I was reading something when I came across the story of Dattatreya, the son of Maharishi Atri and Anasyuya. While there are many stories related to his birth, what fascinated me the most is his conversation with King Yadu in which he says that he is a student of as many as twenty-four gurus and goes on the explain these gurus who happen to be a part of this grand creation. The list includes Earth, Air, Water, Sky, Fire, Moon, Sun, Ocean, Pigeon, Python, Firefly, Bee, Elephant, Honey-gatherer, Fish, Deer, Pingala, Sparrow, Child, Girl, Archer, Snake, Spider and Wasp. I would like to start from some of the most surprising ones here.
Wasp - Interestingly wasp has a tendency to keep an insect in its abode and it keeps stinging it regularly until that insect becomes one-pointed with fear. The insect almost gets conditioned to meditate on the wasp in its terror so much so that it takes on the characteristics of its own tormentor and starts thinking like a wasp. That is why it is said - To know Brahma, become Brahma. This is also called Sambhrama yoga which Kamsa practiced. He thought so much about Krishna and what his next antics would be that Kamsa reached a stage when he attained him and liberation.
Bee - This insect is a teacher of understanding one’s needs. As bee just takes nectar as is required for its immediate needs without hurting the giver, the idea is to shun greed to possess and own more. Dattatrya took the concept of Bhiksha from a bee - to take what is given voluntarily and offering goodwill in return.
Firefly - another insect which teaches us the end of unmindful desires. Firefly gets driven towards the glittering flame which actually leads it to its destruction. One must always remain beware of one’s unending desires. Running after desires will leave no time to work towards peaceful living.
Spider - Spider reminded Dattatreya of Brahman who creates the world and at the end of the epoch, annihilates it himself. Spider weaves the web with its saliva and when it is done, takes it back into itself. The same applies to us, we weave the world around us and start believing that we belong here and the world will stop without us while the fact remains that we just happen to be here for a few years. When the creation of Brahma - the whole world comes to an end, why is there difficulty in believing that our personal short spans will end too. If we believe that then why fret and fume over even smaller things?
I was just wondering, how often I have observed these insects but this perception never crossed my mind. It is perhaps how we condition our mind and thinking to see and understand things. Moments turn into days and days into years, it is up to us to make the time count towards our learning experience and this in other words is called living with awareness.
I would want to focus on these four for this week. The next set of Gurus will come in the following issues.