Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 41

Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 41

31st Mar 2011
Kalacakra Krsna das

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 11.8.39 Pingala says

tenopakrtam aadaaya / shirasaa graamya sangataah
tyaktva duraashaah sharanam /  vrajaami tam adhishvaram

"With devotion I accept the great benefit that the Lord has bestowed upon me. Having given up my sinful desires for ordinary sense gratification, I now take shelter of Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Pingala exhibits a very important quality of devotee in this verse - gratitude. If we don't have this quality, we cannot advance an inch in devotional service. The word upaakrtam meaning "great help", in the above verse is worth meditating. Lord is kindly helping us every moment of our life, right from the moment we are conceived in the womb of the mother. But unfortunately we are so fallen that most of the time, we don't even realise, recognise or acknowledge the great help which Lord is doing to us. We take Him for granted and think that we deserve to get whatever we are possessing now and even falsely think that we deserve more.

 Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj used to say how great Krishna is - First of all it is very difficult for the child to reside inside the mother's womb for 9 months, without free movement. And more difficult it is for the child to come to the outer world. It appears that neither the mother, nor the child can survive in that process. But by the complete mercy of Krishna, child comes out. After birth also, Krishna takes care to provide the basic amenities to all of us. There is no scarcity of air to breathe. Whether we are good or bad, rich or poor, strong or weak, all of us are provided with air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and some shelter to stay. Above all He patiently tolerates our misbehaviour and bad deeds life after life, yet never gives up on us and continues to be our true well-wisher all the time. Simply thinking how kind the Lord has been to us right from the beginning, will give us an impetus to refrain from sinful actions, and to engage in sincere devotional service. Thats why Pingala is saying -"tyaktvaa duraasashaah sharanam vrajaami tam adhishvaram" - "Having given up my sinful desires for ordinary sense gratification, I now take shelter of Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” We should not only be grateful to Lord, but with all the living entities who have helped us in this life, irrespective of whether the help was big or small, whether it is in our material life or spiritual life. Gratitude is noble quality to be practised in every step of our life. Maharaj says that we should not only be grateful to people who help us, but we should also be grateful to people who frown at us. So how much grateful we should be to Supreme Lord who is our well-wishing father ?

In verse 11.8.40 she prays very beautifully

santushtaa shraddadhaty etad / yathaa laabhena jeevati
viharaamy amunaivaaham / aatmanaa ramanena vai

I am now completely satisfied, and I have full faith in the Lord's mercy. Therefore I will maintain myself with whatever comes of its own accord. I shall enjoy life with only the Lord, because He is the real source of love and happiness.

Santushta or satisfaction is the greatest wealth for any person. If we possess that, then there is no lack for us in any condition of life. Maharaj always used to advise us , "Never feel that you lack something in life. Never. Never. Krishna is Vishwambar. Why will He forsake you ? Always be cheerful and courageous and carry on with devotional service"  This is the faith we should instill in us. Many a times we want things to happen in our way and when it works out differently, we drown ourselves in deep dark well of sorrow. Instead it would be better to maintain ourselves with, “yathaa laabhena jeevati" - "whatever comes of its own accord”, then life would be very peaceful both for us and the people around us. In this regard, we are reminded of one of Maharaj’s favourite story which our god-brother HG Devakinandan Prabhuji said in one of the Bhagavatam classes about a sweeper in Dwaraka. There was a sweeper in Dwaraka who used to clean the temple daily. One day the sweeper thought that Dwarakadish is standing all day in the altar and would be feeling very tired. So he wanted to give rest for the Lord. Seeing his internal desire, Lord appeared before him and said that He would take rest for a day and instead of Him, the sweeper should stand in the altar in His form. The sweeper gladly agreed to do this service. The Lord told that the sweeper,"When you stand in the altar instead of me, please make sure that you should never open your mouth, no matter whatever happens." The sweeper agreed.

Next day many people were coming to have darshan of Dwarakadish. Among them, there was a rich man who came for darshan. He donated few rupees and by mistake he left the wallet there. After a while a poor-man came. Though he earned very less, he offered whatever he could and prayed to the Lord sincerely. When he opened his eyes he saw the wallet. He took it as Lord's mercy and went home with it. Later a sailor came for darshan. At that time, the rich man realised that he had left the wallet near the altar. As soon as he saw the sailor there, he started blaming him and called the police to arrest him. The sweeper who was standing in the altar could not tolerate the injustice any more. He thought that even if Dwarakadish was personally present in the altar, He would also speak out the real truth. So he narrated the whole thing to the police and rich man. The people there were thrilled to hear the Deity speak and so they left the sailor and arrested the poor man. The rich man thanked the Lord and went home. The sailor was happy that police did not arrest him and left for his voyage. In the night, the sweeper happily narrated the whole incident to Dwarakadish and the Lord was very upset with the sweeper for his behaviour. Dwarakadish said - "The rich man was a miser and he had amassed so much wealth in unfair means. On the other hand, the poor man was a sincere devotee of Mine. So I wanted to help him by giving the money. Also the sailor was about to face an accident in the night if we had to travel. Had he been caught in the prison, he would have been saved from that danger as well!" 

The lesson to be learnt from the above pastime is that Lord knows what is best for us. We, with our limited brains cannot even dare to interfere with His plans. So it is always best to accept whatever He gives us on His own accord and not to force our requests on Him.

We pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that we remember these lessons and practise them in this life.

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