Power of Association - Part 2

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

We have been meditating on the beautiful story of Narada muni and Mrgari the hunter from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. Yesterday we saw the beautiful quality of purity of Narada muni. Today we will continue to meditate on the story further.

The hunter whose nature is speaking bad language and harsh behavior, initially wanted to chastise Narada muni for interfering in his hunting by approaching his path due to which the remaining animals fled away. But upon seeing the purity, calm and peacefulness in Narada muni, the hunter's natural mode of tamo guna subsided and he spoke gently to Narada muni, "O goswami! O great saintly person! Why have you left the general path through the forest to come to me? Simply by seeing you, all the animals I was hunting have now fled." This is the impact of coming in touch with a pure vaishnava devotee of the Lord.

2. A Pure Vaishnava is a Mindful Preacher: To the hunter's question, Narada muni responded that he wanted to settle a doubt in his mind. He gently asked the hunter, "Do all the half-killed animals belong to you?" To this the hunter answered in the affirmative. 

Then Narada muni asked him, "Why did you not kill the animals completely? Why did you half-kill them by piercing their bodies with arrows?"  This is a very interesting question put forth by Narada muni. He could have easily preached to the hunter straight away with tattva and jnana but that would not have entered the hunter's heart. For effective preaching, it is very important for a preacher to understand the mindset of the recipient. Our spiritual master would say, "A preacher should reach the heart of the audience. Otherwise their preaching will not be successful."

When Narada muni asked this question, Mrgari responded, "My father taught me to kill them in that way." And then he makes a dreaded statement, "When I see half-killed animals suffer, I feel great pleasure." What kind of a consciousness the hunter must be in when he wants to enjoy seeing the painful suffering of the animals? How can one change the heart of a person in such a low consciousness? Narada muni, who can enter the hearts of all, understood the exact state of mind of the hunter and firstly attempts to reduce the quantum of his sins. Once the amount of sins gets reduced, then the hunter will be able to listen to his message. 

A very interesting incident about our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in Dwarka was narrated by H G Vaishnava seva Prabhu recently. 

When Maharaj was in Dwarka, everyone in the dham had great respect for him due to his purity. They could see that he is a saintly vaishnava and very pure at heart. Maharaj was also very fearless and straight forward that if he sees someone misbehaving, he would thrash them straight away. So people with dubious nature or work were afraid of coming in front of him. One brahmin was there who had a shop in the market and was very attracted to Maharaj. Maharaj always being friendly in nature, inquired about the brahmin's family, job etc. When the brahmin said that he runs a shop, Maharaj insisted that he would like to come and see his shop.

The brahmin became anxious because he was running a pan shop. He knows Maharaj would slap anyone chewing pan, so he knew he would be finished if he tells about his real business. But on Maharaj repeated insistance, with lot of shyness he hesitantly said, "Maharaj, I am running a pan shop". To his surprise Maharaj appreciated him,"Oh, Pan shop!? Very nice. Please do nice business." Devotees sitting around Maharaj were shocked! Maharaj then told the brahmin softly,"It is ok you are running the pan shop because you need to maintain your family. But do one thing. You don't take pan. It is bad habit." The brahmin became very happy and relieved at Maharaj's encouraging statement. He then continued to meet Maharaj regularly and attend his classes. Now after a few years, the same brahmin has closed his pan shop and opened a saree shop!. 

If Maharaj had treated the brahmin strictly, he would have stopped coming to the temple instead of closing the pan shop. This is how pure vaishnavas show us the way how to reach the heart of the living entities with our mindful preaching.

Krishna willing, we shall meditate further on the lessons from the story of Mrgari.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das