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The Twenty-four Teachers




From  the Uddhava Gita of the Bhagavantam


A wise man should not swerve from the Dharma even though he is oppressed by those who are themselves under the direction of providence.  This forbearance I have learned from the earth, which is rarely appreciated for itself. It is trampled over and treated as dirt but it continues to be the source of life and nourishment. Although all its treasures may be taken from it, it continues to give, never thinking of itself but only of the good of others.


Like the wind, the Yogi should not be attached to objects, although he resides in a physical body and they may be all around him. His mind should remain unaffected by the good and evil consequences of objects just as the wind remains unaffected by the good or bad odor of objects over which it blows. The wind may be charged with odor but the odor is not the attribute of the wind. The soul enters the body and the attributes of the body seem to be its own, but it is not so.


I have learned from the sky that I am all-pervading, that I am not limited by the body, just as clouds cannot affect the sky. The sky is not touched by anything. It pervades everywhere and is independent of limitations due to time and place.  Such is the case for the sage, as well.


Naturally pure and sweet water purifies whatever it comes in contact with. So is the sage among men. Like the holy water he purifies others by the mere sight and nearness to him. He eats the food offered by pious devotees and thereby, burns up their past and future evils.


Fire is one and the same although it may have entered different fuels where it may burn in a rectangular, circular or angular shape, where it may have a red or blue or white flame, where it may be gentle or raging and give warmth or destruction; but despite all these various forms the fire does not change. It remains the same.  The Lord of the universe enters all the various objects, high and low, created by His own Maya, and appears to be like everyone of these objects, just as fire does in different fuels. Flames are subject to change but not fire; so also the body undergoes birth and death but not the Atma.


The waning and waxing of the moon is not due to any condition of the moon or any change in its substance; it is due only to the changing angle of the sun, whose rays get reflected by the moon. Birth, growth, decay, death are states of the body but not of Atma. The Atma remains ever as it is, although it seems to undergo change, just as the moon appears to change owing to astronomical motions.


The sun draws water by its rays but then gives it all away in time. So also, the sage takes in but only in order to give, not to add to his own possessions.






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