Foolishness of imitative followers

Foolishness of imitative followers

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Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Dear prabhujis and Maathajis,

Hare krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad and Gurudev!

Srimad Bhagavatham, Tenth canto chapter thirty three describes Lord Sri Krishna's Rasa dance in the company of the gopis. When Maharaja parikshit heard the narration of krishna's conjugal pastimes with the gopis, which superficially resemble the activities of lusty, wanton persons, he expresses a doubt to the great devotee Srila sukadeva Goswami. Sukadeva Goswami dispelled this doubt by stating that since Sri Krishna is the absolute enjoyer, such pastimes as these can  never be contaminated by any fault. Then he proceeds to say:

naitat samaacaret jaatu
manasaapi hy anisvarah
vinasyaty aacaran maudhyaad
yathaa rudro'bdhi-jam visam
-Srimad Bhagavatham 10.33.30

"One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behaviour of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behaviour,he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison."

Srila Prabhupad writes in the purport that if we were to drink even a drop of poison which Lord Siva drank, then we would die immediately. Just as we should not imitate this pastime of Siva's, we should not imitate Lord Krishna's activities with the Gopis. Should  we try to imitate, then we will suffer severely. The Lord is Atmaraama - fully self satisfied and all the pastimes of the Lord have an inconceivable spiritual potency to attract the polluted heart of conditioned souls.

To illustrate the foolishness of imitative followers, Srila Prabhupad used to tell the story about a doctor and his apprentice.

There was a famous veterinarian who travelled to many farms and had good success in curing the illnesses of animals. He also had an assistant who accompanied him, but this apprentice had an envious and ambitious desire to replace his master and to prematurely become a master veterinarian himself. On one occasion, the veterinarian was called to a farm where there was a valuable horse whose neck was greatly swollen. The vet. opened the mouth of the horse, examined inside, and then asked the apprentice to hand him his work bag. Taking out his hammer, the vet. proceeded to smash at the horse's neck. Very soon after this unusual action, the horse's swelling subsided, and the farmer thanked and paid the vet. for his work. Almost immediately after this incident, the apprentice deserted the doctor and decided to become a vet. himself. Word soon reached the master vet. that his apprentice was running around presenting himself as a genuine vet. , but was causing havoc wherever he went. The report was that the so-called vet. was actually killing the animals whenever he attempted to treat them. Finally, the master vet. caught up with his rascal apprentice and challenged him, "What do you think you are doing? I hear that you are imitating my practice , but as a result you are killing animals wherever you go." "But I am only doing what I saw you do.", protested the apprentice. He expalined that wherever he went to see an ailing animal, he would smash on that animal with a hammer, but unfortunately, he did not get good results. "You fool! " said the vet. "What you saw was a very special case. That horse had swallowed a water melon , so I had to break the watermelon by hitting him from the outside. That was not a practice to be repeated in every case." Finally all the farmers whose animals had died because of this foolish imitator, gave him a good thrashing and that was his end.

Yours in the service of Srila prabhupada,
Vaijayanthimala devi dasi.
Abudhabi.