Source: http://students.ou.edu/Y/Jacob.R.Yandell-1/coverpage2.html

Summary: In Meditation #79 (quoted below, for those who did not previously receive the Reading Assignment), Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur discusses the error of bearing a fault-finding mentality and making attempts to see ourselves as reformers of others. See also Bhagavad Gita 5.14. Many attempts have been made to help us become free from this pernicious tendency, which easily inflates into the 1st offense against the Holy Name, to vilify or to criticize vaisnavas. The notion that fault-finding is a serious albatross around our necks is found abundantly within the scriptures. Even worldly persons have assessed the dangers of fault-finding. In the words of Aldos Huxley- "No man can concentrate his attention on evil, or even the idea of evil, and remain unaffected.

Mind and False ego are causes of suffering

Summary: Suffering resulting from ill treatment from others who are envious or ill-wishers of various categories is a common experience for all of us who live in the material world. In the Uddhava Gita section of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Uddhava asks Lord Krishna to identify what is the root cause of suffering in the material world. Chapter 23 is the Lord's response to Uddhava's question; Krishna narrates the story of one brahmana from Avanti who suffers greatly from the ill deeds of impious men, and the lessons he learns from the experience. Fortunately, the brahmana sees beyond the material causes which are inflicting punishment upon him, and instead sees his own karma as well as his mind & false ego as the root cause of his suffering.

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November 19, 2006

Below you will find an interesting exchange with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, when questioned about the effects of vaisnava association upon non-devotees, and in general on the apparent relationship between "Devotees and Karma". Very interesting!

Reading Assignment a) by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

Question: When a devotee is born in a family, does that family benefit from his or her birth?

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August 5, 2008

Reading assignment

a) THE DEATH OF GAUTAMI'S SON OR "WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME?" (Adapted from Mahabharata, Anushasana-parva, Chapter One; Taken from Bindu Magazine)

[Here, Bhishma responds to a question from Yudhisthir Maharaja.]

Since you are dependent on God, destiny, and time, why do you consider yourself to be the cause of your actions? There is an ancient story in this connection about a conversation between Mrityu (personified death), Kala (personified time), the sagacious lady Gautami, a hunter, and a snake.