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The 24 Teachers




From  the Uddhava Gita of the Bhagavantam



"Whatever form a man constantly thinks of through love, hatred or fear, that he will attain in course of time through concentration on the form he thinks about, just as the beetle repeatedly stung by the wasp, through its terror is itself transformed into a wasp.


Thus from the above twenty-four preceptors I have learned all my instructions for living a happy, carefree existence. Now listen, O king, to what I have learned from my own body. My body is also my guru. I have learned from it dispassion, discrimination and non-attachment. It is ever undergoing change. It is born only to die. Constant misery is its lot. It becomes the seat of egoism. One has to toil to satisfy its wants. This brings grief and sorrow.  But I am able to reflect on Truth with its help. I know the Truth by a discriminative study of the body. I regard it as not mine and so I feel no attachment for it. The body belongs to the dogs and jackals who devour it after death.


"For the sake of the comforts of the body, a person maintains a wife, domestic animals, servants, children, home and relations and amasses wealth with great difficulty. This body perishes in the end like a tree, creating the seed of a fresh body for him.


"The tongue drags him to one side and thirst to another; the organ of reproduction to some other; the skin, stomach and ear in some other direction; the sense of smell in one direction, the fickle eye to something else, the tendency for work draws to something else; every other physical organ in a different direction of activity. The senses suck his very life-blood, even as the many wives dissipate the life-energy of the one husband.


"The Lord created various bodies such as trees, reptiles, beasts, birds, insects and fish but was not satisfied with these. Then He made the human body which is endowed with the intellect for realizing Brahman and He was extremely delighted. The wise man, having obtained after many births this extremely rare human body which, though transient and frail is yet conducive to the attainment of the highest purpose, should quickly endeavor to attain liberation before it falls a prey to death. Sense-enjoyment may be had in any body.


"Thus learning Vairagya from my body, the distaste and aversion towards worldly pleasures and a knowledge of the real bliss of my divine nature, I wander over the world without egoism and attachment, with the light of true wisdom as my guide."


Sri Krishna said, "The Avadhuta having told his story, took leave of the king and went away.  Many who have heard this account have taken these wise instructions of the sage to heart, and giving up all attachments have attained tranquility and equanimity of mind." 






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