Suche
  • Krishna Premarupa Dasa

Krishna Prema's Food for Thought 2019 # 19 - Blind Following


Once Prabhupada was walking in Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles, when they went past a big house. Prabhupada said, "Someday we will have a big house like this for Krishna." The devotees said, "Jaya, Prabhupada!" Prabhupada walked a little further, and there was a big circular driveway with a big stretch limo. Prabhupada said, "Someday we will have a big car like this for Krishna." The devotees said, "Jaya, Prabhupada!" They walked past another house, and out of nowhere, a dog came running down the driveway. Prabhupada said, "Someday we will have a big dog like this for Krishna." The devotees said, "Jaya, Prabhupada!" Prabhupada said, "You fools, what do you want a big dog for?“ 1


Srila Prabhupada did not appreciate blind following. Just `Jaya Prabhupada` without using one’s intelligence will not help. Mature disciples will be independent thoughtful. They can discriminate between principle and detail and are able to apply Krishna Consciousness according to time, place and circumstances. For today's blog I simply like to share the following story, told by Srila Gour Govinda Swami, that expresses this point further:


Once there was a washerman, a dhobi. He kept an ass to carry his heavy load. Many years that ass lived with him. The name of the ass was Sunanda Gandharva. One day, the ass died. So the washerman thought, “Oh, Sunanda Gandharva died today. What shall I do? I must shave my head and take a dip in holy water. I must do this for him.”

That washerman was the king’s washerman. When the family priest of the king saw that the washerman had shaved his head, he asked, “Oh washerman, why have you shaved your head?”

The washerman said, “Don’t you know? Sunanda Gandharva died today.”

The family priest said, “Oh, Sunanda Gandharva died today?”

“Oh yes.”

“So this is a very auspicious day?”

“Oh, definitely.”

“So should I shave my head and have a dip?”

“Yes, you do it.”

So the family priest immediately shaved his head and had a dip in holy water. Then the minister saw that the king’s family priest had shaved his head. He said “Oh priest, why have you shaved your head?”

“Don’t you know? Sunanda Gandharva died today. It’s a very auspicious day.”

“He did?”

“Oh yes.”

“Shall I shave my head?”

“Oh yes! Shave your head and have a dip in holy water.”

The minister shaved his head and had a dip. Then the king saw that the minister had shaved his head. “Oh minister, why have you shaved your head?”

“Don’t you know, king? Sunanda Gandharva died today. It’s a very auspicious day.”

“Oh, is it so?”

“Oh yes.”

“Now shall I shave my head?”

“Yes, you do it.”

The king shaved his head and had a dip in holy water. Then the queen saw that the king had shaved his head. She said: “What happened that you have shaved your head?” The king said, “Don’t you know, my dear queen? It is a very auspicious day. Sunanda Gandharva died today.”

“Who is Sunanda Gandharva?“

The king said, “Oh, my minister told me about it. He has shaved his head.”

“Call that minister.”

The minister was called for. The queen asked, “Who is this Sunanda Gandharva who died that you shaved and the king also shaved his head?”

“Oh, the priest told me.”

“Call that priest.”

“Who is that Sunanda Gandharva for whom you have shaved your head, the minister has shaved and now the king has shaved his head?”

“Oh, the washerman told me.”

“Call the washerman.”

The washerman came. “Who is this Sunanda Gandharva?”

“My dear queen, I had an ass. His name was Sunanda Gandharva. Today, he died.” 2


Bhakti Tirtha Swami commented on this same story as follows: „Do not be like a sheep. When one sheep jumps into a ditch, the whole flock will follow. If we do not have proper knowledge, we will tend to follow others blindly. If we do not communicate openly, or when we do things mechanically or ritualistically—and this happens especially when the leader himself does not have sufficient knowledge—we will together fall into crisis.“ 3


_________________________________


1 - Badrinarayana Dasa (Karandhar Dasa), Srila Prabhupada Memories Part 2

2 - Gour Govinda Swami, The Process of Inquiry, Gopla Jiu Publication

3 - Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Leadership for an Age of Higher Consciousness 2, Harinama Press