Well, to begin with here are some mind-boggling figures: As of June 2011 the Harry Potter book series has sold over 450 million copies and have been translated into 67 languages. So if I am a book publisher I certainly love the Harry Potter series for making children (and adults) start reading again which means good business for me. The books have also been made into an eight-part film series by a major Hollywood producer. So again, I love the Harry Potter movie series as they are among the highest grossing film series of all times bringing in megabucks for the film-moguls.
What about toys, clothing manufacturers, video game companies, stationery and coffee-mug makers etc? If I am one of them, then again I certainly do love Harry Potter as this series has originated huge tie-in merchandise, and the brand is worth more than 15 billion dollars.
BUT if I am student of the Bhagavad-gita and trying to make spiritual sense of all this, do I still love Harry Potter? The author explains that the whole character of this boy appeared in her mind as if fully formed. In her own words: “I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.”
In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna explains that He awards three things depending upon the desires and the deserving nature of a particular living entity. They are remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. We often see that scientists, poets, artists, and authors tend to dwell upon a particular subject for an extraordinary amount of time and finally almost like magic they get an idea which seems to be full formed. Indeed there have been many stories like the Harry Potter series with witches, wizards, spells, omens, dark secrets and individuals trying to be immortal. But why only this particular series should meet with such astounding success? Amazingly in the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna gives five factors necessary for accomplishment of any action. They are: the place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul. Thus the will of the Supersoul (Paramatma) is the ultimate reason why someone achieves success and someone does not. According to the author the main theme of the series is about death death of the young boy’s parents, the obsession with death in the mind of a powerful evil wizard, and his quest for immortality at any price. In fact the author herself had a tough time adjusting her mind with the death of her own mother a few years ago. She said that it is but natural that we all should be afraid of death as there is nothing that we can do about it. As soon as I read this I was reminded of an incident recorded in the Srimad-Bhagavatam involving Lord Krishna when Lord Krishna was a young cowherd boy He had taken his friends along with their calves deep in the forests. While the calves were grazing the boys were enjoying themselves by playing various games and roaming in the forest, cruel Kamsa had sent a wizard named Aghasura into the forest to kill Krishna along with his friends. Upon entering the forest this sinful Aghasura took the form of a huge serpent and opening his jaws stood still like a statue. All the friends of Krishna took this is an opportunity to engage in some adventure and walked straight into the mouth of Aghasura and entered his stomach. Krishna stood there stupefied as to what is to be done. But immediately He understood the whole situation and He too walked into the open mouth of Aghasura. Once inside the body of the serpent, Krishna expanded His divine form. Aghasura could no longer maintain his life-airs, and his soul in the form of a brilliant spark burst out of his head. It remained in the sky as long as Krishna and His friends came out and finally the spark entered into the body of Lord Krishna. This was the confirmation that Aghasura finally got liberation and was cleansed of all his sinful reactions. How? It is explained that Lord Krishna is supremely pure and if He has entered into the body of Aghasura then no sin can remain there.
Several experts in the field of literature and education have criticized the Harry Potter series for failing to provide an ultimate moral of the story. Well that’s the problem with the imaginative fiction coming forth from the infinitesimal living entity. In the accounts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna we encounter not only a dazzling array of wizards and weapons but the ultimate moral complete destruction of evil. We all know that good triumphs over evil or at least we hope that it does but in the case of the Supreme Lord He not only triumphs over evil but he also grants redemption to those who have sheltered under it. Being supremely powerful Krishna killed him, but in the process Aghasura also got purified. And the best part is that those who read these stories also get purified. This is something which we certainly cannot expect from either Harry or Tom or Dick or whoever’s next.