Sunday, October 27, 2013

From tiger to rat (Srila Prabhupada)

Excerpt (1) from a lecture on Absolute Love
given in Seattle, Washington, October 1968 

Srila Prabhupada describes being in maya/illusion  taking something for what it is not and start acting on that: imagining, creating and responding. A rope in the dark may look like a snake; if I believe it and start acting on that, then that is called being in maya. When we forget Krishna, the only thing that there is, this is what happens. It's either Krishna consciousness or maya consciousness, either the rope consciousness or the snake consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada:

There is a very nice story that describes what happens to a society that forgets the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Once a rat was being troubled by a cat. So the rat went to a saintly person who had mystic powers and said, “My dear sir, I am very much troubled.”

“What is the difficulty?”

The rat said, “A cat always chases me, so I have no peace of mind.”

“Then what do you want?”

“Please make me into a cat.”

“All right, become a cat.”

After a few days, the cat came to the saintly person and said, “My dear sir, again I am in trouble.”

“What is that trouble?”

“The dogs are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?”

“Make me a dog.”

“All right, become a dog.”

Then after a few days the dog came and said, “Sir, again I am in trouble.”

“What is the trouble?”

“The foxes are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?”

“To become a fox.”

“All right, become a fox.”

Then the fox came and said, “Oh, tigers are chasing me.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want to become a tiger.”

“All right, become a tiger.”

Now the tiger began to stare at the saintly person. “I shall eat you,” the tiger said.

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

“Yes, I am a tiger, and now I shall eat you.”

Then the saintly person cursed him: “Again become a rat!”

And the tiger became a rat.

So, our human civilization is like this. The other day I was reading The World Almanac. It said that within the next hundred years people will be living underground — like rats. Scientific advancement has created the atomic bomb to kill men, and when it will be used people will have to go underground and become like rats. From tiger to rat. That is going to happen; it is nature’s law.

(Excerpt 2 from this lecture here)

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