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The 24 Teachers




From  the Uddhava Gita of the Bhagavantam



"The source for affliction and misery is the acquisition of whatsoever men hold dear. That man who knows this truth, gives up all possession and does not think of any acquisition and attains unlimited happiness. "A crow had a piece of flesh in its mouth. The stronger birds pounced upon it. As soon as the crow dropped the piece of flesh the others left it and it again became happy. Renunciation of objects gives peace.


"I do not care for honor or dishonor. I do not think of house, wife or children. I sport in Atma and take delight in Atma and roam on the earth like a child. There are only two who are free from anxieties and immersed in the highest bliss: The child which knows nothing and the man who has realized the Supreme Being and who has gone beyond the influence of the gunas.


"In a certain place, a young maiden had to attend to the comforts of those who visited the house when her relations had gone out. As she was husking the paddy the conch bangles on her wrists made a great noise. The intelligent girl was very much ashamed of her poverty which was indicated by her cheap ornaments. She thought that the visitor might detect her poor condition. She broke the bracelets one by one, leaving only two on each hand. Even those two bracelets produced a sound when she went on husking. So she removed one of these also. Then no sound was produced from the remaining one though she continued husking.


"Wandering over the world in search of truth and experiences, I learnt from the girl's experience the following instructions. Where many dwell together there is likely to be quarrel. Even between two people there will be much occasion for argument and talk. Therefore, one should live alone like the single bangle on the hand of the girl.


"Having controlled the breath and practiced firmness in seat, one should, like the archer taking his aim, fix the mind on the Supreme Self. He should be on the alert to keep the mind steady through renunciation and systematic practice. Just as the fire exhausts itself when the fuel is consumed, so also the mind firmly checked in its outward wanderings, slowly shakes off the bonds of Karma. It becomes freed from Rajas and Tamas through increased Sattva, and attains tranquillity when the fuel of the gunas and sense-impressions, which normally feed it, is withheld. Then the mind becomes entirely absorbed in the object of meditation. Having his mind entirely absorbed in the Atma, the sage does not see anything else, inside or outside, just as the arrow-maker with his mind absorbed in making the arrow, will not see the king passing by his side. I have learned concentration of mind from the arrow-maker.


"The wise man should wander alone. He should be homeless and be ever alert. He should resort to a cave and should not exhibit his real worth. He should remain without friends. He should indulge in as little speech as possible. It is very troublesome and useless for an ascetic to build a house as his body is fleeting and perishable. Just as the serpent enters and makes itself comfortable in any hole dug by others, so also he should make himself comfortable at every chance residence or place that comes in his way. He should have no fixed abode.


"Just as the spider brings the thread out of itself, spreads out the web, sports in it and itself devours it, so also the Lord created the universe out of Himself through His Maya consisting of the three gunas, sports in it, and then takes it back again into Himself.




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