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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Upakhyane Upadesha > Prudence of a Woodcutter

Prudence of a Woodcutter


A woodcutter planned to go to the forest of Sundarban for collecting wood.  Sundarban is full of wild animals, so an experienced person warned the woodcutter that it might be fatal if he enters the forest without being adequately armed.

   But the woodcutter retorted saying,  “I would like to disprove the unfounded notion of common people that one should enter a forest with arms. I won’t expose my foolishness to carry to carry “coal to a Newcastle Coalfield”.  There are so many big trees in the forest. If I use a broken branch from one of those trees all the wild animals will run away here and there.  If I see any animal approaching, I will break a branch from a tree and threaten the beast so much that it won’t  dare come near me. It will run away when it sees me wielding the branch.”

   The woodcutter thought himself to be very prudent, but he did not have the basic common sense that his speculation would be of no use in case a tiger jumped upon him suddenly and bit off his head while he was busy breaking a branch from a tree.  He would neither be able to get hold of a branch, nor could he kill the tiger;  instead, he himself will be killed.

   Actually, that was the case.  After a few days of the woodcutter’s entering the jungle, information came that a small tiger had very easily jumped on him and enjoyed his blood and flesh without any problem.

   In fact, when he saw the tiger, the woodcutter began cutting a branch of a big tree to make his weapon to fight with the animal.  But before he could finish, the tiger attacked him and he was killed almost immediately.



In a similar manner, yogis try to control their material senses through laborious methods of physical feats, but quite often six inherent and cardinal passions and vices of man like furiously untamed tigers may jump upon him and start sucking his blood. In this event it is quite possible that one may fall prey to agitation of the senses.

   A devotee’s consideration is not to think of his welfare after controlling the material senses, nor does he decide in favour of collecting several types of weapons for temporary self-defence. A devotee does not behave in such a make-believe fashion. He does not indulge in speculative and egotistic endeavour in controlling his cardinal passions through artificial methods of his own accord.

   A devotee of the Supreme Lord firmly believes that sense control will develop automatically along with his development of devotional service, and no other feats are to be practised separately for this. He is not very anxious to control his cardinal passions, on the contrary, those passions become conducive to his devotional service under the transcendental influence of devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

   In fact, his passions then become his constant friends and their motives are basically reoriented. His ‘lust’ is then engaged as transcendental “Kamadeva” in the service of Lord Krishna; his anger is directed towards atheists; his attachment and greed will be anxious in listening to the holy names; his illusion and infatuation will make him engaged earnestly in offering service to the Lord; and his vanity will help him to be totally engrossed in glorification of the Lord. Envy will not stay in a real devotee, because he is never perturbed with the excellence of anyone as he is merciful to everyone through his devotional service.

   So, it transpires that only through the practice of devotional service, can one very easily subdue all sorts of evil effects and convert even an enemy  into a friendly companion to engage him in welfare services for one and all.