Power of Association - Part 6

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

We saw the three major qualities of Narada muni that inspired the hunter to contemplate on the reactions of his sins.

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

6. The Qualification of a Disciple: Narada muni did not speak any deep philosophy or knowledge to change the heart of the hunter. He spoke simple logic out of deep compassion for the hunter.

The hunter then admitted that he was convinced of his sinful activity, and he said, ‘I have been taught this business from my very childhood. Now I am wondering how I can become freed from these unlimited volumes of sinful activity.”

Srila Prabhupada writes beautifully in his purport, “This kind of admission is very beneficial as long as one does not again commit sin. Cheating and hypocrisy are not tolerated by higher authorities. If one understands what sin is, he should give it up with sincerity and regret and surrender unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through His agent, the pure devotee. In this way, one can be freed from the reactions of sin and make progress in devotional service.”

It is a very important instruction for a disciple. We need to regret for our sins from the bottom of our heart and also ensure we do not willingly commit the same sins again. Prabhupada writes very strongly that cheating and hypocrisy are not tolerated by higher authorities. It is because they are taking a huge risk on our behalf promising Lord Krishna that “I guarantee You that this living entity will behave sanely henceforth and I will suffer the reactions of all his sins. Please take him under Your loving shelter.” It is not an easy joke to suffer for other’s sins; the acaryas are taking this huge risk on our behalf and it is our duty not to betray them.

The hunter continued, My dear sir, please tell me how I can be relieved from the reactions of my sinful life. Now I fully surrender unto you and fall down at your lotus feet. Please deliver me from sinful reactions.”

We need to learn these important qualities from the hunter.

1. To realize the gravity of our sins committed knowingly or unknowingly from our birth and repent for those sins.
2. To seriously contemplate on how to nullify them.
3. To surrender to a pure devotee and sincerely serve him by following his instructions every moment of our life.

The hunter pretty much followed the process of surrender unknowingly as mentioned by Lord Krishna in BG 4.34 – praṇipātena, paripraśnena and sevayā. Upon realizing the quantum of his sins he sincerely wanted to nullify them. Therefore he surrendered unto Narada muni (praṇipātena), He inquired sincerely how he can be relieved from the sinful reactions (paripraśnena) and he was ready to follow the instructions and perform service to Narada muni in this way (sevayā).

Srila Prabhupada writes nicely in his purport, “By the grace of Nārada Muni, the hunter came to his good senses and immediately surrendered unto the saint’s lotus feet. This is the process. By associating with a saintly person, one is able to understand the reactions of his sinful life. When one voluntarily surrenders to a saintly person who is a representative of Kṛṣṇa and follows his instructions, one can become freed from sinful reactions.

We can observe how Narada muni did not speak big philosophy or gave the hunter detailed knowledge on the spiritual subjects. Nor did he force the hunter to surrender to him. He simply awakened the innocent heart of the hunter by giving him the sweet association of his own simple and innocent heart that was filled with unmotivated and unflinching loving devotion to the Lord. By the purity of Narada muni’s character alone the hunter decided to surrender to him. The power of a pure devotee’s association can never be under-estimated. If not for their causeless mercy, we would be loitering in this ocean of birth and death for millions of life times. As it is said in another place in Caitanya Caritamrta, brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva / guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja.

We are most fortunate living entities to have come in touch in this life time with pure devotees like Srila Prabhupada and so many spiritual masters in his lineage. Hence we shall sincerely pray unto the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and our spiritual masters to always keep us engaged in the service at the loving shelter of their lotus feet.

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate on the story of Mrgari and the lessons we can learn from it.

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