One friend from USA just told me, “Yama Niyama Dasa Brahmachari, because now it is Tax Season in USA, I am remembering very much the Twelfth Canto telling how in the Kali Yuga the citizens will be so much harassed by the taxation they will go live in caves of the mountains.”
This reminded me of another Vaishnava Version of the Nursery Rhyme on which I have been working very hard, day and night, so that you may enjoy:
OLD KING COLE
A Cautionary Tale of Degradation of Varnashrama System
By Yama Niyama Dasa Brahmachari (YNDB), the duly initiated disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Mayapur Mahaprabhu Maha-Mantra Maharaja (BMMMMM), of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
“Old King Cole . . .”
First thing is, King cannot be “Old.” King must be first man on the battlefield, and if he is too old, he will simply be first man killed on the battlefield. So-called “King” Cole should have gone to Himalayas before becoming old. Perhaps he did not read Bhagavatam chapter “The Pandavas Retire Timely.” I am sure of it.
Also, name of ksatriya usually indicates his fighting prowess, like Bhisma (“fearsome”), Yudhisthira (“steady in the fight”), Duryodhana (“very fierce in battle”), or Damaghosa (“superior ability to cut down unregulated citizens”). “Cole” simply means, “that which is thrown into the fire.” Not very auspicious.
“Was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he . . .”
“Merry” is not good qualification for king. Ksatriya must be grave, not tipsy. Protecting citizen, curbing the rascals—it is serious business. It is not Happy Hour. Anyway, why should Cole be merry at all? He is old, he cannot fight, any rascal can come and kill him very easily, and still he is merry? This means he is living in the Fool’s Paradise.
“He called for his pipe, he called for his bowl . . .”
Now we see actual reason for his merriment. There is no mention of King Cole’s chivalrous fighting activities. No. Simply calling for Pipe and Bowl. We can guess what is in the pipe and bowl. Such rascals as Cole are predicted in Twelfth Canto.
“He called for his Fiddlers three . . .”
In olden days, professional musician would sing about glorious activities of the king. But what is so glorious about activities like smoking, drinking, and enjoying Musical Performance? Nothing, that is what. Such person may be very much qualified to attend the Grateful Dead Concert, but he should not become King under any circumstances.
“And every fine fiddler had a very fine fiddle, and a very fine fiddle had he . . .”
Is he giving in charity to the brahmanas? No. Performing sacrifices to Lord Vishnu? No. State expenditure is going for intoxication and expensive musical instruments for Professional Reciters to chant the non-glories of so-called King who is unable to fight, simply filling his belly and pipe by exploiting the subjects, whom he cannot protect.
“There’s none so rare as can compare with King Cole and his Fiddlers Three . . .”
Yes, and now he is not only “Rare” but also “Extinct,” along with all his hangers-on and sycophants. For such misappropriation of state funds, Fifth Canto says such “kings” are put into Vaitarani River, in the Hell, which is full of the stool, urine, pus, blood, hair, nails, bones, marrow, flesh, and fat. Yes. And ferocious animals eat them there, “Medium Rare.”
PURPORT: One disciple said to Srila Prabhupada, “Srila Prabhupada, you appear to us to be just like a king.” And Srila Prabhupada did say, “I am much more than any king.” Yes. Only Vaishnava is actually merry because he is detached from all such worldly nonsense.