Self Inspection

24th Oct 2021
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!  

I would like to share here a beautiful story I came across and it has many lessons to teach us.  One day one person climbed up a mountain where a hermit woman was meditating. Seeing her all alone, the person who climbed up asked her - “What are you doing here alone in such a solitary place?” To which she replied: -  "I have lots of work!"

The person said, "And how can you have so much work?  I don't see anything around you here...?" 

The woman replied, "I have to train two hawks and two eagles, assure two rabbits, discipline one snake, motivate a donkey and tame a lion....."

Seeing nothing around, the man asked - “And, where have they gone that I don't see them?" 

She replied - "I have them all inside here within me..." 
The hawks stare on everything that is presented to me, good or bad, I have to work on them to see only good things. They are my eyes. 
The two eagles with their claws hurt and destroy, I have to train them not to hurt. They are my hands. 
Rabbits want to go where they want, at the same time they do not want to face difficult situations, I have to teach them to be calm even if there is suffering or stumbling. They are my feet. 
The donkey is always tired, stubborn and does not want to carry the load each time I walk. That is my body! 
The most difficult to tame is the "snake." Although it is locked in a strong cage with 32 bars, it is always ready to sting, bite and poison anyone nearby. I have to discipline it... that's my tongue. 
I also have one Lion. Oh ... how proud, vain, he thinks that "he is the king." I have to tame him. And that's my ego. 

So you see, my friend, I have lots of work..... "

This story has a lot for us to  reflect upon. We all may have the same — Lots to work on ourselves. On the other hand we always have a tendency to look at others and judge them, evaluate them, criticize them thus wasting our valuable time. Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in one of his lectures in Singapore says:- "Unless you purify your existence, your existence is completely mogha - useless. Do not think that you can go on reading the Bhagavata purana and go on with the dirty activities again. Don't get upset with the situations. Situations will always agitate you. You have to completely change. Please change for the good and convert your own situation into a very nice favourable situation by controlling yourself. Nobody else has the capacity to harm you. You are the one who is harming yourself.  

We ourselves are to be blamed. We many times blame others because the construction of our body is such that we can only see others. I can see your face very clearly. However hard I try, I can’t see my face. I can see the reflection on the mirror but it is not the real face. Because of this bodily construction, we have a permanent tendency to blame others for our own defects and we always point our fingers at others. Frankly speaking, nobody does anything. We are the ones who are completely wrong. When you point fingers at others, you see that one finger is towards others and three fingers are towards you. So why to worry about one? Worry about three. When we start blaming ourselves, the whole thing completely subsides. You try this. In your misunderstandings, you please try this thing. So instead of blaming others for our own difficulties, we should inspect our own self and you will find out that when you create this tendency the house which was Kurukshetra yuddha will be completely very peaceful. Completely it will change for the good and all the living entities who are staying in the house will be completely satisfied. And instead of just blaming each other and shouting and screaming we will be completely peaceful and we will be smiling at each other. This is the beauty of Krishna consciousness. This is the beauty of Srimad Bhagavatam."

The twin sons of Kuvera who were liberated by Lord Damodara, give us a very beautiful prayer to offer to the Lord which enable us to focus on controlling our senses by engaging them in the service of the Lord and this is the best way to be merciful to ourselves. Srimad Bhagavatam 10.10.38 

vāṇī guṇānukathane śravaṇau kathāyāṁ
hastau ca karmasu manas tava pādayor naḥ
smṛtyāṁ śiras tava nivāsa-jagat-praṇāme
dṛṣṭiḥ satāṁ darśane ’stu bhavat-tanūnām 

Henceforward, may all our words describe Your pastimes, may our ears engage in aural reception of Your glories, may our hands, legs and other senses engage in actions pleasing to You, and may our minds always think of Your lotus feet. May our heads offer our obeisances to everything within this world, because all things are also Your different forms, and may our eyes see the forms of Vaiṣhṇavas, who are non-different from You. 

By the single stroke of engaging in devotional service, our job of training the two hawks (eyes) and two eagles (hands), assuring two rabbits (legs) , disciplining one snake (tongue), motivating a donkey (body) and taming a lion (false ego) becomes so very easy and pleasing, by the mercy of our spiritual master, the magnanimous Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and our adorable little Lord Damodara. And we don’t have to strive alone doing this, but becomes very easy in the association of like minded devotees. 

Thank you very much. 
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev, 
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Chennai.