Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus – Part 12

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This mail is in continuation of the offering on the topic "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus" wherein we were meditating on the valuable lessons that were learnt by the avadhuta brahmana from his various spiritual masters like Mother Earth, mountain and trees, wind, sky, water, fire, moon and sun. In this mail let us hear from avadhuta brahmana the lesson that he learnt from his next spiritual master – "pigeon".

He describes how the pigeon was very attached to his wife and children and spent all its time and energy in meditating about them and enjoying with them. Once when the pigeons went out in search of food for their kids, a hunter caught the children in his net. When they returned, the mother-pigeon felt great anguish at the sight of her children in the net and without any second thought, flew towards them and thus was also caught in the net. The male pigeon became very morose on seeing the fate of his wife and children and lamented helplessly and later he lost control of his mind and fell in the hunter’s net.  In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 11.7.52 the avadhuta brahmana says,

naati-snehah prasango vaa / kartavyah kvaapi kenacit

kurvan vindeta santaapam  / kapota iva deena-dheeh

One should never indulge in excessive affection or concern for anyone or anything; otherwise one will have to experience great suffering, just like the foolish pigeon.

The words atisnehah means excessive attachment or affection and santaapam means great suffering. The more we are attached to something or someone in this material world, the more we suffer. If we are more attached to someone or something in this world, then we start giving more priority to them when compared to Krishna or His service. Attachment blinds us from the realities of life. It covers our real knowledge and does not allow us to think anything behind that object. Before he took to devotional service, Bilvamangal Thakur was very much attached to the prostitute that he could not find a difference between snake and the rope. In the present scenarios also, we find many people are fanatically attached to the so-called celebrities in the society and whenever such celebrities meet with some dishonor or death, these people also blindly commit suicide.

When Krishna is in center of our life, then even if death separates us, we will be able to appreciate the truth that it is His decision to take away that living entity from our life for some special reason and hence we will not land up committing the mistake of giving up our body which is a very rare and valuable gift blessed by Krishna- durlabham maanusham janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. There is a proverb that even nectar when taken in excess becomes poison in this material world. So important lesson to be learnt is that we should not be over attached to anyone or anything in this material world. Our Guru Maharaj HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj insisted us to by-heart the following golden line of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to verse 1.1.10 – "Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy." Our relationship with others should not be based on our own sense-gratification, but it should be in such a way that we can please the master of the senses-Hrshikesha. Also over-dependence on another’s mercy will cause great anxiety and pain because we are dependent on the other person’s reciprocation for our affection. Due to the changing nature of the material word and the unstable mind of the living entities, reciprocation of affection from other entities is also flickering, leading to disappointment. Therefore our dependence should be only on Krishna. As everyone else are also puppets in His hands, it is better to depend on Supreme Lord. Recently in the offering – "Nothing Belongs to Us",  we heard from Maharaj that we should be rasika of detachment (in other words we should enjoy being detached) by doing fiery devotional service. Maharaj quoted the below verse from Srimad Bhagavata Mahatmyam

dehe asthi maamsa rudhire abhimatim tyajasva

jaayaa sutaadishu sadaa mamataam vimunca

pashyaanisham jagat idam kshana bhanga tishtham

vairaagya raaga rasiko bhava bhakti nishtaah

"Give up the thought that this body is yours. It is nothing but a collection of bones, flesh and blood. Give up the ownership on wife, children etc., realize that this world is very temporary. Show interest and relish (become a rasika) detachment from everything by performing devotional service unto the primeval Lord Govinda, with great determination."

We pray at the lotus feet of Gurudev that we always remember the temporary nature of body and its relationships and instead of wasting time in lamenting on the loss of dear and near ones, may we re-direct our senses in serving the Lord with greater determination.

Thank you very much.

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