Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 45

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
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 see what lessons avadhuta brahmana learnt from his next guru -"hawk". In verses 11.9.1 and 2, the avadhuta brahmana says

śrī-brāhmaṇa uvāca
parigraho hi duḥkhāya yad yat priyatamaṁ nṛṇām
anantaṁ sukham āpnoti tad vidvān yas tv akiñcanaḥ

sāmiṣaṁ kuraraṁ jaghnur balino ’nye nirāmiṣāḥ
tadāmiṣaṁ parityajya sa sukhaṁ samavindata

The saintly brahmana said: Everyone considers certain things within the material world to be most dear to him, and because of attachment to such things one eventually becomes miserable. One who understands this gives up material possessiveness and attachment and thus achieves unlimited happiness. Once a group of large hawks who were unable to find any prey attacked another, weaker hawk who was holding some meat. At that time, being in danger of his life, the hawk gave up his meat and experienced actual happiness.

We saw that crux of lesson from his previous guru Pingala was - "aashaa hi paramam duhkham nairaashyam paramam sukham." This very same lesson of detachment is taught to us by the weak hawk as well. Our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says that when some things are repeatedly mentioned in scriptures, it means that it is very very important for us. So by hearing from these great souls, let us make a sincere endeavor to practise the same in our life.

In this example, we find that weak hawk instead of holding on to the meat just gave it up and thereby it could save itself from the attack of the stronger hawks. In this world, when we also become attached to some object, then the merciful Lord, to bring us back on to His path, arranges in His own way so that we get miseries due to the same objects for which we are attached. In such instances, if we give up the attachment gracefully and redirect our attachment on Supreme Lord, then we save a lot of time, energy, Lakshmi and more importantly we will not lose our peace of mind. On the contrary, when we hold on to objects of attachment tightly, we will be becoming more and more miserable. End of the day our mental peace is lost and how can we be happy without peace? Instead, if we give up such attachments we will be completely peaceful and experience actual happiness.

On this auspicious occasion of Sri Rama Navami, let us meditate how Lord Ram has taught us this important lesson of detachment when He appeared in this planet as the son of King Dasaratha in the Raghu dynasty. King Dasaratha declared that Lord Ram would be his successor and that the coronation ceremony would happen the following day. But due to the acts of Mandara and Kaikeyi, Lord Ram's coronation did not happen. Instead, he was told to go on an exile to the forest for 14 years. Initially when it was declared that He should be enthroned as king, and later when it was declared that He needs to go to the forest, in both instances Lord Ram's face was completely "aaraam". There was no sign of anger or agitation on His face. He had all the rights on Ayodhya. What to speak of Ayodhya, He is the proprietor of the whole cosmic manifestation. All the ministers and subjects were in favour of Him. He could have very well refused His father's orders and that too Dasaratha had unwillingly given that order just to keep up his vows to Kaikeyi. But as Maryadha Purushottam, to show the world how a son should behave, Lord Ram simply abided by His father's words and went to the forest. He is so merciful that later, when Lord Brahma gives Him boons, He requests Lord Brahma to arrange for Him to meet King Dasaratha and when He meets Dasaratha, He asks him to forgive Kaikeyi and Bharath. That is the greatness of Lord Ram! Krpa Sindhu Maryada Purushottam Sri Ramacandra Bhagavan ki Jai!

Maharaj is an ardent devotee of Lord Ram and following His footsteps, Maharaj has also exhibited this wonderful quality of detachment in many instances in his life. Maharaj has insisted that not only in material things, even in spiritual service, we should not become over-attached to any service. Our goal is to please Guru and Krishna and to serve Them in the way They want and not according to how we want. Even when Maharaj was giving his life and soul in building magnificent temples in Dwaraka and Rajkot with utmost care and attention, Maharaj lived in a very humble bhajan kutir, with minimum sets of clothes, minimum vessels etc. He used to tell that, "If tomorrow we are asked to leave this place, we will accept it as Krishna's plan and we will simply take our baggage and leave."  Maharaj did not think that since he had put so much time, effort and energy to build the temples, he can stay there forever. Nor did he think that what will happen if he is not round. He always used to say that, "We are not the doers. It is Krishna's temple and He knows how to build it. Our duty is to simply abide by Krishna's plans. If we voluntarily don't give up our attachments, then in the end of life Krishna will anyway forcefully take them away from us. So better to give up voluntarily and be happy."

We pray that we remember this most important lesson taught to us by Lord Sri Ram and these great souls and practise the same in our life.

Sri Sri Sita Ram Lakshman Hanuman ki Jai ! Sri Sri Ram Navami Mahotsav ki Jai ! Srila Prabhupada ki Jai ! Srila Gurudev ki Jai.

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