CC Madhya 24.253
- vyādha kahe,—“bālya haite ei āmāra karma
- kemane tarimu muñi pāmara adhama?
vyādha kahe—the hunter said; bālya haite—from the very beginning of my childhood; ei āmāra karma—I have been taught this business (half-killing animals); kemane—how; tarimu—shall become free from these sinful activities; muñi—I; pāmara adhama—sinful and misled.
“The hunter then admitted that he was convinced of his sinful activity, and he said, ‘I have been taught this business from my very childhood. Now I am wondering how I can become freed from these unlimited volumes of sinful activity.’
This kind of admission is very beneficial as long as one does not again commit sin. Cheating and hypocrisy are not tolerated by higher authorities. If one understands what sin is, he should give it up with sincerity and regret and surrender unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through His agent, the pure devotee. In this way, one can be freed from the reactions of sin and make progress in devotional service. However, if one continues committing sins after making some atonement, he will not be saved. In the śāstras, such atonement is compared to an elephant’s bathing. An elephant takes a very good bath and cleanses its body very nicely, but as soon as it comes out of the water, it picks up some dust on the shore and throws it all over its body. Atonement may be carried out very nicely, but it will not help a person if he continues committing sins. Therefore the hunter first admitted his sinful activity before the saintly person Nārada and then asked how he could be saved.