Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 21

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

In continuation of our discussion on the topic "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus", let us learn from the next spiritual master of the avadhuta brahmana - the moth. In Srimad Bhagavatam verses 11.8.7 the avadhuta brahmana tells us the lessons that we need to learn from moth.

dṛṣṭvā striyaṁ deva-māyāṁ tad-bhāvair ajitendriyaḥ
pralobhitaḥ pataty andhe tamasy agnau pataṅga-vat

One who has failed to control his senses immediately feels attraction upon seeing a woman's form, which is created by the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord. Indeed, when the woman speaks with enticing words, smiles coquettishly and moves her body sensuously, his mind is immediately captured, and thus he falls blindly into the darkness of material existence, just as the moth maddened by the fire rushes blindly into its flames.

Chanakya Pandit says "mātravat para dāreu" - One should consider all women other than his wife, as mother. In this regard we are reminded of story of Jaimini which our beloved spiritual master, Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj used to narrate in a very instructive and humorous manner. Jaimini was disciple of Srila Vyasadev. Lord Ganesha and Jaimini were engaged in the service of writing Mahabharat as and when Vyasadev dictated it to them. One of the verses Vyasadev dictated was

mātrā svasra duhitrā vā / na viviktāsano bhavet
balavān indriya grāmo / vidvān sam api karshati

One should not allow oneself to sit on the same seat even with one's own mother, sister or daughter, for the senses are so strong that even though one is very advanced in knowledge, he may be attracted by sex.

Lord Ganesha wrote down the verse. But Jaimini ignored it and said that he is not in agreement with it. He argued that a knowledgeable person cannot be attracted to his mother or daughter or sister under any circumstance. Vyasadev replied - "These are not my words, but are inspired by Krishna. But if you are not agreeing, you can stop writing for a while and we can resume after you understand the truth behind this statement." Jaimini then left for his ashram thinking that his spiritual master was wrong in dictating that verse. That night it rained heavily and Jaimini heard the scream of a young woman outside his ashram, pleading for help. Initially he thought that being a brahmachari he should not be worried about the woman. But as heard the pleading voice repeatedly, he went out. She requested him for accommodation. Jaimini denied. But his mind began to trick him. He started thinking, "How can I be unkind to this poor woman? What will happen to her of I don't provide her shelter now?".

Then he went out of the ashram and just for a moment, when lightning flashed, he saw the woman. He told her that as a brahmachari he is not supposed to interact with woman but since she is in difficulty, he would let her sleep inside the ashram and he will sleep outside as guard for her. He told her to lock the door and not to open the door even if he himself knocks it. The woman agreed and closed the door. But the whole night Jaimini was thinking of her. He went and knocked the door hard. But she did not open. Unable to check his agitation, he climbed the wall and through the roof entered the house. The lady taunted him. So he shamelessly asked her, "Are you married?". She said, "No". He further continued - "Any intention?". She replied, "I am waiting for a suitable person to propose." Jaimini got relieved by her reply and immediately proposed to her and she accepted his proposal. But the woman said that there is a custom in their community that as and when the wedding happens, the groom has to walk on his four limbs like a donkey and carry the bride on the back and circle the fire 4 times. Jaimini was bit hesitant but when the woman said that this can be done in privacy he was relieved. Immediately he got ready and knelt down and carried the woman 4 times. After 4 rounds he tried to catch hold of her hand, he was blinded by a beam of light and could not see anything. But in the centre of spectrum of powerful beam of light, he could see an old person with a white flowing beard, his own honoured saint Vyasadev had come in the disguise of the young woman. Jaimini felt distressed and embarrassed. Vyasadev smiled and asked him, "Are you convinced now with that verse?". Jaimini did not have any more arguments now and accepted to continue writing.

So the point is no matter how knowledgeable we are, if we are not submissive to elders and spiritual master, we will easily fall a prey to maya. In his transcendental powerful class on Jan 3 2010, while Gurudev was in Panvel, he said how great sages like Viswamithra and Parasara muni themselves were not able to control their senses. "At any point of time, please remember that we cannot control our senses on our own. We should pray to Krishna to help us in controlling them. So we should never become proud that we have controlled the senses. If at any point of time, we think that we have controlled the senses, then its like throwing Vindhyacal mountain into the ocean and saying that it will float. We must always pray to Krishna for help in controlling the senses."

It is very important to take shelter of Holy Names and Krishna and They alone would help us in our struggle against Maya. Otherwise we will be attracted to the fire of sense gratification like the moth and destroy ourselves. If we don't abide by the rules of scriptures and behave whimsically and indulge in illicit sex, then Krishna has His own ways of punishing us in the form of fiery diseases like AIDS etc. Nothing goes unnoticed and we can never ever dare to trick or cheat the omnipotent Lord. Namacharaya Srila Haridas Thakur took shelter of Lord and His Names and that's why even when the prostitute tried to provoke him, he was able to remain steady and by his pure unalloyed devotion and chanting, he was even able to change the prostitute into a devotee. Such is the potency of Lord's Names. There is no doubt that maya is very illusive, powerful and attractive. But every moment we should sincerely pray to our spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna to protect us from her and give us strength to properly utilise this valuable life in Their service.

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