AUDIENCE: What does it mean to you to be a monk and to renounce everything material?JAYADVAITA SWAMI: What does it mean to be a monk and to renounce everything material? What does it mean to … more
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 19 January 2017, Sydney, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.13.4)
In kali yuga, we do not curse. This is not our business. In the Vedic times, cursing and counter cursing were happening. We see that Narada Muni would sometimes curse. There is the example of the sons of Kuvera – Manigriva and Nalakuvara – who were drunk and enjoying in the Alakananda River with some ladies and they did not pay respect to Narada so they were cursed. But Narada’s curse was a disguised blessing because he cursed them to become trees in the garden of Krsna so they got a curse and with it a purification at the same time. Anyway we see many personalities who got cursed from time-to-time in the Vedic tradition for sake of their purification.
In this age if we start this game of cursing and counter cursing then we would be cursing all day. Therefore it is said, sakuni sape gorumarana (Bengali proverb) that when the vulture curses the cow, the cow does not die! To be a vulture is a bit austere because at breakfast time nobody may die. So at one point, a vulture gets hungry and he looks at a fat cow, points his wing and says, “I curse you to die!” but nothing happens, sakuni sape gorumarana. In this kali yuga, our cursing capacity has been taken away. We don’t have that power anymore.
The other day we were discussing King Vena who the brahmanas just killed by mantra. I’ve had people say to me, “Drop dead!” but I am still here so that did not work fortunately because nowadays we say these things without deeply thinking of the consequences so this power is no longer with us and is not a part of the sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
The sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a movement of mercy. Nityananda was smashed on the head by Jagai and Madhai and he simply took it, he tolerated it and remained their well-wisher. This is our business, to somehow forgive and remain a well-wisher. So this cursing business is kind of alien to the sankirtan movement. There is also no need for any other purification. The Vedic literature offers us extensive activity, prayascitta, for purification from sinful activities – so many rituals, so much austerity – fasting, giving to charity and so on. We see many examples also – the gopis told Krsna, “To atone for killing a cow, now you have to bathe in all the holy places!”
So Vedic culture is like that but the sankirtan movement does not have any separate processes of prayascitta, purification. This point comes out in the sixth canto in the discussion leading up to Ajamila. In the introduction to the Ajamila pastime, Maharaj Parikshit brings out this point to Sukadev Goswami – the kunjara snana, the bathing of the elephant. After taking bath, the elephant takes dust and throws it all over his body which defeats the purpose of bathing. So kunjara snana, the bathing of the elephant is prayascitta, meaning that we try to wash off sinful karma by engaging in doing some sacrifice or doing some charity but the desire for sinful activity does not go away, therefore prayascitta is condemned. Maharaj Parikshit said that so many criminals have gone to jail which he has witnessed as a king but it did not reform their criminal mentality.
Therefore kecit kevalayā bhaktyā vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ (SB 6.1.15) only devotional service can take away the root cause of sinful tendencies from the heart because by engaging in devotional service, one automatically becomes detached from other things because one becomes satisfied. Therefore desires disappear. In devotional service there is no need for separate atonement therefore there is no need to curse someone to rectify them; we simply get them to chant Hare Krsna and that is the purification. Devotional service is the rectification. This is the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.