣamāno
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
He was remembering this śloka and thinking, “Gurudeva has kindly given me this tridaṇḍi-veśa to serve Mukunda, so as long as I have this body, I will have to tolerate all difficulties. Kṛṣṇa is so merciful that he has given me a chance to rectify myself.” He went back to his village again and again. Then all the villagers observed a change in him. “He is so sincere now. He is not speaking a word of protest despite our abuse.” Gradually they developed so much honour for him. Gurudeva told him, “Now you are able to serve Kṛṣṇa, so come on.”
So we should try to give up all our anger and other bad qualities in our characters. If we can observe this, certainly Kṛṣṇa will be very glad.
―Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja