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

Sujal Upadhyay sujal.u at gmail.com
Sat Dec 21 02:21:55 CST 2013

Thank you for sharing this info.

Being guNa grAhi is the first thing I learned while reading this. Diving
deep we can finding more gems :)


Sujal Upadhyay

"To disconnect from the self and to become Aware of anything else is
nothing but unhappiness" - Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi

He who has faith has all
He who lacks faith, lacks all
It is the faith int he name of lord that works wonders

On Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:

> 17.  Pingala the veshya
> In Videha there lived a veshya (prostitute) named Pingala.  Each night she
> would dress in her finest most alluring clothes and ornaments and stand in
> the doorway of her home enticing passing men to come and spend the night
> with her for money and pleasure.  One night many men passed by on the
> street and she watched them thinking "oh this one is rich" and "oh that one
> is handsome" but nobody came to her.  As the hours wore on she became more
> and more depressed and anxious.  Eventually she gave up waiting for a lover
> altogether.  And then she had an epiphany.  She realized she did not need
> the attention of others for happiness and sadness occur within.  From then
> on she decided to live a disciplined and moral life.  And that is the
> lesson Dattatreya learned from her.
> 18. a vulture
> A small vulture found some carrion and rushed away with it, constantly in
> fear that it would be taken away.  Sure enough, a group of larger vultures
> who had no meat of their own came and stole it away from him. Unexpectedly
> the vulture felt relief that he no longer had to worry about protecting the
> carrion.  From this He learned that posessions only make one fearful of
> their loss and it is better to renounce them all.
> 19. a baby
> A baby has no sense of respect or offense. It may laugh or cry or sleep or
> wake but these are all fleeting states which are forgotten as they pass.
> From this He learned that emotions are transient and, like a baby, a yogi
> should just let them pass over him and be forgotten.
> 20. a young woman
> A girl was of marriagable age and the parents of a suitor were to come and
> visit her.  But they arrived unexpectedly when the girls own parents were
> away.  So she welcomed them herself and quickly went into the kitchen to
> prepare something for them to eat.  As she was grinding the flour, the many
> bangles on her wrists began clashing.  The girl stopped, thinking "By
> hearing this sound, the guests will know I am preparing food myself" [and
> therefore that the family is poor.]  So she removed all but two of the
> bangles and began grinding flour again.  Still their sound could be heard.
> So she took one more off and was able to complete her task in quiet.  From
> her He learned that wherever there are lots of people there will be
> unnecessary talk and gossip.  Even with only two there will be the same. It
> is better to be by oneself and take a vow of silence.
> 21. an arrowmaker
> A certain arrowmaker supplied his weapons for the army of a king.  He
> prided himself on his work and once was so engrossed in it that when the
> king came by he failed to see him let alone salute him.  From him He
> learned that a yogi should meditate with complete one-pointed focus like
> the tip of an arrow.  Only such dhyana leads to the supreme goal.
> 22. a snake
> A snake lives a solitary life, it does not remain in one place, it is
> silent in movement, it does not build any kind of residence but finds
> shelter in whatever cave or hole etc. is available.  From it, He learned
> the code of conduct of a muni.  To live alone, wander from place to place,
> not to engage with other people but pass silently, and to find shelter in
> any place.
> 23. a spider
> A spider secretes raw material from its body and then swallows it again to
> create silk threads which it uses to create elaborate webs.  From it He
> learned that Brahman expands the material universe from itself and as
> Ishvara creates, maintains, and destroys it from His own maya.
> 24. an insect
> There are some species of wasp that can actually trap small insects such
> as aphids and use them as sort of farm animals or even a place to lay their
> eggs.  One such insect was trapped in this manner and out of fear began
> serving the wasp gradually identifying more and more with it until
> eventually it began to think it was a wasp!  From it He learned that
> feelings such as fear or love or lust for power can alter our self-identity
> but knowledge of the true nature of the self only shines when such feelings
> are given up.
> Thus Bhagavan Dattatreya, the yogeshwar and avadhuta related his 24 gurus.
> Then he added that there is a 25th.
> 25.  The atma.
> Dattatreya said that all these gurus who bestowed their knowledge upon me
> were not external, but only aspects of my own self so it this self, this
> atman which is not different than brahman, immortal and pervading all which
> is the true form of the guru.
> At that King Yadu fell at his feet.  Accepting the kings salutations,
> Dattatreya blessed him and continued his wanderings.
> Note on the translation:
> While I have presented it in third person form "He learned" in the
> Bhagavata itself the narrative is in the first person so read "I learned"
> instead.  So needless to say this is not a literal translation.  Also I
> left out many details so please read it for yourself in the original if you
> can.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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