“Yes, No, Very Good”

A simple villager picked up some English through listening. He memorized only a
few English words, such as Yes’ and No’, and Very good’. But he never attempted
seriously to understand the application of these words in the proper context. He
only knew that a sort of respect for an English-speaking’ person could be attained
by using those words in front of people.
Once a few dacoits made a plan to commit a murder and then escape making it
look as if that villager had been the culprit.
When the villager was brought to the law court, the judge asked him in Bengali,
“Did you commit the murder >”
The foolish villager thought that if he could speak some English in front of the
judge, then the judge might have great respect for him, considering him to be a
follower of Western culture, and thus he may be relieved from the allegation of
murder.
Contemplating thus, the villager replied to the judge, “Yes!”
The judge asked, “Was there anyone else with you>”
Promptly the villager replied, “No!”
Then the judge said, “Do you realise that you will have to go to jail>”
Now the villager thought that he should put forth his protest against such an
injustice by applying his last resort. In order to confirm that he was a perfect
gentleman, and that he did not commit the murder, and that he should never be
thrown in prison, he replied to the judge’s question, saying, “Very good.”

PURPORT

Even in the field of devotional service, many people often deliver a lot of scriptural
quotes in a parrot-like fashion, without proper understanding of the instructions,
religious terminology and the injunctions that they receive from the pure devotees.
They simply hanker for respect from the people in that manner.
But eventually their position becomes similar to that of this villager. In the case
the scriptural quotes and authoritative injunctions are not properly assimilated
and digested, the righteous community never appreciates them. It is also not
possible to be released from the clutches of maya’ or illusion through such a
parrot-like verbiage.
It is often observed in pubic meetings, assemblies and popular mundane literature
that many so-called “men-of-letters of modern civilisation deliver such ludicrous
verbosity on the subjects of devotion, devotees, and the Supreme Godhead. Pure
devotees simply consider those deliberations similar to those of the villager
mentioned above, who did not realize anything beyond Yes, No, Very good.
‘Those persons are ultimately destined to suffer imprisonment under the merciless
clutches of maya’.

By: Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

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