Chakra Living

Animals that talk

by Bhakta Wallace

Posted October 18, 2003

When Lord Caitanya passed through the forest known as Jharikhanda, the tigers, elephants, snakes, deer, and all other animals joined Him in chanting Hare Krsa. . . . Of course, it is not possible for ordinary men to induce animals to chant, but if Caitanya Mahaprabhu could inspire animals to chant, at least we can encourage human beings to adopt Caitanya-caritamrta

When a male and female parrot appeared on the branches of a tree, the Lord saw them and wanted to hear them speak. Both parrots flew onto the hand of the Lord and began to chant the transcendental qualities of Krishna, and the Lord listened to them. -- Caitanya-caritamrta

"Bumblebee, you are accustomed to drinking honey from the flowers, and therefore you have preferred to be a messenger of Krsna, who is of the same nature as you." -- Srimati Radharani in Krsna Book

"What do you want? I already fed you!"

I overheard my wife talking to our cat, "Domino" the other morning. I thought someone was at the front door and, as far as I was concerned, she might as well have been talking to a human being in the kitchen.

Carrying on conversations with one's pets is not unusual. People do it all the time. Srila Prabhupada often said that one must repose their love somewhere, thus, if you don't love God you will love "dog." Of course, he was driving home a point about the necessity of executing bhakti yoga.

Alice in Wonderland

As children we were enthralled with talking animals in cartoons, storybooks and films. Movies like "Doctor Dolittle" and the famous TV show of the '60s, "Mister Ed" the talking horse, and the '50s films like "Francis The Talking Mule" were very successful. A film like "Lord of The Rings, The Two Towers" actually boasts talking trees. Where does this phenomenon spring from?

From the shastra excepts above, one might think that one can run into the forest and begin talking to animals, or make them sing, dance and chant. Unfortunately, this is not so. Try it while coming face to face with a Bengal tiger and you might be shocked as it lunges toward you for its next meal. As Prabhupada points out, "It is not possible for ordinary men to induce animals to chant."

Parrots that chant

Parrots can be trained to talk and have a repertoire of words depending upon their master. If one can induce a parrot to chant "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama", will this liberate the parrot to some extent? I think so. While those who hear the parrot chant will get benefit, the parrot may also get an unconscious benefit. Only Krsna knows for sure. But let's face it, sravanam (hearing) is very important and the prerequisite in one's sadhana. I would rather hear a parrot chant "Hare Krishna" all day rather than "Polly want a cracker."

Only Krsna can do this

Things spiritual are of an unlimited nature, while things material are limited and subject to birth and death. Krsna and Srimati Radharani in the Vrndavana lilas and Krsna in His Lord Caitanya lila were not ordinary persons. The Lord and His incarnations and/or associates can do anything and everything if Krsna desires -- even talking to animals.