Mrgari hunter and Narada muni

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Speaker: Srila Prabhupada
Source: Devotional Desire

Narada Muni and MrgariIn this connection I shall recite one historical incident from the Puranas. There was a hunter in Prayag. Prayag, as you know, is in Allahabad. He kept hunting in the forest indiscriminately. Once, Narada Muni was passing through the jungle and felt very compassionate towards the animals who were half-dead and half-killed by the hunter. Narada Muni, being a Vaisnava, was very kind to all living entities. Therefore,he went to the hunter whose name was Mrgari. But the Mrgari was under the impression that “This saintly person is coming to me for some deerskin.” And he said, “Sir, don’t interfere in my business. If you want deerskin I shall give you. Please get out of my activities for the present.” Narada 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 fully. Why are you half-killing them?” The hunter said, “What is the difference between killing whole and killing half?”

Actually he had no idea about papa and punya. Sadly, those who are animal-hunters, cannot understand what is spiritual life, what is God, what is sinful life,or what is pious life.

For which,Narada Muni replied that “If you kill the animal totally,it is less sinful than if you kill them half.” The hunter said that “Well, right from my childhood, I have been taught to do this by my father. I do not know what is sinful, or what is pious.” Narada Muni, as a Vaisnava, advised him that “You stop this hunting business and I will give you your livelihood.” Thus the hunter, having seen a Vaisnava, was little convinced about spiritual life.And he agreed by saying that “Sir, if you give me my livelihood, then I can give up my, this business.” Then Narada 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 Narada Muni, the spiritual master, and they came with Narada Muni and sat down in a place on the bank of the Ganges at Prayag. Narada Muni gave them one tulasi plant, and they sat down near the tulasi plant, and he advised that “Go on chanting Hare Krsna mantra.” In the meantime, in the village it was advertised that “The hunter has become a Vaisnava. 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 Vaisnava, sadhu, you bring some…, one must give rice or attar; you give them as contribution. So he thought that Narada Muni was sending the attar, rice, dal, and everything. So he became confident that he would not die because he is chanting Hare Krsna mantra. In this way he gradually became a perfect Vaisnava because he was chanting under the instruction of the spiritual master and committing no sinful activities. So, we being in the disciplic succession of Narada Muni, this Krsna consciousness movement, we are advising the same principle, that “Don’t commit sinful activities, and chant Hare Krsna mantra.”

So one day Narada 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 Narada Muni and Parvata Muni was coming to the same hunter who had become now a Vaisnava, 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 Vaisnava, 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 Vaisnava, 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.