Author Topic: Skanda 11 Chapter 7  (Read 10899 times)


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Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« on: February 24, 2009, 11:26:33 PM »
King Yadu, a knower of Dharma once met this Avadhuta wandering everywhere fearlessly as he chose. He was young and bore the signs of the highest enlightenment and asked him thus:

O holy one! Kindly tell me what it is that fills your heart always with joy, though you are without any objects of sense enjoyment and are companionless and alone.

The Avadhuta said to him as follows:

I have severak Gurus whom I have mentally accepted as such. Learning many lessons from them, I have become free from desires and bondages and I am roaming on th earth at large. Hear about those Gurus. There are 24 Gurus whom I have resorted to. From their ways and characteristics, I have learnt the lessons I need. These 24 Gurus are:

Earth, Air, Sky, Water, Fire, Sun, Moon, Kapoota (Dove), Phython, Ocean, River, Moth, Honey-Bee, Elephant, Honey Gatherer, Deer, Fish, Pingala - the courtesan, Kurara (Osprey), Maiden, Arrow-Smith, Snake, Spider and Wasp.

1. Earth
A man of Self control should not move away from his chosen path even when attacked from his chosen path even when attacked by beings under the sway of their primordial tendencies, knowing it to be due to their own destiny (Prarabdha). This lesson I learnt from Earth. Further a spiritual aspirant should learn from the mountains of the earth and trees if them to strive unselfishly for the good of others and find the meaning of his existence in such striving. Becoming a disciple of trees, he should live for others.

2.  Air

A yogi who is established in Atman consciousness, even if he is embodied in material body and performs the various functions appropriate to the body, is never affected by the sense objects, as air is not by the smell it carries.

3. Sky

Identifying himself with Brahman, the Sage should realise that, like the Sky, the Self (Atman) is uncircumscribed and unaffected by the body, because the Self indwells all beings moving and unmoving and because he is an invariable presence everywhere in all beings. Just as the clouds wafted by the wind do not affect the Sky, so the Atman is not tainted by abidence in the body which is a combination of various elements into which the Gunas of Prakriti evolve when stirred in to activity by Time.

4. Water

Pure, Holy, and naturally loving and sweet, the Sage exercises a sanctifying influence on men which respect he resembles the Holy waters of the Ganga which purify men by sight, contact and praise.

5. Fire

Impressive and replenished by the fire of Tapas, inviolable in his greatness, having no possessions - not even a bowl but only his stomach as a receptacle for food - eating anything and everything, the sage, who is ever in communion with Brahman, remains unpolluted lie the all consuming fire. Sometimes hiding his identity, sometimes revealing it as worthy of worship by those desiring their own welfare,  the sage consumes the food  offered by donors in order to burn up their past and future sins, as fire does with all matters put into it.

This world, which is of nature of cause and effect, has been created by the all powerful Lord by His own power of Maya. .He has entered into it and is manifesting Himself in different forms through the adjunct of the body-mind, just as Fire does, residing in the fuel.

Rest in next post.

Prostrations to the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Bhagawan


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Re: Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 09:07:05 AM »

The changes that Time, the inscrutable, brings on an individual from the time of conception to the events at the cremation ground, affect only the body and not Atman, just as the waxing and the waning of the moon are only of its digits and not of the Moon itself.


The torrential speed of time is, every moment, effecting the birth and death of the bodies that the Atman assumes, but the changes involved are not noticed at the time, just like the emergence and subsidence of tongues of flames in a raging fire.


Just as the Sun absorbs water with its rays and releases it in proper time as rain, so the Yogi accepts objects of the senses with the senses, not for his own enjoyment, but to release them to needy people at the proper time.

When the Atman abides in Himself no difference is experienced; when He abides in adjuncts, gross-minded people think of Him as many. It is just like the one Sun reflected in different adjuncts like pans of water, being looked upon as many and diverse.

Prostrations to Bhagawan


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Re: Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 11:21:48 PM »
Kapota Bird (Dove)

One should never indulge in excessive affection or concern for anyone or anything; otherwise one will have to experience great suffering, just like the foolish pigeon.

There once was a pigeon who lived in the forest along with his wife. He had built a nest within a tree and lived there for several years in her company. The two pigeons were very much devoted to their household duties. Their hearts being tied together by sentimental affection, they were each attracted by the other’s glances, bodily features and states of mind. Thus, they completely bound each other in affection. Naively trusting in the future, they carried out their acts of resting, sitting, walking, standing, conversing, playing, eating and so forth as a loving couple among the trees of the forest. Whenever she desired anything, O King, the she-pigeon would flatteringly cajole her husband, and he in turn would gratify her by faithfully doing whatever she wanted, even with great personal difficulty. Thus, he could not control his senses in her association. Then the female pigeon experienced her first pregnancy. When the time arrived, she delivered a number of eggs within the nest in the presence of her husband. When the time was ripe, baby pigeons, with tender limbs and feathers created by the maya of the Lord were born from those eggs. The two pigeons became most affectionate to their children and took great pleasure in listening to their awkward chirping, which sounded very sweet to the parents. Thus with love they began to raise the little birds who were born of them. The parent birds became very joyful by observing the soft wings of their children, their chirping, their lovely innocent movements around the nest and their attempts to jump up and fly. Seeing their children happy, the parents were also happy. Their hearts bound to each other by affection, the foolish birds, completely bewildered by the maya of Lord Visnu continued to take care of the young offspring who had been born to them.

One day the two heads of the family went out to find food for the children. Being very anxious to feed their offspring properly, they wandered all over the forest for a long time. At that time a certain hunter who happened to be wandering through the forest saw the young pigeons moving about near their nest. Spreading out his net he captured them all. When the lady pigeon caught sight of her own children trapped within the hunter’s net, she was overwhelmed with anguish, and crying out, she rushed toward them as they cried out to her in return. The lady pigeon had always allowed herself to be bound by the ropes of intense affection, and thus her mind was overwhelmed by anguish. Being in the grip of the maya of the Lord, she completely forgot herself, and rushing forward to her helpless children, she was immediately bound in the hunter’s net. Seeing his own children, who were more dear to him than life itself, fatally bound in the hunter’s net along with his dearmost wife, whom he considered equal in every way to himself, the poor male pigeon began to lament wretchedly.

The male pigeon said: Alas, just see how I am now destroyed! I am obviously a great fool, for I did not properly execute pious activities. I could not satisfy myself, nor could I fulfill the purpose of life. My dear family which was the basis of my dharma, artha and kama is now hopelessly ruined. My wife and I were an ideal match. She always faithfully obeyed me and in fact accepted me as her worshipable deity. But now, seeing her children lost and her home empty, she has left me behind and gone to heaven with our children. Now I am a wretched person living in an empty home. My wife is dead; my children are dead. Why should I possibly want to live? My heart is so pained by separation from my family that life itself has become simply suffering.

As the father pigeon wretchedly stared at his poor children trapped in the net and on the verge of death, pathetically struggling to free themselves, his mind went blank, and thus he himself fell into the hunter’s net. The cruel hunter, having fulfilled his desire by capturing the head pigeon, his wife and all of their children, set off for his own home.

In this way, one who is too attached to family life becomes disturbed at heart. Like the pigeon, he tries to find pleasure in mundane sexual attraction. Busily engaged in maintaining his own family, the miserly person is fated to suffer greatly, along with all his family members. . The doors of liberation are opened wide to one who has achieved human life. But if a human being simply devotes himself to family life like the foolish bird in this story, then he is to be considered as one who has climbed to a high place only to trip and fall down.

Prostrations to Bhagawan


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Re: Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 10:06:37 AM »
Dear Ganesh_b01,

Very nice description. The dove simile comes on many passages
of Upanishads.  Two doves, sitting on a tree, one eating a fruit
and the other watching it, comes in Katopanishad.  Taittirya
Upanishad takes its name, from the doves, which took the vomited
food of a disciple (Vedic knowledge), that his guru wanted him
to give out, since the disciple wronged the guru on some account.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 02:50:23 PM »
I think this post is left incomplete about the 24 Gurus of Dhathathreya. Here is an abridged version of all the 24 Gurus:

1. I have learnt patience and doing good to others from the earth, for it endures every injury that man commits on its surface and yet it does him good by producing crops, trees, etc.

2. From water I have learnt the quality of purity. Just as the pure water cleanses other, so also the sage, who is pure and free from selfishness, lust, egoism, anger, greed, etc., purifies all those who come in contact with him.

3. The air is always moving through various objects, but it never gets attached to anyone of them; so I have learnt from the air to be without attachment, though I move with many people in this world.

4. Just as five burns bright, so also the sage should be glowing with the splendor of his knowledge and Tapas.

5. The air, the stars, the clouds, etc., are all contained in the sky, but the sky does not come in contact with any of them. I have learnt from the sky that the Atma is all pervading and yet it has no contact with any object.

6. The moon is in itself always complete, but appears to decrease or increase, on an account of the varying shadow of the earth upon the moon. I have learnt from this that the Atma is always perfect and changeless and that it is only the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts that cast shadows upon it.

7. Just as the sun, reflected in various pots of water, appears as so many different reflections, so also, Brahman appears different because of the Upadhis (bodies) caused by its reflection through the mind. This is the lesson I have learnt

8. I once saw a pair of pigeons with their young birds. A fowler spread a net and caught the young birds. The mother pigeon was very much attached to her children. She did not care to live, so she fell into the net and was caught. The male Pigeon was attached to the female pigeon, so he also fell into the net and was caught. From this I learnt that attachment was the cause of bondage.

9. The python does not move about for its food. It remains contented with whatever it gets and lies in one place. From this I have learnt to be unmindful of food and to be contented with whatever I get to eat (Ajahara Vritti).

10. Just as the ocean remains unmoved even though hundreds of rivers fall into it, so also, the wise man should remain unmoved among all sorts of temptations, difficulties and troubles. This is the lesson I have learnt from the ocean.

11. Just as the moth, being enamoured of the brilliance of the fire, falls into it and is burnt up, so also, a passionate man who falls in love with a beautiful girl comes to grief. To control the sense of sight and to fix the mind on the Self is the lesson I have learnt from the moth.

12. Just as black bee sucks the honey from different flowers and does not suck it from only one flower, so also I take only a little food from one house and a little from another house and thus appease my hunger (Madhukari Bhiksha or Madhukari Vritti). I am not a burden on the householder.

13. Bees collect honey with great trouble, but a hunter comes and takes the honey easily. Even so, people hoard up wealth and other things with great difficulty, but they have to leave them all at once and depart when the Lord of Death takes hold of them. From this I have learnt the lesson that it is useless to hoard things.

14. The male elephant, blinded by lust, falls into a pit covered over with grass, even at the sight of a paper-made female elephant. It gets caught, enchained and tortured by the goad. Even so, passionate men fall in the traps of women and come to grief. Therefore, one should destroy lust. This is the lesson I have learnt from the elephant.

15. The deer is enticed and trapped by the hunter through its love of music. Even so, a man is attracted by the music of women of loose character and brought to destruction. One should never listen to lewd songs. This is the lesson I have learnt from the deer.

16. Just as a fish that is covetous of food falls an easy victim to the bait, so also, the man who is greedy of food, who allows his sense of taste to overpower him, loses his independence and easily gets ruined. The greed for food must therefore be destroyed. It is the lesson that I have learnt from the fish.

17. There was a dancing girl named Pingala in the town of Videha. She was tired of looking out for customers one night. She became hopeless. Then she decided to remain content with what she had and then she had sound sleep. I have learnt from that fallen woman the lesson that the abandonment of hope leads to contentment.

18. A raven picked up a piece of flesh. It was pursued and beaten by other birds. It dropped the piece of flesh and attained peace and rest. From this I have learnt the lesson that a man in the world undergoes all sorts of troubles and miseries when he runs after sensual pleasures and that he becomes as happy as the bird when he abandons the sensual pleasures.

19. The child who sucks milk is free from all cares, worries and anxieties, and is always cheerful. I have learnt the virtue of cheerfulness from the child.

20. The parents of a young girl had gone in search of a proper bridegroom for her. The girl was alone in the house. During the absence of the parents, a party of people came to the house to see her on a similar mission. She received the party herself. She went inside to husk the paddy. While she was husking, the glass bangles on both hands made a tremendous jingling noise. The wise girl reflected thus: “The party will detect, by the noise of the bangles, that I an husking the paddy myself and that my family is too poor to engage others to get the work done. Let me break all my bangles except two on each hand”. Accordingly, she broke all the bangles except two on each hand. Even those two bangles created much noise. She broke one more bangle in each hand. There was no further noise though she continued husking. I have learnt from the girl‘s experience the following: Living among many would create discord, disturbance, dispute and quarrel. Even among two persons, there might be unnecessary words or strife. The ascetic or the Sannyasin should remain alone in solitude.

21. A serpent does not build its hole. It dwells in the holes dug out by others. Even so, an ascetic or a Sannyasin should not build a home for himself. He should live in the caves and temples built by others. This is the lesson that I have learnt from the snake.

22. The mind of an arrow-maker was once wholly engrossed in sharpening and straightening an arrow. While he was thus engaged, a king passed before his shop with his whole retinue. After some time, a man came to the artisan and asked him whether the king had passed by his shop. The artisan replied that he had not noticed anything. The fact was that the artisan’s mind had been so solely absorbed in his work that he had not known the king’s passing before his shop. I have learnt from the artisan the quality of intense concentration of mind.

23. The spider pours out of its mouth long threads and weaves them into cobwebs. It gets itself entangled in the net of its own making. Even so, man makes a net of his own ideas and gets entangled in it. The wise man should therefore abandon all worldly thoughts and think of Brahman only. This is the lesson I have learnt from the spider.

24. The Bhringi or the beetle catches hold of a worm, puts it in its nest and gives it a sting. The poor worm, always fearing the return of the beetle and the sting, and thinking constantly of the beetle, becomes a beetle itself. Whatever form a main constantly thinks of, he attains in course of time. As a man thinks, so he becomes. I have learnt from the beetle and the worm to turn myself into Atma by contemplating constantly on It and thus to give up all attachment to the body and attain Moksha or liberation”.


“You cannot travel the path until
you have become the path itself”


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Re: Skanda 11 Chapter 7
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 10:19:11 AM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Excellent abridgement of the story of 24 gurus.  Guru comes in many forms and each gives one aspect of teaching.  The Gurus' ways cannot deciphered at all.   Once there was a guru who taught his disciple for seven years.  At the end of the 7th year, the disciple asked the guru whether he could leave.  The guru said Wait.  Then in a few minutes, the guru complained of stomach pain and vomitted all that he had eaten.  The disciple immediately cupped his hands and held the vomitted food.  The guru then told him:  Please drop this on a place where there are no footsteps of any living being, come back and tell me.  The disciple came back after sometime.  The guru asked:  Where did you drop the vomitted food?  The disciple said:  "There is no place on the earth, where the footsteps of living beings had not fallen.  If not humans, every place could have been stepped on by animals, birds and ants and such creatures.  So I thought for a while.  The only place on the earth where such footsteps had not been there, is my stomach!  So I gulped it!"

The Guru then smiled and said:  "You are realized.  You can go!"       

Arunachala Siva.