Teachings from 24 Gurus

Hare Krishna Devotees,

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

Last year in September we had started an offering on the topic "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus". But somehow we later couldn’t continue the series. We seek forgivance for the same and pray for the mercy of Gurudev and all the Vaishnavas so that we can resume that topic from this mail onwards.

Just to recollect this offering is based on based on conversation between Uddhava and Lord Krishna. Uddhava requested Lord Krishna how to give up bodily attachments and remember Krishna always. In this regard, Lord Krishna narrated him the conversation between Maharaj Yadu and avadhuta brahmana who tells the king about the twenty-four different spiritual masters from whom he got valuable instructions that has helped him attain a transcendental state. In the previous offerings we heard from the Avadhuta brahmana that he learnt valuable lessons from the following Gurus:

1. Mother Earth – We should learn the golden lesson of forbearance – to never deter from spiritual progress even when harrassed by others and to see Krishna’s hand in all situations.

2. Mountain and Trees – We should learn to devote all our efforts to the service of others and to make the welfare of others the sole reason for our existence.

3. Wind – We should learn to transcended material good and evil and should not become entangled even when in contact with the material objects.

4. Sky – We should learn to see that the spirit soul enters within all forms of life, both moving and nonmoving, and that the individual souls are thus all-pervading like the sky.

5. Water – We should imbibe the qualities of being humble, sweet and gentle, and soft-hearted nature.

6. Fire – We should perform fiery devotional service by which our anarthas gets destroyed. We should take shelter of great saints who like fire, keep a low profile and like to remain unnoticed; but just to deliver suffering souls travel around the world and preach the message of Lord. Also from the appearance and disappearance of flame in the fire, we should remember the imperceptible flickering nature of time, cultivate renunciation and perform fiery devotional service.

7. Moon – We should learn that just like how the apparent waxing and waning of the moon does not affect the moon itself, the various phases of one’s material life, beginning with birth and culminating in death, are all properties of the body and do not affect the soul.

8. Sun – The first lesson to be learnt from the sun is not to have a sense of false-proprietorship. Whatever opulence/talent we are blessed in this life – everything has come to us from Krishna. Since He is the owner – it is very appropriate to use them in His service.

In this mail let us continue to hear from the avadhuta brahmana as to what was the next lesson he learnt from his spiritual master, "Sun". In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 11.7.51 he says,

budhyate sve na bhedena / vyakti-stha iva tad-gatah
lakshyate sthula-matibhir / aatmaa caavasthito ‘rka-vat

"Even when reflected in various objects, the sun is never divided, nor does it merge into its reflection. Only those with dull brains would consider the sun in this way. Similarly, although the soul is reflected through different material bodies, the soul remains undivided and nonmaterial."

Just like sun is one, we should also understand that Krishna as Supersoul is living in all living entities. So irrespective of whether a living entity is boy or girl, human or animal, rich or poor, tall or short, beautiful or ugly, thin or stout, healthy or sick, irrespective of nationality, color or race – Krishna is residing in everyone’s heart. We are all part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and so  we should not discriminate people. Even while distributing the message of Lord, we should do it without any discrimination and should not be selective in sharing the message with others. This nature will only please the Lord. While explaining about the glories of devotional service to his mother Devahuti, Lord Kapila says in 3.29.26:

aatmanash ca parasyaapi / yahkaroty antarodaram
tasya bhinna-drsho mrtyur / vidadhe bhayam ulbanam

"As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook."

As our god-brother HG Madanmohan Prabhuji had very nicely mentioned in his recent mail on "Sharing of Service", we can do great amount of service when we serve in united manner. Lord Krishna Himself assures this in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.30.8:

shri bhagavan uvaaca
varam vrnidhvam bhadram vo / yuyam me nrpa-nandanaah
sauhaardenaaprthag-dharmaas / tushto ‘ham sauhrdena vah

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: "My dear sons of the King, I am very much pleased by the friendly relationships among you. All of you are engaged in one occupation devotional service. I am so pleased with your mutual friendship that I wish you all good fortune. Now you may ask a benediction of Me."

We pray and seek guidance at the lotus feet of Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that we see Krishna’s presence in all living entities, and without discrimnation render service unto Their lotus feet.

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