1. Snake-charming mantra and Maha-mantra

    One medical practitioner friend of mine, when he was student in Lucknow, he stated that there is a palace building, Chatar Mandir? Chatar Mandir, in Lucknow. There is some government office. So there were several snakebite cases; several men were killed by snakebite. So they could understand that "There is a venomous snake in this building. At opportunity he bites." So one snake-charmer was searched, and one Muhammadan snake-charmer, he came and he captured that snake and took it away.

    Now this medical student, they do not believe in these mantras; they were surprised. They think that the snakebite means finished, there is no medicine. So they were very much…, because they are student, very much inquisitive. They went to that charmer at his place and wanted to know from him, "What is the secret? Is it a fact, that mantra?" So he said, "All right, I shall show you." So he opened one box, and several hundred snakes immediately came out, and all the students, they became so much disturbed.

    Some were crying, some went this way, that way, that way. [laughter] Yes. And the charmer said, "Don't be worried. So long I am here they will not bite. And don't think that these snakes are without poison teeth." So he took some of them and showed that "Here is the poison teeth. Not that the poison teeth has been take away. The poison teeth is there, but by our mantra he is subdued; he cannot do any harm." So the doctor students, medical students, inquired that "Can we not use this mantra?" "No, no, you cannot, because it has to be perfection by practice. There is process." So this is a material mantra. The spiritual mantra, Hare Krsna, if you practice it just according to the rules and regulation, you become liberated.

    From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.4 — July 14, 1972, London