Mrgari the hunter

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Expressions researched:
"Mrgari" |"Narada's instruction, how by killing, one becomes killed" |"half dead" |"half killing" |"half-dead" |"half-killed" |"half-killing" |"killing half" |"the hunter first admitted his sinful activity"

Notes from the compiler: Mrgari The Hunter

Mṛgāri the hunter & Nārada Muni

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

This is a quotation from the Skanda Purāṇa. It was spoken by Nārada Muni to the reformed hunter Mṛgāri.
CC Madhya 22.147, Translation and Purport:

“"O hunter, good qualities like nonviolence, which you have developed, are not very astonishing, for those who are engaged in the Lord"s devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy.’

This is a quotation from the Skanda Purāṇa. It was spoken by Nārada Muni to the reformed hunter Mṛgāri.

“The hunter replied, ‘My dear saintly person, my name is Mṛgāri, enemy of animals. My father taught me to kill them in that way.
CC Madhya 24.242, Translation:

“The hunter replied, ‘My dear saintly person, my name is Mṛgāri, enemy of animals. My father taught me to kill them in that way.

I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead.
CC Madhya 24.247, Translation:

“"I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead."

The hunter replied, "My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is wrong with the animals lying there half-killed? Will you please explain this to me?".
CC Madhya 24.248, Translation:

“The hunter replied, "My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is wrong with the animals" lying there half-killed? Will you please explain this to me?’

Nārada Muni replied, "If you leave the animals half-dead, you are purposefully giving them pain. Therefore you will have to suffer in retaliation."
CC Madhya 24.249, Translation and Purport:

“Nārada Muni replied, "If you leave the animals half-dead, you are purposefully giving them pain. Therefore you will have to suffer in retaliation."

This is an authoritative statement given by the greatest authority, Nārada Muni. If one gives another living entity unnecessary pain, one will certainly be punished by the laws of nature with a similar pain. Although the hunter Mṛgāri was uncivilized, he still had to suffer the results of his sinful activities. However, if a civilized man kills animals regularly in a slaughterhouse to maintain his so-called civilization, using scientific methods and machines to kill animals, one cannot even estimate the suffering awaiting him. So-called civilized people consider themselves very advanced in education, but they do not know about the stringent laws of nature. According to nature's law, it is a life for a life. We can hardly imagine the sufferings of one who maintains a slaughterhouse. He endures suffering not only in this life, but in his next life also. It is said that a hunter, murderer or killer is advised not to live and not to die. If he lives, he accumulates even more sins, which bring about more suffering in a future life. He is advised not to die because his dying means that he immediately begins to endure more suffering. Therefore he is advised not to live and not to die.

As followers of the Vedic principles, we accept the statements of Nārada Muni in this regard. It is our duty to see that no one suffers due to sinful activities. Foolish rascals are described in the Bhagavad-gītā as māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ (BG 7.15), which indicates that although they are superficially educated, māyā has taken their real knowledge away. Such people are presently leading human society. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam they are described as andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). These rascals are themselves blind, and yet they are leading others who are blind. When people follow such leaders, they suffer unlimited pains in the future. Despite so-called advancement, all this is happening. Who is safe? Who is happy? Who is without anxiety?

Atonement may be carried out very nicely, but it will not help a person if he continues committing sins. Therefore the hunter first admitted his sinful activity before the saintly person Nārada and then asked how he could be saved.
CC Madhya 24.253, Translation and Purport:

“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."

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. However, if one continues committing sins after making some atonement, he will not be saved. In the śāstras, such atonement is compared to an elephant's bathing. An elephant takes a very good bath and cleanses its body very nicely, but as soon as it comes out of the water, it picks up some dust on the shore and throws it all over its body. Atonement may be carried out very nicely, but it will not help a person if he continues committing sins. Therefore the hunter first admitted his sinful activity before the saintly person Nārada and then asked how he could be saved.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

"If you half-kill the animals, they suffer great pain," Nārada explained. "And if you give too much pain to other living entities, you commit great sin. There is a great offense committed when you kill an animal completely, but the offense is much greater when you half-kill it. Indeed, the pain which you give half-dead animals will have to be accepted by you in a future birth."
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 16:

There is also another meaning to the word nirgrantha. The word can also mean "foolish hunter," or "wretched poor man." There is an instance of such a hunter who attained salvation and engaged himself in the devotional service of the Lord simply by associating with the pure devotee Nārada. Indeed, Lord Caitanya told Sanātana Gosvāmī the following story of the hunter's meeting with Nārada.

Once there was a hunter in the forest of Prayāga who was fortunate enough to meet Nārada Muni when the great sage was returning from Vaikuṇṭha after visiting Lord Nārāyaṇa. Nārada came to Prayāga to bathe in the confluence of the Ganges and Yamunā. While passing through the forest, Nārada saw a bird lying on the ground. The bird was half-killed, having been pierced by an arrow, and it was chirping piteously. Further on, Nārada saw a deer flopping about in agony. Further, he saw that a boar was also suffering, and, in another place, he saw a rabbit twitching in pain. All this made him feel very compassionate, and he began to think, "Who is the foolish man who has committed such sins?" In general, devotees of the Lord are compassionate toward the suffering living entities, and so what to speak of the great sage Nārada? He became very much aggrieved by this scene, and after proceeding a few steps he saw the hunter engaged in hunting with bow and arrows. The hunter's complexion was very black, and his eyes were red. It appeared to be dangerous just to see him standing there with his bow and arrows, looking just like an associate of Yamarāja, death. Seeing him, Nārada Muni entered deeper into the forest to approach him. As Nārada Muni passed through the forest, all the animals who were caught in the hunter's traps fled away. The hunter became very angry at this, and he was just about to call Nārada vile names, but, due to the influence of saintly Nārada, the hunter could not utter such blasphemies. Rather, with gentle behavior he asked Nārada: "My dear sir, why have you come here while I am hunting? Have you strayed from the general path? Because you have come here, all the animals in my traps have fled."

"Yes, I am sorry," Nārada replied. "I have come to you to find my own path and to inquire from you. While on the path I have seen that there are many boars, deer and rabbits lying on the forest floor half-dead and flopping about. Who has committed these sinful acts?"

"What you have seen is all right," the hunter replied. "It was done by me."

“If you are hunting all these poor animals, why don’t you kill them at once?” Nārada asked. “You half-kill them, and they are writhing in their death pangs. This is a great sin. If you want to kill an animal, why don’t you kill it completely? Why do you leave it half-killed and allow it to die flopping around?”

"My dear Lord," the hunter replied, "my name is Mṛgāri, enemy of the animals. I am simply following the teachings of my father, who taught me to half-kill animals and leave them flopping about. When a half-dead animal suffers, I take great pleasure in it."

"I beg only one thing from you," Nārada implored. "Please accept it."

"Oh, yes sir, I shall give you whatever you like," the hunter said. "If you want some animal skins, come to my house. I have many skins of animals, including tigers and deer. I shall give you whatever you like."

"I do not want such things," Nārada replied. “But I do want something else. Since you kindly agreed to grant it to me, I shall tell you. Please, henceforth from tomorrow, whenever you kill an animal, please kill it completely. Don’t leave it half dead.”

"My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is the difference between half-killing an animal and killing it completely?"

"If you half-kill the animals, they suffer great pain," Nārada explained. "And if you give too much pain to other living entities, you commit great sin. There is a great offense committed when you kill an animal completely, but the offense is much greater when you half-kill it. Indeed, the pain which you give half-dead animals will have to be accepted by you in a future birth."

Although the hunter was very sinful, his heart became softened, and he became afraid of his sins by virtue of his association with a great devotee like Nārada. Those who are grossly sinful are not at all afraid of committing sins, but here we can see that because his purification began in the association of a great devotee like Nārada, the hunter became afraid of his sinful activities. The hunter therefore replied: "My dear sir, from my very childhood I have been taught to kill animals in this way. Please tell me how I can counteract all the offenses and sinful activities I have committed. I am surrendering unto your feet. Please save me from all the reactions to the sinful activities I have committed in the past, and please direct me to the proper path so that I can be free."

"If you actually want to follow my directions, I can tell you the real path by which you can be freed from these sinful reactions."

"I shall follow whatever you say without hesitation," the hunter agreed.

Nārada then told him to first break his bow; only then would Nārada disclose the path of liberation.

"You are asking me to break my bow," the hunter protested, "but if I break it, what will be the means of my livelihood?"

“Don’t worry about your livelihood,” Nārada said. "I shall send you sufficient grains so you can live."

The hunter then broke his bow and fell down at the feet of Nārada. Nārada got him to stand up, and he instructed him: "Just go to your home and distribute whatever money and valuables you have to the devotees and the brāhmaṇas. Then come out and follow me wearing only one cloth. Construct a small thatched house on the riverbank and sow a tulasī plant by that house. Just circumambulate the tulasī tree, and every day taste one fallen leaf. Above all, always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. As far as your livelihood is concerned, I shall send you the grains you need, but you must accept only as much grain as you require for yourself and your wife."

Nārada then revived the half-dead animals, and, getting freed from their dreadful condition, they fled away. Upon seeing Nārada execute this miracle, the black hunter was struck with wonder. After taking Nārada to his home, he bowed down again at his feet.

Nārada returned to his place, and the hunter, after returning home, began to execute the instructions Nārada had given him. In the meantime, news spread among all the villages that the hunter had become a devotee. Consequently the residents of the villages came to see the new Vaiṣṇava. It is the Vedic custom to bring grains or fruits whenever one goes to see a saintly person, and since all the villagers saw that the hunter had turned into a great devotee, they brought eatables with them. Thus every day he was offered grains and fruit, so much so that no less than ten to twenty people could have eaten there. But following Nārada's instructions, he did not accept more than what he and his wife required to live on..

After some days had passed, Nārada told his friend Parvata Muni: "I have a disciple. Let us go visit him and see if he is doing well."

When the two great sages, Nārada and Parvata, went to the hunter's home, the hunter saw his spiritual master coming from a distance and began to approach him with great respect. On his way to greet the great sages, the hunter saw that there were ants on the ground before him, and they were hindering his passage. When he reached the sages, he wanted to bow down before them, but before he did so he carefully cleared away the ants with his cloth. When Nārada saw that the hunter was trying to save the lives of the ants in this way, he was reminded of a verse from the Skanda Purāṇa: "Is it not wonderful that a devotee of the Lord is not inclined to give any sort of pain to anyone, not even an ant?" Although formerly the hunter had taken great pleasure in half-killing animals, since he had become a great devotee of the Lord he was not prepared to give pain even to an ant.

The hunter received the two great sages at his home and offered them a sitting place, brought water, and washed their feet. Then the hunter and his wife took some of the water and drank it, and finally they both sprinkled the water on their heads. After this they felt ecstasy and began to dance while singing Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. They raised their hands and danced with their clothes flying. When the two great sages saw this ecstasy of love of Godhead manifest in the body of the hunter, Parvata Muni told Nārada: "You are a touchstone, for by your association even a great hunter has turned into a great devotee."

There is a verse in the Skanda Purāṇa which states: "My dear Devarṣi (Nārada), you are glorious, and by your mercy even the lowest creature, a hunter of animals, also became elevated to the path of devotion and attained transcendental attachment for Kṛṣṇa."

At length, Nārada inquired of the hunter-devotee: "Are you getting your foodstuffs regularly?"

"You send so many people," the hunter replied, "and they bring so much food that we cannot eat it all."

"That's all right," Nārada replied. "Whatever you are getting is all right. Now just continue your devotional service in that way."

After Nārada had spoken this, both he and Parvata Muni disappeared from the hunter's home. Lord Caitanya recited this story to show that even a hunter can be engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa by the influence of pure devotees.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So Nārada Muni said, "All right, you do your business, but one thing I request: 'Why you are not killing these animals all at a time? Why you are killing half? It is great sin.' " Then it stuck to his brain. "Sin? What is this sin?" Then he described the effects of sin. Then he said, "I have been taught by my father to do this business. So if I do not do this business how shall I live?" So Nārada Muni said, "If I guarantee your living, would you give up this business, this profession?"

Lecture on BG 9.11 -- Calcutta, June 30, 1973:

There was a vyādha. In the Padma Purāṇa, this story is there. He was habituated to kill animals. Vyādha, you know, hunter. So he was killing so many animals half-dead. So Nārada Muni was passing through that forest, he was very much aggrieved, "Who is this rascal, killing these animals half, and they are flapping out of painful condition? Let me see this rascal." So he searched out this vyādha, hunter. The vyādha was very busy in his hunting. So he thought... Because, after all, Nārada Muni is a Vaiṣṇava, after seeing him personally his heart was immediately little clarified. So he offered respect: "Sir, you have come here for some tigerskin or deerskin. I shall give you, but don't disturb (me) in my business. Please let me do my business."

So Nārada Muni said, "All right, you do your business, but one thing I request: 'Why you are not killing these animals all at a time? Why you are killing half? It is great sin.' " Then it stuck to his brain. "Sin? What is this sin?" Then he described the effects of sin. Then he said, "I have been taught by my father to do this business. So if I do not do this business how shall I live?" So Nārada Muni said, "If I guarantee your living, would you give up this business, this profession?" "Why not? If I get my living means, then I can give up." So it was agreed that he will give up his business of hunting. And Nārada Muni said that "I will give you all the necessities of your life. Come on." So it is a long story. I am making short cut.

So Nārada Muni asked him that "You sit down on this bank of Ganges and here is the tulasī plant. You worship it, and I will send your food. Don't be worried." So next morning it was declared in the village, "That heinous hunter has become a Vaiṣṇava." So people, generally, they are inquisitive. They came to see. It is the custom when you go to see a saintly person, you take some fruits or flowers or some rice or some āṭā. So huge stack of rice and āṭā and fruits and flowers also. They were surprised: "Why Nārada Muni is sending so much? We are simply husband and wife." In this way they become Vaiṣṇava. And after some time Nārada Muni with his friend Parvata Muni, he wanted to see his devotee. So he asked Parvata Muni that "My dear friend, will you come with me. I shall show my devotee who was formerly a hunter." So Parvata Muni knew that "You can play wonderful. So let me see this devotee." So when Nārada Muni was coming, this devotee was going to receive the spiritual master. This is the custom, to receive the spiritual master from distant place with all honor by bowing down. But he was jumping. He was jumping. So when he came near, the Parvata Muni first of all asked him, "My dear son, you are great devotee, but while coming here why you are jumping?" He said that "On the ground there are so many ants, sir. So I do not want to kill these ants."

This is the effect of devotional service. The same man who was taking pleasure by killing one animal half-dead, he is not prepared to kill even an ant. This is called bhakti. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If one becomes a devotee of the Lord, akiñcana-bhakti, then sarvair guṇaiḥ, all good qualities will come out automatically. Because every living entity is part and parcel of God. God is all-good. Therefore every living entity, potentially, constitutionally, he is also good. As God is good, we are also good. But due to our material association, we have become bad. So if we revive our old position, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then automatically we shall become all-good. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

There is a nice example. A hunter... In Sanskrit language it is called vyādha. He was hunting in the forest and killing the animals, boar and other, deer and so many animals—hunter's business is to kill animals—so half-dead. And Nārada was passing through that road. He saw that "These half-dead animals are flapping. Who has killed them in that way, half-dead? Why not full kill?" So he went to the vyādha, hunter, that "Why you are doing this business? Better kill them altogether so that they may not suffer. It is a great sinful act."
Lecture on BG 10.8 -- New York, January 6, 1967:

So God created this universe. So if you love God, then you love the universe. That is automatically. If I say, "I love my body"—everyone loves his body—that does not mean I do not love my finger. So a God conscious person...

There is a nice example. A hunter... In Sanskrit language it is called vyādha. He was hunting in the forest and killing the animals, boar and other, deer and so many animals—hunter's business is to kill animals—so half-dead. And Nārada was passing through that road. He saw that "These half-dead animals are flapping. Who has killed them in that way, half-dead? Why not full kill?" So he went to the vyādha, hunter, that "Why you are doing this business? Better kill them altogether so that they may not suffer. It is a great sinful act." So he explained, "Oh, I do not know what is sinful or not, pious. My father has taught me this business. I am doing this." So Nārada explained him, "So it is not a very good business. You better do another business for your livelihood. Simply killing, and half-killing. Better kill them fully. That is also (not) very good." So he said, "Then I am committing sins?" And Nārada said, "Yes, you are committing sins." "Then, if I give up this business, how shall I eat, my living?" Nārada said, "All right, I shall give you your necessities of life. I shall supply you. You give up this business." So he was initiated, and he was seated in a sacred place.

So the villagers understood that a vyādha, a hunter, has become a great saint. So everyone was coming and offering some rice, some flowers, some fruits. So he was executing his devotional service according to the instruction of Nārada. Then, after some time, Nārada wanted to show that devotee to his friend, Pārvata Muni, and he was coming to that devotee, hunter devotee. At that time the devotee was going to receive Nārada, and while going, he was very careful that an ant may not be killed on the path. So he was jumping. Whenever there was an ant, he was jumping. So Nārada inquired that "While you were coming here, why you were jumping?" So he said, "Sir, there were so many ants. So how can I kill ant?" Just see. The same man who was without any kindness killing so many animals, he has become kind to the ant even.

This is universal. As soon as you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, as soon as you become God conscious, then your real universal, ideal, universal consciousness develops. Otherwise it is all simply jugglery. There are so many doctrines of universal love, universal friendship, fraternity, but they are fighting, and they are killing simply, because there is no God consciousness. If you are universal, if you are after universal love, then how you can maintain regular slaughterhouse? How you can think that an American gentleman or lady is your countryman and not a cow, and not a goat, not a serpent? Where is your universal idea?

So unless there is development of God consciousness, this universal ideas, oh, these are nonsense. There cannot be. It is all false, jugglery of words. So first business is to understand your identity, identity of God, your relationship, and your action reformed in that way. Then there is question of universal, brotherhood, universal... Otherwise it is simply jugglery of words.

Nārada Muni was going in that way. He saw that these animals have been half killed, and they are so much suffering. Who is doing that? So he searched out the hunter. He requested, "Sir you are killing the animals, why don't you kill them all at a time? Why you are killing half? They are suffering. You'll have to suffer in that way." The hunter did not know that killing animals is sinful and he has to suffer again. So he said, "Sir, I am trained like this by my father. This is my profession. I do not know what is sin, but this is the first time I am hearing from you that killing this animal, especially in this way, is very much sinful."

Lecture on BG 18.41 -- Stockholm, September 7, 1973:

When you take the animal to the slaughterhouse for killing, he cries. Why? Because he's feeling pain. He knows that "I'm going to be killed." So there is soul. Soul is there. You don't think that soul is not there: soul is there. Therefore, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person who has realized God, he is samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, he's equal to all living entities. He'll feel pain even for cutting a tree. He'll feel pain, he'll feel pain even he traverses over an ant. There is a story that one hunter, he was killing in the forest all kinds of animals and he was killing them half. So they were suffering too much severe pain. So Nārada Muni was going in that way. He saw that these animals have been half killed, and they are so much suffering. Who is doing that? So he searched out the hunter. He requested, "Sir you are killing the animals, why don't you kill them all at a time? Why you are killing half? They are suffering. You'll have to suffer in that way." The hunter did not know that killing animals is sinful and he has to suffer again. So he said, "Sir, I am trained like this by my father. This is my profession. I do not know what is sin, but this is the first time I am hearing from you that killing this animal, especially in this way, is very much sinful."

So because he saw a saintly person, he got his sense. He asked him that "How I can get rid of this sinful life?" So Nārada Muni suggested, that "I shall give you the way how you can become free from this sinful life." So he made him a disciple and asked him to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and sit down on the bank of the Ganges, and the hunter said, "Sir where shall I get my food?" Nārada Muni said, "I'll send you, don't bother. I'll send you food." So the village people, when they understood that the hunter has become a saintly person, so everyone used to come and see him. Somebody was bringing some rice, somebody wheat, somebody some sweets, some fruits, some flower. So huge quantity of foodstuff was coming. So in this way, he became a perfect saintly Vaiṣṇava.

Later on, when Nārada Muni came to see him, he was coming to receive the spiritual master jumping over the road. So when the hunter, now he becomes Vaiṣṇava, so Nārada Muni and his friend, Parvata Muni asked "Why you are jumping?" He said, "Sir, there are so many ants, so I was trying to save their life." The same hunter who was killing animals one time half-dead and was enjoying, is no more interested to kill even an ant. This is called saintly life. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Samaḥ, equal to all living entities. Not that simply protection should be given to the human being.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Nārada Muni was passing through the jungle and he was very compassionate to see the animals being half-dead and half-killed by the hunter. Nārada Muni, being Vaiṣṇava, he was very kind to all living entities, so he went to the hunter whose name was Mṛgāri.

Lecture on SB 6.1.9 -- Nellore, January 7, 1976:

In every religious system there is a process of atonement. In Christian religion there is a process of atonement called confession. The Parīkṣit Mahārāja is practical politician. He said that... He had also experience that a criminal is punished and again he commits the criminal act. Nowadays we practically see also that government has enacted so many laws against criminality, but criminality is going on without any stoppage. We have got practical experience, as we have explained last night, that in the airport the security checking is going on for everyone, which means that after so much education, every one of us, we are dishonest. This answer is there in the śāstra: yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ. This means that if one is turned to be a pure devotee, then all the good qualities automatically become manifest in him. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā manorathenāsato dhāvato bahiḥ (SB 5.18.12). Whereas a nondevotee, he has no good qualification because he is acting on the mental platform, as such, he will be always attracted by material things.

In this connection I shall recite one historical incident from the Purāṇas. There was a hunter in Prayāg. Prayāg you know, in Allahabad. So he was hunting in the forest indiscriminately. So Nārada Muni was passing through the jungle and he was very compassionate to see the animals being half-dead and half-killed by the hunter. Nārada Muni, being Vaiṣṇava, he was very kind to all living entities, so he went to the hunter whose name was Mṛgāri. So the Mṛgāri thought that "This saintly person is coming to me for some deerskin," so he said, "Sir, don't disturb in my business. If you want deerskin I shall give you. Please get out of my activities for the present." Nārada Muni said that "I have not come here to ask for deerskin, but I simply ask you that if you want to kill the animals, you kill them total. Why you are killing half?" The hunter said, "What is the difference between killing whole and killing half?"

Actually he had no idea about pāpa and puṇya. Actually, those who are animal-hunter, they cannot understand what is spiritual life, what is God, what is sinful life, what is pious life. There is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam quoted by Mahārāja Parīkṣit,

nivṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānād
bhavauṣadhāc chrotra-mano-'bhirāmāt
ka uttamaśloka guṇānuvādāt
pumān virajyeta vinā paśughnāt
(SB 10.1.4)

Unless one is animal hunter, he cannot be away from chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. So Nārada Muni said that "If you kill the animal totally it is less sinful than you kill them half." Nārada Muni said, "No, if you kill the animal half, it is more sinful than you kill them whole." The hunter said that "From my childhood I have been taught like this by my father. I do not know which is sinful, which is pious." Nārada Muni, as Vaiṣṇava, advised him that "You stop this hunting business and I will give you your livelihood." So hunter, having seen a Vaiṣṇava, was little convinced about spiritual life. Then he said that "Sir, if you give me my livelihood, then I can give up my, this business." Then Nārada Muni suggested that "You and your wife may come with me. I shall arrange for your livelihood. You give up this business."

So they followed the instruction of Nārada Muni, the spiritual master, and they came with Nārada Muni and sat down in a place on the bank of the Ganges at Prayāg. Nārada Muni gave them one tulasī plant, and they sat down near the tulasī plant, and he advised that "Go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra." In the meantime, in the village it was advertised that "The hunter has become a Vaiṣṇava. Let us go and see." So people who were coming to visit, they were bringing... It is the custom still now, India, that when you go to see some Deity or a Vaiṣṇava, sādhu, you bring some..., one must give rice or attar; you give them as contribution. So he thought that Nārada Muni was sending the attar, rice, dahl, and everything. So he became confident that he would not die because he is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. In this way he gradually became a perfect Vaiṣṇava because he was chanting under the instruction of the spiritual master and committing no sinful activities. So we being in the disciplic succession of Nārada Muni, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are advising the same principle, that "Don't commit sinful activities, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra."

So one day Nārada Muni asked his friend, Parvata Muni, "I have got a disciple. Let us go and see him." (to translator:) Parvata Muni, his friend. Yes. So when Nārada Muni and Parvata Muni was coming to the same hunter who had become now a Vaiṣṇava, so he was going to receive his spiritual master by going forward. So while he was going forward towards his spiritual master to receive him, on the way he was jumping in so many places. So Parvata Muni asked him that "Why you are jumping on your way while coming to us?" The hunter, the Vaiṣṇava, he replied, "Sir, there were so many ants on the ground. Therefore I was trying to avoid trampling them." So Parvata Muni was surprised, that "This man was hunting and killing animal half. Now, because he has become a Vaiṣṇava, he is not prepared to kill even an ant."

So this is the practical instance that if one becomes devotee of the Lord, all the good qualities manifest in his body. Therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied to Parīkṣit Mahārāja that "You are saying right that simply by atonement, simply by punishment, one cannot become honest." Practically speaking, if you simply enact laws to make people honest, it is impossible to do that.

Mṛgārī was in the lowest status of tamo-guṇa. He was killing animals half-dead, and he was enjoying. But when he became Kṛṣṇa conscious, elevated, he was not prepared to kill even one ant. You know this story. That is the change, change of heart. The same man, same man who was killing animals in the jungle half-dead... And when Nārada Muni asked him that "Why you are killing half? Kill them complete. They are suffering. You will be more sinful," he said, "My father taught me that this is pleasure."

Lecture on SB 6.1.44 -- Los Angeles, June 10, 1976:

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. If we simply hear the words and the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ... So this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā—full of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, Kṛṣṇa's instruction. So if we hear this, especially these two books, Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, then you become pious. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. There is no need of separate attempt. If we simply hear every moment or as many times as possible, then we become purified. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. One who is speaking, he is also becoming pious, and one who is hearing, he is also becoming pious. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ.

So, pious? What is the meaning of pious? Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ-stho abhadrāṇi. The... Everything is causing effects within the heart, within the heart. The civilization or not civilization means the change of heart. A man is civilized because he has changed his heart. A man is uncivilized? He has not changed. Just like you know the story of Sik... What is that? Sikari? The name, I forgot.

Candanācārya: Mṛgārī?

Prabhupāda: Mṛgārī, yes. So Mṛgārī was in the lowest status of tamo-guṇa. He was killing animals half-dead, and he was enjoying. But when he became Kṛṣṇa conscious, elevated, he was not prepared to kill even one ant. You know this story. That is the change, change of heart. The same man, same man who was killing animals in the jungle half-dead... And when Nārada Muni asked him that "Why you are killing half? Kill them complete. They are suffering. You will be more sinful," he said, "My father taught me that this is pleasure."

So this is going on, tamo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa. But if we simply hear this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā... Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). How it is possible? Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). This abhadra—inauspicious, nasty things within our heart, most uncivilized way of life, killing of animals—this will be stopped. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). By hearing the message of God, bhāgavataṁ bhaktiḥ uttama-śloke bhavati naiṣṭhikī, gradually you become devotee. This is the process, how to transcend the material qualities. That is explained.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

That Mṛgāri, he was a hunter. He was killing animals half-dead. And he met Nārada Muni, so he became a Vaiṣṇava. And when he became a Vaiṣṇava, he was not prepared to kill even an ant—the same hunter, who was killing other animals half-dead, and he was taking pleasure. So this partiality is not in Vaiṣṇava.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 4, 1973:

If one does not see equally to all living entities, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ... (BG 5.18). That is paṇḍita. It is not paṇḍita that "Only my brother is good, my father is good, and all are bad." That is not paṇḍita. That is sectarianism. That is sectarianism. Paṇḍita...

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

So that means at the present moment all the leaders, they're fools and rascals. They are simply sectarian. "I am good. My brother is good. My father is good. All others bad." That's all. Nationalism, communism, these are going on. But a Kṛṣṇa-bhakta, he does not see like that. He does not like to kill even an ant. That Mṛgāri, he was a hunter. He was killing animals half-dead. And he met Nārada Muni, so he became a Vaiṣṇava. And when he became a Vaiṣṇava, he was not prepared to kill even an ant—the same hunter, who was killing other animals half-dead, and he was taking pleasure. So this partiality is not in Vaiṣṇava. Patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ. Vaiṣṇava, he's a friend. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇam.

titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇam
(SB 3.25.21)

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Mṛgāri. "Why you are killing in this way?" "Oh, it is my business. My father taught it." So he was honestly doing that. So feeling of honesty depends on different culture. A thief's culture is different. He thinks stealing is honesty.
Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Bob: (break) ...who is honest?

Prabhupāda: But he does not know what is honesty. How he can be honest? If you know what is honesty, then you can become honest. But you do not know what is honesty. What is honesty? First of all explain.

Bob: Honesty is doing what you really feel is right.

Prabhupāda: Then a thief is feeling that "I must steal to provide my children. It is right." Does it mean that he's honest? Everyone thinks... The butcher, he thinks, "It is my life. I must cut throat of the animals daily." Just like that, what is that, vyādha, vyādha... When Nārada Muni met him?

Devotee: Oh, Mṛgāri.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Mṛgāri. "Why you are killing in this way?" "Oh, it is my business. My father taught it." So he was honestly doing that. So feeling of honesty depends on different culture. A thief's culture is different. He thinks stealing is honesty.

Bob: So what is honesty?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is my question. (laughter) Real honesty is that you should not encroach upon other's property. This is honesty. Just like this is my table. If you want to take it away while going, is that honesty? No. So therefore the simple definition of honesty is that you should not encroach upon other's right. That is honesty.

Bob: So somebody who is honest will be in the mode of goodness. Would that be correct?

Prabhupāda: Certainly. Certainly. Because mode of goodness means knowledge. So if you know, if you're well conversant that "This table does not belong to me; it belongs to Swamiji," so you'll not try to take it away. Therefore one must know, be thoroughly well conversant; then he can be honest.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Mṛgāri. He was thinking that "Unless I kill animals, how I will eat, I shall live?" And Nārada gave him, that "I will give you to eat. Come here." So he became Vaiṣṇava. So that is our propaganda." Stop this nonsense business. If you think that 'How you shall eat?' I shall give you eating. Come on.
Morning Walk -- December 31, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prajāpati: So many people now employed in sinful activities, jobs that are to do with sinful life. If we get rid of these sinful activities, what will we find for these people to do to replace their jobs?

Prabhupāda: Do pious activities. Do you mean to say we have to continue sinful activities for their job? (laughter)

Prajāpati: They say like that.

Prabhupāda: No, we shall give engagement.

Prajāpati: Cattle industry, liquor industry, tobacco industry, all these big industries.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Let them be without industry. Come to us. We shall give them food. Yes. Just like that... What is that? Mṛgāri, Mṛgāri. He was thinking that "Unless I kill animals, how I will eat, I shall live?" And Nārada gave him, that "I will give you to eat. Come here." So he became Vaiṣṇava. So that is our propaganda." Stop this nonsense business. If you think that 'How you shall eat?' I shall give you eating. Come on. "This is our program." First of all you stop it. Then I will, see how I will give you." Just see. When I came first I was alone. I had no shelter, no food. And how we are maintaining now thousands of people, and giving them to eat, and nice shelter? How it is possible? It is possible. Because after all, Kṛṣṇa gives everything. So if they become Kṛṣṇized, everything will come. Why they bother about the sinful activities?

Viṣṇujana: Dhanañjaya. Like you said this morning, Dhanañjaya.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Dhanañjaya.

Viṣṇujana: Kṛṣṇa will tell us where to...

Prabhupāda: Yes, where to get money. We have solution for all problems. Don't bother. Go on with Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Do you think our solutions, all impractical?

Prajāpati: No, Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are not impractical.

Prabhupāda: Then, what do you think?

Karandhara: They are the only practical solution.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Karandhara: The karmīs are always saying there is no solution.

Prabhupāda: We say we have got solution.

Bahulāśva: They don't want the solution, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. They want to be cheated. That's all.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Nārada's instruction, how by killing, one becomes killed. That is there.

Room Conversation -- June 11, 1974, Paris:

Bhagavān: They kill the cow, which is a mother, and then sometimes they get, when their mother kills them.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The mother becomes child and child becomes mother. That's all. Have you got transcription of the vyādha story?

Nitāi: The...?

Prabhupāda: Vyādha. The hunter, hunter story, recited by Caitanya Mahāprabhu?

Nitāi: Which...?

Prabhupāda: This twenty-fourth chapter, Madhya-līlā.

Nitāi: No, I don't think it's typed yet.

Prabhupāda: What you have typed? Bring. That is Nārada's instruction, how by killing, one becomes killed. That is there.

Yogeśvara: Oh, Mṛgāri, the hunter.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Yogeśvara: Mṛgāri.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you... Mām... This meaning, the flesh, is Sanskrit word is māṁsa. Mām. Mām means "me." And sa means "he." "I am killing this animal. I am eating. And he'll kill me and eat." This word is reminding that "You are killing this animal, and eating. So this animal will kill you and eat you." This is the meaning of māṁ sa. Māṁ sa khādati iti māṁsa. "He'll be given the opportunity to kill you." And when the animal is sacrificed before the goddess Kālī, this mantra is cited to the ear of the animal that "You are giving your life before goddess Kālī. So next life you are getting the chance of human being." So he's promoted. Because he is being killed before the deity, goddess Kālī, so he is elevated, and he's given the chance that "This man will become animal, and you'll kill him." So after understanding this mantra, who will be ready to kill another animal? This is the mantra. While sacrificing an animal, this is the mantra. The priest will say in the ear that "You, Mr. Goat, you are being killed before this goddess of Kālī. So your benediction is that you have to undergo so many lives before coming to the human form of life, but because you are sacrificing, as a reward for this, you get immediately human life." So he's not loser. "And this man who is killing you, he'll become a goat like you, and you have the right to kill him." This is mantra.

Yogeśvara: Māṁ sa.

Prabhupāda: Māṁ sa. Māṁ sa khādati iti māṁsa.

Nitāi: That story begins on verse 220, and I only have up to 121 here. This is the most recent tape. She's probably typing it... She'll type it today or tomorrow.

Prabhupāda: There these things are discussed.

Yogeśvara: The story of Mṛgāri and...?

Prabhupāda: In connection with that, I have discussed the animal killing. So all these meat-eaters, they are responsible for killing the innocent cows.

Bhagavān: Many people today are discussing this topic of reincarnation, but they don't understand the significance of the effects...

Prabhupāda: How they'll understand, all dull-headed fools, rascals? Dressed like gentlemen, that's all. Tāvat ca śobhate mūrkho yāvat kiñcin na bhāṣate. A rascal fool is decorated so long, as long he does not speak. As long he'll speak, his nature will be revealed, what is he. This gentleman therefore did not stay long to expose himself. (laughter)

Bhagavān: That's intelligent.

Jyotirmayī: When this man left, he told me that there is a very, very, big actress. She's known all over the world. She's called Brigitte Bardot. And she's making propaganda now everywhere against slaughterhouses. So he said she's living around here, and we should meet her, and ask her to come and see you. So if she's here, we can try.

Prabhupāda: This mayor, mayor...? This mayor?

Yogeśvara: This man was explaining there's a very famous, beautiful actress. Her name is Brigitte Bardot, and she has become very popular now because she is trying to protect the animals. So she lives around here somewhere. He suggested that we contact her.

Bhagavān: What about him?

Yogeśvara: He just wants to...

Prabhupāda: What did he say about himself?

Jyotirmayī: It's when I asked him. I asked him: "So what are you going to do? Can you make a law against cow-killing?" So he said, "Oh... But there is this actress." Just give it, gave it to someone else to do.

Prabhupāda: No, we have to make this propaganda because we are servant of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa orders, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). So we must take to agricultural work to produce food and give protection to the cows. And if there is excess product, we trade. This simple thing we must do. Therefore I'm anxious to take outside Paris this center. Our people should live there peacefully, produce food grains, give protection to the cows, and work hard. And if there is excess product, you can make money also. With ghee, you can start so many restaurants. That I have already... I have discussed on this point. We can make good money. We'll not be loser. Kṛṣṇa conscious men, they'll be never loser by following the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. They'll live comfortably without any material want, and tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), and after leaving this body, go to, directly to God.

Facts about "Mrgari the hunter"
Compiled byMadhuGopaldas +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryFebruary 28, 0013 JL +
Date of last entryFebruary 28, 0013 JL +
Total quotes16 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 6 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 6 +, Conv: 3 + and Let: 0 +