Narada and the hunter Mrigari
In this regard there is a story about Narada Muni and a hunter. Once Narada Muni was passing through a forest near Prayag and saw that many animals were lying half-dead. Feeling compassion for the suffering creatures, he cried out, “Who is the culprit who is killing these animals, leaving them to die in this way?”
The barbaric hunter Mrigari answered, “Dear sage, please let me do my business. If you have come here to beg for a deerskin, I shall give it to you.”
But Narada said, “I haven’t come to beg anything from you, but to ask why you are only half-killing these animals. It is a great sin. It is better that you kill them outright.”
Mrigari replied, “My father taught me to kill them like this. I did not know it is sinful.”
Narada said, “Yes, it is very sinful. You will have to suffer very much for it.”
The hunter became thoughtful and asked, “What should I do?”
Narada Muni advised him, “Give up this nonsense business.”
Mrigari protested, “Then how shall I eat?”
But Narada Muni said, “I shall provide you with food.”
The hunter agreed, “All right, if you give me food, I can give up this business.”
Narada Muni then requested Mrigari to sit down on the bank of the Ganges and chant Hare Krishna before a sacred tulasi plant. Narada Muni went to the nearby village and announced that a pure Vaishnava was now chanting nearby on the bank of the Ganges. Upon seeing Mrigari sitting and chanting peacefully, the village people said to one another, “He has given up his hunting business and is chanting Hare Krishna.” They began coming regularly to the bank of the Ganges to visit Mrigari. Someone brought rice, someone brought däl, and someone else brought fruit. The food began to pile up.
The hunter Mrigari wondered, “Why is Narada Muni sending me so much food? I have only myself and my wife to maintain.” Thus he began distributing the food. Chanting Hare Krishna and distributing prasadam daily, he became a perfect Vaishnava. (This is the system introduced in this Krishna consciousness movement-chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and distributing prasadam. In every temple of Krishna we do this.)
After some time, Narada Muni called upon his friend Parvata Muni and said, “I have a very nice disciple who was a hunter. Let us go and see how he is doing.” Pärvata Muni agreed. When the two sages approached Mrigari’s house, they saw that he was jumping this way and that. Upon seeing Narada Muni, he prepared to offer obeisances at his feet, but before he did so he took the edge of his dhoté and gently brushed away the ants crawling on the ground so as not to crush them. He had been jumping because he was trying to avoid stepping on the ants. This was the very man who a short time before had been tormenting all kinds of animals, yet now he was not prepared to kill even an ant. That is the nature of a Vaishnava.
– Above is an excerpt from the book “A Second Chance” authored by Srila Prabhupada.
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