Power of Association - Part 16

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 meditated on the unique quality of of Narada muni's pure devotioanal service and how he saved the half-killed animals by his transcendental power. Amazed at Narada muni's mystic power the hunter went home to practice the instructions given to him. Narada muni also left for his next destination. Let us continue to meditate on further lessons from the story today.

16. Every Saint has a Past and Every Sinner has a Future: The hunter constructed a humble cottage by the side of the river as ordered by Narada muni.

"The news that the hunter had become a Vaiṣṇava spread all over the village. Indeed, all the villagers brought alms and presented them to the Vaiṣṇava who had formerly been a hunter."

The transcendental touch of Narada muni has started working in the hunter's life immediately. There is this famous saying, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." The beauty of devotional service is that even if we were the worst of sinner in the past, as soon as we become saintly, the past is forgotten and we are welcomed and honored by the same people who were cursing us once for our frightful actions. No other process can convert an outright sinner into a saint in such a quick time. And all this change was brought about by the pure devotee Srila Narada muni. He had so much faith in Krishna and so much compassion for the living entities that he forced Krishna to display this miracle of turning the sinner into a saint. Credit has to be given to the hunter as well for following the instructions of his spiritual master strictly. Whatever he said, the hunter had full faith in it and simply followed them. Never once did he doubt the potency of Narada muni's words. That is the reason he did not go and beg to anyone for food. He simply stayed at his home, chanted Hare Krishna and worshiped the Tulasi plant. It was such a big surprise for the villagers that how can a hunter who had no credit of piety in him, suddenly became a devotee. And without brooding over his past, they sent abundance of food for him. 

This is a great encouragement for us all aspiring devotees. We do not have to worry about our sinful past life. Krishna Himself says in the Gita 9.30:

api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.

Krishna Himself says that even if a person is the most abominable sinner, I consider him a saintly devotee if he performs devotional service with full focus and determination. So what will normal people do? As Krishna Himself says in the Gita 3.21:

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

Krishna is the greatest of all. When He accepts a person as saintly ignoring all their past, then everyone else naturally follows Krishna and worship such a devotee.

Hence it is important for us to understand from this pastime that Krishna takes into consideration only our sincerity and determination in executing devotional service, not the account of our past sins or imperfections.

Krishna willing, let us meditate further on the lessons from Mrgari story in the next offering. 

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