From Tiger to Rat

There is a very nice story. One rat, he was troubled with cat. So he came to a saintly person: “My dear sir, I am very much troubled.”

“What is the difficulty?”

The rat said, “The cat always chases. So I’m not in peace of mind.”

“Then what do you want?”

“Please make me a cat.”

“All right, you become a cat.” After few days, the same cat again came to the saintly person, says, “My dear sir, I am again in trouble.”

“What is that?”

“The dogs are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?”

“Make me a dog.”

“All right, you become a dog.” Then after few days, again he comes. He says, “I am again in trouble, sir.”

“What is that?”

“The foxes are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?”

“To become a fox.”

“All right, you become a fox.” Then again he comes. He says, “Oh, tigers are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?” “I want to become a tiger.” “All right, you become a tiger.” And when he became a tiger, he began to stare his eyes on the saintly person: “I shall eat you.”

“Oh, you shall eat me? I have made you tiger, and you want to eat me?”

“Yes, I am tiger. I shall eat you.”

Oh, then he cursed him, “Again you become a rat. Again you become a rat.” So he became a rat.

For full Lecture…

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Oct. 20, 1968 Seattle

Prabhupada:

om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

This prayer is to the spiritual master. Ajnana-timirandhasya. Everyone born in this material world is in ignorance, born ignorant. We should take it for granted, this material world is called tama. The Vedic injunction is tamasi ma jyotir gamah: “Don’t remain in this darkness; come to the light.” Actually, this material world is dark. It is lighted with sunlight, moonlight, electric light, this light, that light. Its nature is darkness. That is a scientific fact. So anyone born in this material world, beginning from Brahma, the chief personality in the topmost planet of this universe, down to the ant — everyone is in darkness. Therefore this prayer, ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya. Everyone is put into the darkness, and one who opens the eyes by the torch of knowledge… Darkness means without knowledge. So it is the duty of the spiritual master to open the eyes of the person in darkness with torch of knowledge. Ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya caksur unmilitam yena. The person who opens our eyes in that way, he is the spiritual master. And one may offer his respectful obeisances unto such personality.

So people should not be put into darkness, but they should be brought into light. Therefore in every human society, there is a sort of institution which is called religious institution. Take it for granted — Hinduism, Muslimism, or Christianism or Buddhism — any “ism” you take — what is the purpose? The purpose is to bring the persons to the light. That is the purpose of religion. And what is that light? That light is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Religion means the codes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like in the state, there is king’s law. The king gives you some law, and if you are a good citizen, you are to obey those laws, and you live peacefully. This is crude example. Similarly, dharma or religion means to obey the laws of God, that’s all. It may be different according to time, circumstances, people. Just like laws in India, the state laws in India may not agree cent percent with the laws of United States. But that does not mean there is no law. And one has to abide by the law. That is the general principle. Similarly, human being, without obeying the laws of God, he is animal. Just like on the street there is signboard, “Keep to the right.” A human being obeys the law, “Keep to the right,” and if he does not obey, he goes to the police custody. But if an animal disobeys, there is no law for him. So all those laws, all those scriptures, all those religious principles are made for man, not for animals. Therefore a person without religious principles, without God consciousness, is no better than an animal. That is the definition given in the Vedic literature. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhir naranam. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense, these four principles are equal, common, in human life and animal life. Dharma hy tasya eka visesa. The distinction of human life and animal life is that a man is searching after God; an animal cannot search after God. That is the difference. Therefore a man without that urge for searching after God is no better than animal. That is accepted fact in every civilized society. Unfortunately, at the present moment, in every state, in every society, they are trying to forget God. Some of them are publicly speaking that there is no God, or if there is God, He is dead, and so on. So this is very precarious condition of the human society.

There is a very nice story. One rat, he was troubled with cat. So he came to a saintly person: “My dear sir, I am very much troubled.” “What is the difficulty?” The rat said, “The cat always chases. So I’m not in peace of mind.” “Then what do you want?” “Please make me a cat.” “All right, you become a cat.” After few days, the same cat again came to the saintly person, says, “My dear sir, I am again in trouble.” “What is that?” “The dogs are chasing me.” “Then what do you want?” “Make me a dog.” “All right, you become a dog.” Then after few days, again he comes. He says, “I am again in trouble, sir.” “What is that?” “The foxes are chasing me.” “Then what do you want?” “To become a fox.” “All right, you become a fox.” Then again he comes. He says, “Oh, tigers are chasing me.” “Then what do you want?” “I want to become a tiger.” “All right, you become a tiger.” And when he became a tiger, he began to stare his eyes on the saintly person: “I shall eat you.” “Oh, you shall eat me? I have made you tiger, and you want to eat me?” “Yes, I am tiger. I shall eat you.” Oh, then he cursed him, “Again you become a rat. Again you become a rat.” So he became a rat.

So our human civilization is going to be like that. The other day I was reading in your — what is called? — World Almanac. In the next hundred years people will live underground like rats. So our scientific advancement has created this atomic bomb to kill man, and it will be used. And we have to go underground to become again rat. From tiger, again rat. That is going to be. That is nature’s law. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. If you defy the laws of your state and you are put into difficulty, similarly if you continue to defy the authority, the supremacy of the Supreme Lord, Personality of Godhead, then the same result: again you become rat. As soon as there is atomic bomb, everything, all civilization on the surface of the globe will be finished. So people may not like it. It may be very unpalatable, but the fact is like that. Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat ma bruyat satyam abruyat. It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don’t speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher, we are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact. Therefore we have started this Krsna consciousness movement to awaken this godless civilization, that you try to love God. This is the simple fact. You have got love within you. You want to love somebody. A young boy tries to love a young girl, young girl tries to love another young boy. This is natural, because the love is there. But we have created certain circumstances that love is being frustrated. Why? Everyone is frustrated. Husband, wife, boys, girls, man to man, states to states, everywhere, the love is not being utilized properly. Why? The missing point is that we have forgotten to love the Supreme Person. That is the disease.

So the purpose of religion is to train persons how to love God. That is the purpose of all religion. Either you take Christianism or Hinduism or any “ism,” the purport is that you try to love God, because that is our natural inclination. Even in uncivilized society, when there is some thunderbolt, they immediately offer obeisances. That is natural. And in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. Now this word dharma is translated or explained in the English dictionary, “religion,” as “a kind of faith.” But in Sanskrit dictionary, dharma means characteristic. Just like sugar. Sugar’s characteristic is sweetness. If you are given some sugar, if you find it, it is not sweet, you at once reject it: “Oh, it is not sugar. It is something else.” So that sweetness is the characteristic of sugar. Similarly, sour taste is the characteristic of salt, pungency is the characteristic of chili. Similarly, what is your characteristic, living entity? That you have to study. That is your religion. Not that Christian religion, Hindu religion, or this religion, that religion. Your eternal characteristic, what is that eternal characteristic? You want to love somebody, and therefore you want to serve. That is your characteristic. You want your society… You love your society, you love your family, you love your country, you love your community. Because you love, therefore you serve. That is your characteristic. Either you are Christian or either you are Muhammadan, either you are Hindu, this characteristic will go on. Suppose today you are Christian, tomorrow you become Hindu. That service mood, that loving spirit, goes with you, either you become Hindu or Muslim or Christian. Therefore that service spirit and love, the tendency to love and service spirit, is your characteristic, and that is your religion. That is the universal form of religion. You have to apply your natural characteristic in a certain place, where you will be satisfied. Your service spirit is (indistinct). You have to apply your natural characteristic in a certain place, where you will be satisfied. Your service spirit is there, your loving spirit is there, but because it is misplaced, you are not happy, you are frustrated, you are confused. The Bhagavata gives you indication, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6].  That is the first-class system of religion, which trains you to love God. And if you have developed that tendency to the fullest extent, to love God, then you are perfect man. And then you will feel perfection within yourself. Yayatma suprasidati. You are hankering after satisfaction, full satisfaction. That full satisfaction can be obtained only when you love God. That is the natural function. It doesn’t matter whether you are following Christianism or Hinduism or Muhammadanism. Just try to understand how much you have developed your God consciousness to love God. Then in your any religion is nice, very nice. Otherwise it is simply waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. After executing your ritualistic performances in particular type of religion throughout the whole life, if you do not see that you have no love for God, then simply you have wasted your time. Srama eva hi kevalam.

Our Krsna consciousness movement is that: it is the postgraduate movement of all kinds of religion. We are inviting either Christian or Muslim or Hindus or this or that — we do not mind — “Please come with us and try to love God.” This is Krsna consciousness movement. And the method is very simple. Method is very simple. You chant this holy name: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. All these, my students, all of them are Americans, and they come from Christian or Jewish group. None of them came from Hindu or India. But what is the process I have given to them? The process is chant Hare Krsna. It is very simple method. By chanting this mantra… Mantra. Mantra means… The Sanskrit word mantra, man means mind, and tra means deliverance. Mantra means that which delivers you from the mental concoction or hovering on the mental plane. Every one of us is hovering on the mental plane. By mind we are creating so many things: “I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in this way. I shall be happy in that way.” But mantra means when you are delivered from that concoction, speculative way of your mind, and you come to the transcendental platform. That is the effect of mantra. So this mantra, this Hare Krsna mantra, is called the maha-mantra. Maha-mantra means the greatest of all mantras. And this is the only suitable mantra for this age. This age is called Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga means the age of disagreement. Nobody agrees. Even husband, wife does not agree, what to speak of others. The father, son does not agree. Nobody agrees with anyone. This is the age like that. So in this age of disagreement you cannot say that this type of religion is nice, that type of religion is nice. That is finished now. You have to take this mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And you’ll find it that very soon you are coming to the light.

So I do not wish to take much of your time, but simply I want to impress upon you that this chanting of Hare Krsna is so nice that if you give in an experimental way… You can see. You chant for at least one week and you see how much you have changed. So these boys, they are chanting in the street. We have got many branches in your country, one in London, one in Germany, and everyone is taking part. It is increasing. So we don’t charge anything, neither you have got any loss. If there is any profit, you can try it, but there is no loss. That is guaranteed. Chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Thank you very much. (end)

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