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Car Flies Follow Garuda
(82) When a young man marries, he automatically
acquires all of the relatives of his wife. Some of these adore him,
while others seem to automatically hate him. Similarly, when some
one becomes a devotee, he naturally becomes the darling of thousands of other servants of the Lord. But the atheists un provoked make the devotee the object of their scorn.
83) As flies are unable to follow Garuda so even the great atheists—despite their so-called material advancement—find it impossible to follow Krishna's devotees.
84) As an Ayurvedic physician can tell the condition of his patients by checking their pulse rate, so the spiritual master knows the "pulse" of each of his disciples.
85) A young child was once taken to the hospital to have a tumor removed. When the boy saw the doctor's scalpel, he mistook the doctor for an enemy. Yet after the operation cured the boy, he recognized the doctor to be a very good friend, indeed. Similarly, we are all suffering from the "skin disease" of having a material body, and in such a state of mind it is often difficult for us to comprehend what a genuine friend we have in the spiritual master. But when, by the guru's divine grace, the disease of material bondage is "cut" away, the spiritually free disciple realizes the inestimable value of the pure devotee's guidance.
(86) A disciple who follows the austerities prescribed by the spiritual master is blessed with quick advancement in spiritual life. Simply by keeping his part of the agreement, the sincere disciple is guaranteed the assistance of the spiritual master, life after life. Just as one is not bound to another who has broken a legal contract, so the spiritual master is not bound to deliver from material bondage any disciple who will not follow his instructions. Devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement follow these four regulative principles: (1) no gambling or mental speculation, (2) no illicit sex, (3) no eating of meat, fish or eggs, (4) and no intoxication. In addition, they chant the maha-mantra on their japa-mala or beads, 16 rounds daily, 108 mantras per round:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
(87) In Bengal wild tigers are often captured in the Sundarbans forest, and then taken to the animal trainer. Put into a cage, a tiger is starved to near-death. Finally when the wretched beast is too weak to stand, the animal trainer appears with a whip and beats the tiger within an inch of its life. Then the tiger is regularly fed and his health is restored. At this point the trainer may simply appear before the beast with the whip to make the tiger remember the agonizing ordeal. Thus he be comes docile and calm. In the same way the ravenous senses, likened to ferocious tigers, must be strictly trained through tapasya, voluntary discipline and restraint.
88) The ability to walk is born with a baby, and within a couple of years the child learns walking through practice. Similarly, Krishna consciousness is eternally present within the conditioned soul, but through practicing the rules and regulations of bhakti-yoga we can realize spontaneous attraction for the Lord.
89) As frogs begin to croak when thunder is heard, so all devotees rise early in the morning at the sound of a bell and pray in the temple by chanting Hare Krishna upon their prayer beads.
90) The devotional chants recited by devotees are called mantras in Sanskrit. This means "that which delivers the mind from material bondage." The mind may be as deceitful as a thief running and yelling "Stop thief!" Or the mind can be the cause of emancipation as well, depending upon how it is trained.
91) The mind is just like a blank check; it alone has no value. As a check may be written for any amount, so the mind can be made priceless by meditation upon Krishna, or rendered worthless through letting it dwell upon objects of the senses.
92) Thus through submissive aural reception, that is by listening attentively to the spiritual master, the disciple eventually sees the truth. It is said that the dog sees with his nose, a karmi or materialist sees with his eyes, but a devotee sees with his ears.
93) It is only by its steadiness that the ocean, through regular high and low tides, can grind coastal ranges into sand. In just the same way the devotee, through steady service to God, grinds the hard and steep mountain of accrued karma within his heart to dust, and washes it away with the tide of love of Krishna.
94) Sweet water frequented by crocodiles and sandalwood trees inhabited by snakes are avoided by the wise. Similarly, the spiritual master knows that sense gratification may seduce a neophyte, so he sternly warns of the dangers of a life wasted pursuing sensual pleasures.
95) What is the use of lighting a fire while pouring water on the wood? What is the benefit of trying to exploit the senses and develop Krishna consciousness simultaneously?
96) One who gives up something dear to himself for the sake of a friend becomes dear to that friend. Similarly, one who abnegates sense pleasure for the sake of Krishna becomes dear to the Lord.
97) A pilot knows that he must stay directly on course, for if he begins a trip even a few feet off course then by the time he nears his destination, he will be miles from the airport. Simi-larly, the serious devotee does not deviate even slightly in his service, for seemingly trivial misconceptions formed early can be the cause of a fall-down later on.
98) Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita says, guru krishna kripaya pay a bhaktilata bija. "By the mercy of the guru and Krishna we are given the seed of devotional service." (CC Madhya 19.151)
99) As a good gardener is always diligent to remove weeds from his flower bed, so by the grace of the pure devotee we may learn the art of transcendental gardening. The technique is this: the weeds of sense desire are removed from the garden of the budding creeper of devotion which later sprouts the fruit of transcendental love. The water that is used to nourish this creeper of devotion, the bhakti-lata, is the water of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Of course, a creeper requires a tree around which to entwine itself. Thus the creeper of spiritual love entwines itself about the lotus feet of Shri Krishna.
100) Naturally there is always danger to a delicate creeper arising from forest animals who wish to nibble at its tender leaves; therefore a fence must be built around the creeper for its protection. Similarly, the wild animals of offenses, breaking the rules of devotional service, are avoided by erecting the fence of faithfully following the regulative principles prescribed by the spiritual master. And when devotees feel in their hearts the pure joy and bliss of Krishna consciousness, their laughter is like the falling of flowers from the creeper of devotional love.
101) A seed once fried within a pan can never again germinate. Similarly, all dormant seeds of lust are removed from the neophyte devotee's heart when intense love for Krishna blazes forth.
102) "The influence of material nature has covered the living entity, and thus it is as if the living entity were always in a blazing fire. But by the process of seriously discharging devotional service, this influence can be removed, just as wooden sticks which cause a fire are themselves consumed by it." (SB 3.27.23)
103) In a forest fire all four-legged animals run away, but the snakes, being unable to flee, must perish. Similarly, the snakes of sin residing in the heart are destroyed by the fire of Krishna consciousness.
104) When a brahmana rubs two arani sticks together, the resultant friction produces fire. In just the same way when there is friction between devotees and non-devotees Lord Krishna appears like fire to destroy the atheists.
105) Krishna, the killer of numerous demons such as Madhu, Putana, Mura, and Kamsa, kindly kills all demons of doubt that may arise within the mind of His faithful devotee.
106) Demonic men in the dress of gurus cheat neophytes by preaching a pseudo-religion based upon sense indulgence. Their cheap and false doctrines are rejected by beginners—if they are even a little sincere—just as Shri Krishna slew the disguised witch, Putana, in His babyhood.
107) The demon Shakatashura hid himself within a cart in an attempt to crush baby Krishna. Yet the Lord with one deft kick knocked over the cart crushing the demon. Similarly, the crushing loads of empiricism and philosophical speculation, stumbling blocks on the path of devotional service, are overturned even in the early stages of Krishna consciousness.
108) Next the whirlwind demon Trinavarta, whose circular motion blocked the sun, attempted to attack infant Krishna by carrying Him off. But the baby Lord made Himself so heavy that the demon fell from the sky to his demise. Similarly even a beginner's knowledge of the Lord is heavy enough to pull down the blinding whirlwind of the concocted and confusing false philosophies of mayavada.
109) As the devotee develops in stature, he may occasionally fall victim to false pride, abandoning humility. Just as Lord Krishna in His youth slew the stampeding horse demon Keshi, so Lord Krishna brings about the "death" of false pride and arrogance in the hearts of His developing devotees.
(110)Fire is used to clean certain steel from all inferior adulterants. Similarly, the fire of devotion eventually renders unalloyed a candidate's devotion to God.
111) Of course, it cannot be expected that any two persons will take to Krishna consciousness with the same degree of readiness. Fire ignites dry grass, green grass and wet grass differently. Similarly, those persons who are in the mode of goodness are like dry grass which is very easily ignited. Due to their past piety, they are at once able to perceive the value of Krishna consciousness. Those in the mode of passion are like green grass which burns only after much contact with fire. Due to their affection for sensual pleasure, it is difficult for them to adapt to a life of even mild austerity. And those in the mode of ignorance are like wet, green grass which is almost impossible to ignite. Because they are illusioned by the mode of darkness they are not able to understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness until after much association with devotees.
112) Lord Rishabhadev instructed his 100 sons, "My dear boys, please do not spend your lives running after sense gratification. Such bodily pleasures are fully available to the stool-eaters, the hogs. This human life is meant for tapasya, or voluntary sense restraint, as a result of which you will be able to enjoy unlimited bliss." (SB 5.5.1)
113) Of course blindly obeying rules of piety is also a useless waste of time if love of God is not thereby developed. Those who are addicted to this or that religious system, but who never become spontaneously drawn to the Lord, are like chained dogs. Just as one can never collect all the droplets of dew on the grass, so mere piety is an ineffective means to counteract sin.
114) Guru Maharaja has told us of an actual incident that ucLuixed in India. Two English-speaking gentlemen had a conversation in which one party, knowing that no English-speaking person could hear, admitted cheating the other. The only hearer had been a brahmachary (celibate monk) who did not speak English. Later the monk was called to a court of law and simply by the strong memory he had gained through celibacy
he was able to repeat the conversation through mimicking the sounds he had heard. Thus the guilty party was established. Our grand-spiritual master, a life-long brahmachary, was able to repeat exactly word for word any passage from books which he had read more than thirty years previously. These examples demonstrate the value of preserving the vital forces of the body in favor of Krishna consciousness through celibacy. Not only is memory enhanced through brahmachary a, but intelligence, health, longevity, and bodily strength as well.
115) If a tree loses its sap in its youth, it can never grow to be the strong, beautiful and fruit-bearing tree it might otherwise have been. Similarly, if the vital forces of the body are lost before attaining manhood, one may be weak and non-productive throughout life.
116) The Vedic history Mahabharata tells the story of the chaste wife Savitri. When Lord Yamaraj, king of the dead, came to claim the soul of her husband, she followed the lord of departed souls and refused to go back. Lord Yama told her that if she would cease following he would grant her a boon. She said, "Then grant me 100 sons." "Granted!" replied Yama. "Now please return to the land of the living." She replied, "I am a chaste wife and cannot have sons but by my husband, therefore you must give him back to me." Lord Yama had to admit that he had been outsmarted. By her faithfulness and chastity, Savitri was able to force the god of death to restore her husband's life. She lived with him and their 100 sons happily for many years. Similarly, remaining true to one's vows of undeviated bhakti will certainly help one to conquer the lord of death and find eternal happiness with Lord Krishna.
(117) O Nirvishesh, I hope you have now sepn the value
of following the true spiritual master's instructions. Lord Krishna
Himself set this example for the sake of all people for all time
when he accepted Shri Sandipani Muni as His very own sat-gurudeva. This has been described by Narada Muni: "In the beginning of the universe, the cloud of Lord Brahma formed
from the ocean of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. The divine wisdom Brahma imbibed from Krishna was disseminated like rain throughout the world. This downpour of knowledge caused a great lake to form upon the mountain of Sandipani Muni. The guru's instructions to Krishna are like a reservoir which forms streams and returns as a great river to mix with its source, the ocean of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
118) Once the King of Heaven, Lord Indra, neglected to offer proper respect to his spiritual master Shri Brihaspati. Indra had become intoxicated by drinking the soma beverage. For his rude act, Indra was cursed by his preceptor to immediately be reborn as a pig upon the Earth. Later, the chief of celestials, Lord Brahma, observed that due to Indra's absence, the universal weather pattern became wholly unregulated, for it is the duty of Indra to control such matters. Hurrying to Earth upon his swan carrier, Brahma appealed to the pig Indra to kindly return to his heavenly post. Lord Indra, hopelessly attached to his hog-wife and piglets, refused. The king of heaven had at last found ultimate bliss eating waste and mating with his sow in the mud. Even Lord Brahma's warning that the greedy farmer was sharpening his butcher knife did not change Indra's mind. Lord Brahma was forced to himself kill the sow and piglets of Indra right before his very eyes in order to bring him to his senses. Shocked at seeing his sense gratification foiled, Lord Indra understood his folly and allowed Brahma to restore him to his post in heaven. This episode helps us understand the dire consequences of offending the bonafide spiritual master, who is our very support.
119) Though a young child speaks with no degree of articulation, his slurred syllables give immense pleasure to his proud father. Similarly, the neophyte devotee, by no means rich in transcendental knowledge, attempts to preach the glories of Krishna consciousness.
120) A clay jug with an air pocket in its walls explodes when it is fired. Similarly, if we are not fixed in unalloyed Krishna consciousness we may not pass every test Krishna gives us.
121) A scratch carved on the side of a clay jug prior to firing remains there as long as the jug may last. But it is not easy to scratch pottery which has been fired and glazed. Similarly, when Vedic sciences are taught to a young brahmachary, he retains this precious wisdom for his entire life. But just as it is impossible to teach an old dog new tricks, so a seasoned karmi, embittered by stern lessons in the school of hard knocks, may never understand the value of Krishna consciousness.
122) Contemplating the above, consider that a supple young bamboo bends easily while an old one if bent, breaks.
123) The new bride desires a baby even on her wedding day, but by the control of nature she must wait. Similarly, a new disciple sometimes longs for full God realization after only a few days of devotional service. He must be patient, however, for the deep realizations of Krishna consciousness develop gradually after a period of time. It is not a cheap instant high like some psychedelic drug.
124) When a child at the beach builds a sand castle, he mistakes that he has built a great city. Nonetheless, the child's father smiles with pleasure at his son's accomplishment. In the same way, a neophyte devotee considers his minor services are colossal achievements, but the benevolent guru is ever willing to bestow blessings upon the eager disciple.
125) As infinitesimal droplets of water eventually fill a jug, so by gradual yet constant acquisition of knowledge one becomes learned.
126) Sometimes in a family, a brother contracts a disease and is quarantined from even his own family members. Similarly, the devotee is the first to admit that all men, as parts and parcels of one God the Father, are brothers. Yet the devotee associates only with other devotees, and he avoids those persons who have contracted the material disease of may a.
127) Water dropped upon a hot iron disappears completely. Upon the lotus leaf it glistens. Yet, a drop of water which makes its way into an oyster under the auspicious Swati star becomes a pearl. So also according to man's association, he becomes devoid of all good qualities, of mediocre qualities, or exalted among men.
(128) The Vedas describe the method by which a yogi can turn bell metal into gold "to solve his financial worries" as Shrila Prabhupada joked. First the yogi drinks liquid mercury, poisonous to ordinary men, and when this passes out of his body by natural means, he soaks a chunk of bell metal in the fluid. In time, it turns to gold. Similarly, the qualified spiritual master has the potency to change a shudra into a Vaishnava brahmana devotee of the Lord through Krishna conscious instruction.
(129) There is a verse in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita: muchihana shuchi hayayadi krishna bhaji shuchi hana muchi hayayadi krishna tyaji. "If a mere cobbler, or muchi, takes to Krishna consciousness, then he becomes the highest brahmana. But if a brahmana or shuchi abandons the Krishna conscious path, then he is no better than a mere cobbler." As a cobbler deals in animal skins, so a brahmana who has no spiritual knowledge but passes himself off as upper caste by virtue of birth is likewise nothing but a "skin merchant."
(130) Once upon a time Narada Muni was asked by a brahmana, "I've heard you are going to meet the Lord. Will you please ask Him when I am to achieve salvation?" Narada agreed.As the great muni proceeded on his way, he met a cobbler mending shoes beneath a great banyan tree. The cobbler likewise requested Narada to ask Lord Narayana when he would be liberated. Narada, who has the power to fly anywhere throughout the material or spiritual worlds, entered into the anti-material Vaikuntha planets. There he asked the Lord about the salvation of both the brahmana and the cobbler. The Lord replied "After leaving this body, the cobbler shall come here to Me, but I do not know when the brahmana shall be liberated. He shall have to remain there for several births." "I can't understand the mystery of this Narada said. "That you shall see," Lord Narayana answered. "When they ask you what I was doing in My abode,tell them that I was threading the eye of a needle with an elephant."
When Narada returned to earth, he approached the brahmana and told hiim that Lord Narayana was threading the eye of a needle with an elephant. The brahmana exclaimed, "I don't believe such nonsense." Narada could immediately understand that the man had no faith and that he was simply a reader of the books.
Narada left and went to the cobbler. When he related to him what he had told the brahmana, the cobbler began to weep exclaiming, "Oh, my Lord Narayana is so wonderful, He can do anything!" "Do you really believe that the Lord can push a huge elephant through the eye of a needle?" asked Narada. "Of course, I believe it,"the cobbler declared. "Just see this huge banyan tree under wlhich I sit. From its branches fall so many fruits, and in each seed of each fruit is a huge tree just like this one. So is it difficult to accept that my Lord can push an elephant through the eye of a needle?" When Narada heard these words of pure devotion, he could indeed understand everything.
(131) Once a quarrel concerning the best massage technique broke out between some brothers who were rubbing their father's legs, arms, back and head. A fight ensued in which the boys by accident began to strike the different parts of their father's body Painfully bruised, the old man cried out, "My dear sons! You are quarreling over how to serve me best, but your fighting is gradually killing me!" Similarly, devotees know that petty quarrels only cause pain to the spiritual master. True Krishna conscious society is based upon love and trust amongst disciples.
a handful of rocks is thrown into a still body of water, many concentric
ripples are created. These overlap and interfere with the expansion of the
other ripples. But if only one rock is thrown, there is a single ring created
that expands undisturbed to the shore. Similarly, the many self-centered egos
of different people only interfere with one another.Ultimately one's personal
dreams may be thwarted by the ambitions ot others. But if each sacrifices his
own interests for the sake of Krishna's interests, then there will be no
difficulty and even a million people can live harmoniously for the sake of
serving the Supreme Lord's will.
(133) A blade of grass, though weak, becomes strong when intertwined with other blades of grass. It becomes a rope and can restrain an elephant. Similarly, through working together devotees can bring about great success in spreading Krishna consciousness throughout the world.
134) As a faithful dog gives up his independence and becomes a "sold out animal" for the sake of his master, so the sincere devotee relinquishes his "separatist" spirit and accepts unequivocally the guidance of his spiritual master.
135) If a master asks for water, the sincere disciple does not think, "Oh, milk has more nutrition, I shall take my master milk." Rather, he does his master's bidding. Krishna consciousness is simple for the simple and complicated for the crooked.
136) At the ocean's shore there are many large underwater rocks that become exposed when the tide goes out, while other rocks remain permanently submerged. Similarly, many neophyte devotees at times try to engage in Krishna consciousness and at other times appear to forget the Lord altogether. But advanced devotees are permanently submerged beneath an ocean of divine bliss.
137) If a husband is potent and his wife is not diseased, then if there is conjugation, there will be conception. Similarly, if the spiritual master is bona fide and the disciple is sincerely receptive to his teachings, then there can be a successful transmission of knowledge.