Power of Association - Part 4

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. By exhibiting his genuine humility, Narada muni was able to open the heart of the hunter and pay head to his words. 

4. Narada Muni - The Open-minded and Far-sighted Saint: Narada muni exhibited his humility by begging for the life of innocent animals as charity from the hunter. Normally one would beg for their own life or of their dear ones when they are endangered by death, but Narada muni, being the best of saints, begged for the life of those animals suffering in pain. Seeing Narada muni's uncommon emotional connect with unrelated jivas, the hunter opened his heart to the instructions of Narada muni.

It is a very important lesson to learn from Narada muni. As a preacher we cannot succeed in conveying the message without opening the heart of the listener. As our spiritual master would often say, "Our mind is like a parachute. It works only when it is open", we can successfully pierce the transcendental knowledge into the listener's heart only when their heart is open to hearing the message. But this saying is applicable more so to the preacher. The preacher also should have an open mind about the listener, as in, he should never frame an idea about the listener, their modes, their capacity etc. Many times we develop a pre-meditated idea about others by hearing about them, by looking at their externals, by analysing their past etc. But these are stumbling blocks in our service of sharing Krishna's message to others. We should convince our mind that every jiva is pure by nature and they are only controlled by the modes. 

When Narada muni requested the hunter, "I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead.", the hunter was surprised. Even though he was enjoying the suffering of other animals, he knew that saintly people like Narada muni do not approve harming any living entity. So the request of Narada muni surprised the hunter. For a moment we may even think that Narada muni is more cruel than the hunter, at least the hunter is giving the animals a chance to be alive, but Narada muni wants them to be instantly killed.

However, there is a very important message in Narada muni's request. He explains the reason to the puzzled hunter, "If you leave the animals half-dead, you are purposefully giving them pain. Therefore you will have to suffer in retaliation. He explained further, "My dear hunter, your business is killing animals. That is a slight offense on your part. But when you consciously give them unnecessary pain by leaving them half-dead, you incur very great sins."

Srila Prabhupada writes a beautiful statement in his purport to text 249, "It is our duty to see that no one suffers due to sinful activities." Narada muni follows this diligently. He considers it as his duty to ensure that any living entity, (in this context, the hunter) does not suffer due to his sins. As Narada muni pointed out, the hunter's profession is to kill animals and maintain his living by that, hence there is slight offence on his part. Sins committed in the process of maintaining one's livelihood are largely forgiven by the Supreme Lord as He himself declares in Bhagavad-gita 18.47: svabhāva-niyataṁ karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam - "Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions.", but the sins committed consciously by the hunter will never be forgiven by the Lord. 

Narada muni, being a dhirgha-darshi, knew what will happen to the hunter in his future lives for the purposeful pain he gave to the animals. The pains of a living entity harmed and left to suffer for a prolonged period is unimaginable and their revengeful attitude towards the offender will be too intense to bear. So the hunter will have to suffer for a long period in his future lives by the animals he had hurt in his current life and consequently the process of awakening Krishna consciousness in his heart will be delayed indefinitely. Narada muni, was extremely compassionate towards this uncivilized hunter that he begged him to kill the animals instantly so that in his future life these animals will in turn kill him instantly and he will get rid of the sinful bodies one by one quickly and thus can eventually obtain a fresh body in which he can practice devotion. However this exception is given only for uncivilized jivas, not for the ones who know the vedic principle that one should not harm others at any cost. So we cannot take this as an excuse for ourselves.

Thus Narada muni being a open-hearted, far-sighted, compassionate saint awakened the dormant common sense in the uncivilized hunter's heart.

Krishna willing, we will meditate further on this topic tomorrow.

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