Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained. Months passed, and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived. The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch.
Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, "May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem." So he cried out to his court, "Go and get a farmer." In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, "Bring me the doer of this miracle." The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, "How did you make the falcon fly?" With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, "It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting."
We are all made to fly — to realize our incredible potential as souls being eternal parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. The perfection of our lives is to attain love of Godhead and this can alone bring us unlimited bliss. But most of the times we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us in this material world. The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, and the mundane without realizing that the things to which we are attached are all prone to destruction and the people with whom we are attached are prone to leave us. That is why there is an axe which is required to cut the branch of our attachment to material things. Lord Krishna speaks of this in Srimad Bhagavad Gita 15.3-4:
na rūpam asyeha tathopalabhyate
nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā
aśvattham enaṁ su-virūḍha-mūlam
asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā
tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ
yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ
tam eva cādyaṁ puruṣaṁ prapadye
yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī
The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this strongly rooted tree with the weapon of detachment. Thereafter, one must seek that place from which, having gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything began and from whom everything has extended since time immemorial.
In Srimad Bhagavatam we see that Devahuti mata is addressing Lord Kapila deva as sva bhrtya samsara taroh kuthaaram - You are the axe which can cut the tree of material existence. In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.7 it is said
vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.
In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.21.32 Srila Prabhupada writes "Bhakti, or devotional service, is characterized by vairaagya and jnaana. Jnaana refers to understanding that one is not this body, and vairaagya means disinterest in sense gratification. These two primary principles of separation from material bondage can be realized on the strength of bhakti-yoga. Thus when a devotee is fixed in the loving service of the lotus feet of the Lord, he will never come back to this material existence after quitting his body, as confirmed in Bhagavad-Gita by the Lord (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna [Bg. 4.9]).
Thus devotional service helps us as an axe to cut off our attachment to the branch of this material world by helping us develop the two strong wings of jnana and vairagya which will lead us in our glorious flight to the supreme abode of the lord.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
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