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How do we know if the falldown is accidental?

Vaiyasaki: On a morning walk Prabhupada discussed the api cet sudaracaro bhaj ate mam ananya-bhak verse, that even if one falls down and commits a heinous sin, he's still considered saintly if he is rightly situated in devotional service.

One devotee asked, "Srila Prabhupada, if it's an accidental fall down then Krishna considers him saintly, but if it's premeditated that's different, that's sinning in knowledge. How do we know if the fall down is accidental?" Prabhupada stopped walking and said, "If the devotee comes back it was accidental."

What I understood from this is that if someone bloops and 10, 15 or 20 years later and takes up devotional service again, then Prabhupada will consider his fall down accidental. That was Srila Prabhupada's ocean of compassion. He had so much mercy, so much compassion, that someone could fall away completely but when he came back, Prabhupada considered all those years in maya simply an accident. That really hit home.


Reference: Memories Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint - Volume 3 by Siddhanta Dasa