[Advaita-l] 24 Gurus of Bhagavan Dattatreya - II

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Dec 20 00:08:11 CST 2013

9. a python

The python is a big snake that is rather lazy.  Instead of hunting for 
prey it just lies there and waits for prey to come to it.  From it 
Dattatreya learned not to seek to feed ones appetite but to accept 
whatever comes ones way.

10. The ocean

>From close up the ocean is roiling with waves but from a larger 
perspective it is perfectly still.  Furthermore though all the rivers of 
the world empty into the ocean it never becomes full.  From it He learned 
that the vrttis of the mind and the agitations of the outside world though 
seemingly violent and unceasing become nothing but stillness in Brahman.

11. a moth

a moth is irresistably drawn towards light even when as in the case of a 
fire it will destroy itself.   From it He learned that the foolish seeker 
after desires will become a slave to them even to the point of 

12.  a bumblebee

A bee flits from flower to flower to collect its essence as food and the 
flower is not harmed by it.  From it He learned that a sannyasi should not 
trouble a particular patron by depending on him even though it is the 
grhastha dharma to provide bhiksha to sannyasis but go from house to house 
to lessen the burden.

13. a honeybee

Honey comes from another smaller species of bee.  Like the bumblebee it 
collects nectar from flowers for its food but unlike the former, it stores 
it up as honey in its hive.  There it becomes a target for theft by bears 
and other animals, farmers etc.  From it He learned that one should not 
store up food and wealth but only keep enough to stay alive for the 

14. an elephant

The elephant is a mighty beast; very hard to capture but it has one 
weakness.  In the rutting season the smell of a female elephant will drive 
it wild and it will rush headlong to the source of that smell.  A skillful 
hunter can use that to trap it.  From this He learnt that even those who 
are mostly unswayed by desire can be laid low if they have some lingering 
vice.  So desire must be uprooted completely.

15. a deer

A deer is also hard to catch bcause it can run so swiftly.  But the 
beguiling sound of a flute mesmerizes it into inactivity where a hunter 
can trap it.  From this He learnt that a yogi must stay away from music 
and other things that exist only to beguile the senses lest he become 
ensnared in samsara.

[bhajans and other types of bhaktiyukta music are ok though because they 
have the opposite effect.]

16. a fish

A fish is protected from hunters by living in the deep water.  But clever 
humans attach bait to fishing lines.  The fish gets caught on the hook in 
the very mouth that greedily relished the taste of the bait.  From it He 
learned that one should only take food which is sattvika and avoid that 
which is only cooked in order to excite the palate.

[Some of these examples show the dangers of relying on the senses.  The 
moth met its doom due to sight; the elephant due to smell; the deer due 
to sound; and the fish due to taste.  A wise man controls all the senses.]

To be continued...

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list