Power of Association - Part 12

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

In our last offering on the story of Mrgari, we saw the meaning of full surrender to a spiritual master. Let us continue to meditate on the various instructions given by Srila Narada muni to his disciple Mrgari.

12. Transcendental Instructions of Narada muni to Mrgari:  We saw the 5 instructions given by Narada muni to Mrgari. Let us see them.

a) Distribute the wealth you accumulated to pure brahmanas: The wealth that we accumulate carries the reactions of the sins we do to collect it. So Narada muni advised Mrgari to distribute them all to saintly people who has the power to nullify the sinful reactions. As a bona fide spiritual master, he destroyed the past sins of his disciple and at the same time inculcating the habit of charity in him. However we cannot take it as a general template to commit whatever sins we want, hoard wealth through illegal means and then donate some to the temples (tantamount to bribing God)  thinking it will absolve us of the sins. It is said in SB 10.84.37: 

ayaṁ svasty-ayanaḥ panthā dvi-jāter gṛha-medhinaḥ
yac chraddhayāpta-vittena śuklenejyeta pūruṣaḥ

This is the most auspicious path for a religious householder of the twice-born orders — to selflessly worship the Personality of Godhead with wealth honestly obtained.

The special qualification of the hunter is that he was genuinely repentant of his past sins and in an effort to absolve himself of those sins, he took complete shelter of a pure devotee such as Narada muni. Most importantly, he did not have any expectation upon Narada muni that he should do this favor to him. In such genuine cases, the spiritual master can submit an exception to Krishna on our behalf. 

b) Leave home along with your wife taking only one cloth to wear: Mrgari was not living a grhastha life, he was lower than a grhamedhi, but by the causeless mercy of Narada muni, he directly took to the Vanaprastha order. Since the atmosphere of his house was filled with so many sins, Narada muni wanted him to give it up and start a new life of devotional service along with his wife. By keeping the food, clothing and shelter requirements to a minimum and leading a simple life, one's tendency to commit sins will be greatly reduced and dependency on Krishna's shelter will increase. This is the purpose of the 2nd instruction.

c) Go to a river and construct a small cottage to live: Living near a river is favorable in various ways. It provides a sattvic atmosphere. Most of the local villagers visit there to fetch water from the river and animals also go there only to quench their thirst. The river, being highly sattvic in nature, will inculcate the same mood in the hunter and eradicate sinful propensities from his mind. Also he can get water, fruits, vegetables and various other sattvic food by being near the river. Wood will be available easily to build a simple cottage. So the food and shelter problem will be solved in this way. 

d) Grow a Tulasi plant and worship her everyday: It is interesting to note that Narada muni gave the same instruction to Dhruva Maharaj too even though he was a small boy and was going inside a dangerous forest to meditate on the Lord. It shows the importance of Tulasi worship in our devotional life because she is krishna-bhakti-pradaayini, bestower of Krishna bhakti. By circumambulating the Tulasi plant, even the gravest sin of killing a brahmana can be destroyed. Haridas Thakur also advised the prostitute who came to attract him, to worship Tulasi devi and she became a great devotee. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 4.8.55, "Tulasī leaves are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and devotees should take particular care to have tulasī leaves in every temple and center of worship." Hence Narada muni's instruction of worshiping Tulsi devi is very conducive to bhakti.

e) Continuously chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra: This is the final and topmost instruction. He advised Mrgari to continuously chant the holy names, especially the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Srila Sukadeva Goswami speaks this beautiful verse to Parikshit Maharaj in SB 6.3.31: 

tasmāt saṅkīrtanaṁ viṣṇor jagan-maṅgalam aṁhasām
mahatām api kauravya viddhy aikāntika-niṣkṛtam

My dear King, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is able to uproot even the reactions of the greatest sins. Therefore the chanting of the saṅkīrtana movement is the most auspicious activity in the entire universe. Please try to understand this so that others will take it seriously.

The chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the only way to destroy even the greatest of sins and bring auspiciousness to the entire universe. Hence Srila Prabhupada has given us the topmost instruction to advance in our bhakti - i.e., to always chant the holy name irrespective of time, place and circumstances - hari sarvatra sarvada.

So with the 1st instruction Narada muni destroyed all the accumulated sinful reactions of the hunter, in the next 2 instructions he made arrangement to lead a simple life with minimum endeavor for food, cloth and shelter and in the last 2 instructions he gave him the supreme method of performing sadhana to advance in his devotional service. With just 5 simple instructions he changed the entire life of the hunter upside down. This is the greatness of an exalted acarya like Narada muni. 

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

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