Power of Association - Part 18

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 how the hunter's devotion and compassion changed the perspective of the villagers and other living entities towards him. Let us continue to meditate on further lessons from the story today.

18. Being Simple and Satisfied with Minimum Needs: Before leaving, Narada muni told the hunter that "I will send sufficient food for you both. Take as much as you want." Neither did Narada muni ask him how much food they will take normally, nor did the hunter tell him that information because the source is Krishna and He knows how much to give. But to the hunter's surprise, all the villagers started giving them so much prasadam with so much love, that it was good enough for 20 people to eat.  

"In one day enough food was brought for ten or twenty people, but the hunter and his wife would accept only as much as they could eat."

Srila Prabhupada often quotes his father's one most powerful realization, "If Krishna wants to take your possession He will take it away with His twenty hands. How much can you protect with your two hands? And if Krishna wants to give you, He will give with His twenty hands, how much can you accept with your two hands?" This is an extremely deep realization and it is perfectly proved here in this story. When Krishna saw that the hunter unflinchingly surrendered to Srila Narada muni, His dearest disciple, He bestowed a lot more than what the hunter could imagine.

Our spiritual master once said, "Of the six opulences, the most difficult opulence to acquire is renunciation, especially renunciation for name & fame and followers. That is why, it is considered as the last and most challenging hurdle for advancing devotees." Very soon the news of hunter becoming a devotee has reached all around and he became quite famous. Everybody started developing good perception about him and that is why they lovingly presented alms to him everyday. But the hunter knew well that all this is happening by the divine grace of his spiritual master Srila Narada muni and hence was detached and never took credit for this drastic change of fortune. 

In this world, when love is bestowed upon us from different corners, two things can happen - If we keep ourselves as the center of existence, it will only develop pride in us and we eventually fall down, whereas if we keep Guru and Krishna as the center of our life, then genuine faith, attraction and bhakti develops along with unlimited gratitude towards them for their causeless mercy. The hunter's life is a tangible proof for this fact.

Since the hunter kept Narada muni's instructions as the center of his existence and gave all the credit to him, his life became very simple and satisfying. He and his wife had no greed to gobble up all the prasadam just because palatial food stuff was offered to him. Our Guru Maharaj would often quip insisting on the concept of simplicity in eating, "Prasadam may be free. But stomach is yours. You have to keep your stomach soft by eating light, otherwise what you would have otherwise spent for that prasadam, you have to spend for the doctor fees." 

We could see how much satisfied the hunter was, with even his basic needs. He just took what is needed to keep his body and soul together. He did not keep a refrigerator to store the extra prasadam so that he can eat it the next day in case the villagers did not feed him. He had complete faith that his spiritual master and Krishna will take full care of the surrendered soul and hence he distributed all the excess food for the day to the needy people, animals and birds. This way his service of charity also continued. Observing this miraculous change in character in the hunter, the villagers also regularly offered him prasadam. 

Krishna, when He sees that we are not attached to anything, then He will offer us in abundance, because He will be assured that we can handle the pressure of name & fame, success etc. that comes as a by-product of our devotion and detachment. When He sees that our devotion is weak and we will succumb to that pressure of success, He will block it from affecting our bhakti-lata, creeper of devotion. He is our kind father and whatever He offers us is more than what we deserve.

From the hunter we learn an important lesson to be simple, satisfied, sincere and surrendered to the instructions of the spiritual master, then success in devotional service is cent-percent guaranteed. 

Krishna willing, let us learn more lessons from the story of Mrgari in the subsequent offering.

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