(continued from the previous issue)
Snake teaches one the great lesson of detachment - one, how a snake easily discards its cloak and gets into another and second, through the way it stays away from gatherings and crowds. Dattatreya observed that familiarity not only creates tangles of attachment but clouds one’s reasoning and awareness. The attachment is not only on the physical plane but on the mental surface too. One needs to learn the art to shake away the clutter and crowd from the mind - of unnecessary and harmful thoughts so that there is space to prepare for the state of consciousness.
A fish swims in the water peacefully till the time it gives in to some temptation. It gets caught when the lure of a dangling worm on the fishing rod gets the better of its otherwise peaceful state. Fish teaches one to be aware of the various baits that one encounters mostly to satisfy some momentary desire. The learning is how to not let the tranquility of the mental surface get disturbed by the ripples of yearnings.
Once Dattatreya happened to watch an archer aiming at a bird with single-pointed concentration and at that very moment, he got yet another teacher in the archer. Dattatreya understood what is the prime requirement for any seeker - absolutely undisturbed focus (ekagra chitta). Until one is ready to offer this pure input, one cannot hope to achieve what one desires.
Python is supposed to be one of the most unhurried creatures in the animal world. It keeps waiting for the prey for days on end waiting for the perfect opportunity to make its move to catch its prey. We can learn one of the most difficult arts of being patient from a python. Unknowingly we train our minds for instant gratifications and the moment the same appears to be in danger, the state becomes uncomfortable for us. To patiently continue on the chosen path with utmost faith and belief is what is required to move forward, in any spehere.
Another creature who taught Dattatreya the lesson of Ekagrata was a Deer. As long as he is alert and on is guard, he stays beyond the reach of a hunter. But hunter knows that a deer gets distracted by music and uses it as a weapon against him. The deer loses alertness and his focus and falls in the trap of the hunter. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities are the impediments that push one astray from one’s chosen path and the ability to conquer them makes all the difference.
Next issue will feature the remaining gurus.