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Question: I am part of the Iskcon Youth Forum and following devotional service. But sometimes, there is so much difficulty in the way devotees behave that I develop bad thoughts for them. And therefore I am not able to concentrate on my japa. I don’t want to wake up for mangala arati. And many a time, I feel like leaving the place and going away. What should I do under the circumstances so that my devotional life is taken care of and I advance?

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Jayapataka Swami: Apparently you are facing a lot of problems in the Chaatra ashram, the student ashram. Srila Prabhupada said that in the hospital, you expect to find sick people. So, those who are practicing devotional service, some are doctors and some are sick, and they are getting cured. So, you should be tolerant with the people who are treating you a bit rough, and it is a test by maya. She may test you by flattery or by criticism, by different means. And, how we pass the tests, that produces the result. So I don’t know exactly what problems you are facing in Bangladesh, which Chaatra Nivas you stay in? Sometime you can write a personal letter to me and I or Bhakti Purushottam Swami, who deals mainly with the students, so we can try to eliminate such bad dealings. That is why Lord Caitanya said that in order to chant constantly, we need to offer respect to others and don’t expect any good dealings for ourselves. Be more tolerant than a tree and more humble than a blade of grass. So this is the third verse of the Siksastakam. So maybe you are being tested, but I am sure you will pass the test. If you take it in that way. We just read how Lord Caitanya and His associates were chanting blissfully in the garden of Srivas, and the envious, atheistic people, they gathered outside, pounded on the door and said many critical things.  So there will always be some unexpected obstacles. But, I don’t think, we don’t see anywhere Lord Caitanya or His associates being influenced by the atheists, they stopped chanting japa or they stopped Harinam sankirtan! I am sure you will not stop, regardless of the misbehavior of certain individuals.