(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Finland, 2011)

Once there was a hunter who was hunting in the forest, by killing different animals. Then he came upon a tiger and the roles became reversed. Instead of the hunter chasing animals, the tiger started to chase the hunter! The hunter was running for his life and went up the tree. He climbed up the tree and as he went up higher in the tree, there was a bear in that tree. The hunter looked at the bear and then he looked down at the tiger. Then the tiger spoke to the bear:

“There is our mutual enemy! Kick him down and I will finish him off!”

The bear said:

“No! No I cannot do that because he came to my home, so he is my guest. I have to give him shelter. So no I can’t kick him down”.

And the tiger said to the hunter:

“Look, if you kick this bear down. I’ll eat the bear and I won’t eat you!”

So the hunter kicked down the bear, and the bear was falling and falling. Then somehow or other he managed to grab a branch and was hanging onto the branch. He climbed back up and he was back into the tree, right at top.

Then the tiger said:

“Look at that hunter…you gave him shelter and he betrayed you! He just mercilessly kicked you down. See what kind of a character he is. Kick him down now and I will just finish him off!”

The bear said:

“No! I can’t do that because he is still my guest, and even if he misbehaves, that doesn’t give me a license to also misbehave”.

In this way our noble bear really showed integrity of character, which was extraordinary, and this is the result of saintliness. So not only are we meant to be servants of Krishna. Not only are we meant to engage in devotional service and follow the four regulative principles, but we are also meant to develop qualities of saintliness. It’s not only about what we do…it is also about who we are. That we must also become very noble personalities like the bear, or like Sita…..and of course also like Hanuman!

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