Power of Association - Part 3

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

We will continue to meditate on the story of Mrgari and Narada muni further in today's offering.

We saw how Narada muni is not only a pure vaishnava but also a mindful preacher, who can enter the hearts of all and bring a change in their heart.

3. Humility - The Most Attractive Ornament of a Vaishnava: When the hunter told Narada muni that "When I see half-killed animals suffer, I feel great pleasure.", anyone else would be frightened to even stand there, because who knows, they can be his next target! But Narada muni was completely calmness personified. He saw Mrgari as a soul and told him humbly, "I have one thing to beg of you."

The hunter thought that Narada muni being a saint would need some deer skin or tiger skin and told him, "I can give any animal's skin you want."

Again Narada muni said, "I do not want any of the skins. I am asking only one thing from you in charity. I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead.’"

Actually this is a very interesting point to meditate upon. Outwardly seeing, the animals have no relationship with Narada muni. They are not his property. Nor is he going to gain anything from them by saving them. And he is only helping the hunter to stop his sinful activities which the hunter himself is not bothered about. But still why he has to beg the hunter humbly? That is the mood of a pure vaishnava. He is humble in all situations not just in the one's that impacts him directly. He is humble with others even if he is doing it for the other's benefit. The general tendency is that when we beg, even the one who is not inclined to give, will give it eventually. That's why even while distributing books, holy names or prasadam, devotees humbly beg the public to accept it. The onlookers may neglect us initially, but our job is to humbly beg others and the humility will attract even the one who is not interested. 

This process of begging is taught to us by the Supreme Lord Himself. When the Lord came as Vamanadev to beg for charity from Bali Maharaj, Bali Maharaj was only a temporary proprietor of the world that is permanently owned by the Lord. The Lord could have just taken it away from him by force. But He did not do so. He taught us the greatest lesson in humility by His transcendental pastime. Srila Prabhupada writes beautifully in the translation of the verse SB 2.7.17, "He (Vamanadev) asked simply because without begging, no authority can take one's rightful possession." Vamanadev instructed us that even to get back one's rightful possession one has to beg. Then what to speak of someone else's possession?

Hence Narada muni appealed to the saner conscience of the hunter through his humility and compassion. By stoking the spark of that higher conscience Narada muni gradually ignited the fire of devotion in the heart of the hunter.

It is a very important lesson for us to learn from Narada muni because many times we do Krishna conscious services, surround ourselves with well-wishers, friends, appreciators and glorifiers, it naturally develops a feel-good factor about ourselves. This can build subtle arrogance in us and when someone is not able to fulfill their commitment or make visible contribution to the service, we can end up behaving harshly towards them. Just like the hunter felt great pleasure seeing the half-killed animals writhing in pain, we also take pleasure by speaking harsh words piercing the hearts of others and enjoying their pain. This is because we develop this conviction that I am the owner of this so and so service, program, group or whatever. Then we lose the humility completely. In order to avoid this pitfall, we should follow in the footsteps of Vamanadev and Narada muni, develop a humble disposition and instigate the humility in others with our own humility.

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

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