Lessons from the Twenty-Four Gurus - Part 35

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna. Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

We have been meditating on the lessons from various gurus of the avadhuta brahmana in the offerings titled, "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus" and today we will continue to hear from the prostitute Pingala, one of the gurus from whom the avadhuta brahmana learnt the important lesson of detachment.

In verse 11.8.32, Pingala laments how foolishly she has tortured her own soul by not engaging herself in the service of Lord. She says

aho mayātmā paritāpito vṛthā
straiṇān narād yārtha-tṛṣo ’nuśocyāt
krītena vittaṁ ratim ātmanecchatī

Oh, how I have uselessly tortured my own soul! I have sold my body to lusty, greedy men who are themselves objects of pity. Thus practicing the most abominable profession of a prostitute, I hoped to get money and sex pleasure.

The prayers of Pingala are very much applicable to us. We should not falsely think that Pingala is a prostitute and so her prayers and instructions are not applicable for us. When we honestly introspect ourselves, we will realise that we are also not much different from her. We are all blessed with BMW (Body, Mind and Words) by the Lord. When we make proper use of this BMW by engaging our senses in His service, then we will experience bliss and also make the people around us blissful. But if we misuse our senses, then we are not displeasing Lord and people around us, but we are actually torturing our own soul. The words "paritaapito" (subjected to great pain) and "anushocyaat" (pitiable) in the above verse are worth meditating.  When we don't engage ourselves in service of the Lord, we are actually torturing our soul. In the purport to verse 4.23.28, Srila Prabhupada while explaining the verse 11.20.17 from Srimad Bhagavatam very nicely explains this act as suicide.

nṛ-deham ādyaṁ su-labhaṁ su-durlabhaṁ
plavaṁ su-kalpaṁ guru-karṇadhāram
mayānukūlena nabhasvateritaṁ
pumān bhavābdhiṁ na taret sa ātma-hā

"When one wants to cross a large ocean, he requires a strong boat. It is said that this human form of life is a good boat by which one can cross the ocean of nescience. In the human form of life, one can obtain the guidance of a good navigator, the spiritual master. One also gets a favourable wind by the mercy of Krishna, and that wind is the instructions of Krishna. The human body is the boat, the instructions of Lord Krishna are the favourable winds, and the spiritual master is the navigator. The spiritual master knows well how to adjust the sails to catch the winds favourably and steer the boat to its destination. If, however, one does not take advantage of this opportunity, one wastes the human form of life. Wasting time and life in this way is the same as committing suicide."

Many a time we think that people around us are a source of happiness and take shelter of them. But they themselves are in pitiable (anushocyaat) condition. So how can they help us or please us? A drowning man cannot save another person from drowning. So instead of running behind such false temporary shelters for our sense pleasure, we should take shelter of the all blissful, eternal, Supreme Lord.

We definitely cannot separate ourselves from this material world. We have our family, prescribed duties etc. Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says that doing our prescribed duties immaculately well as an offering to the Lord is also devotional service. So serving parents, taking care of children are all devotional service. If we neglect them and do arati for Krishna, we are not pleasing Krishna. Human life is a very rare and valuable opportunity. But in spite of hearing these words repetitively our mind, most of the times do not realise the importance of the same. Only when the merciful Lord gives some jerks in life, then we come back to our consciousness. So how to keep us focussed always in service of the Lord? How to avoid giving pains to the soul? The answer for this is in one of the favourite verse of Maharaj Srimad Bhagavatam verse 10.1.4, which he had made all of us memorise along with translation

nivṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānād
bhavauṣadhāc chrotra-mano-’bhirāmāt
ka uttamaśloka-guṇānuvādāt
pumān virajyeta vinā paśughnāt

Glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is performed in the paramparaa system; that is, it is conveyed from spiritual master to disciple. Such glorification is relished by those no longer interested in the false, temporary glorification of this cosmic manifestation. Descriptions of the Lord are the right medicine for the conditioned soul undergoing repeated birth and death. Therefore, who will cease hearing such glorification of the Lord except a butcher or one who is killing his own self?

We pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that we remember these important lessons and engage our BMW properly both in doing our prescribed duties and sadhana for Their glorification.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.