Dattatreya: gratitude to Mother Earth…part 4

May 21, 2012

Dattatreya: Gratitude to MOTHER earth…part 4


I apologize for the delay in posting the last part of this great story….it’s been hectic here in Antioch. Between serious allergies and having Shri Anandi Ma in residence here right now, the Dhyanyoga Center’s has been bursting with activity and a lot of great energy…retreats, workshops, volunteer work, picnics…and so many other great events coming up in the next month. Click here to see their calendar of event… If you can make it to any of these, I would highly recommend jumping at the opportunity because minutes spent in the presence of a Self- Realized saint is not only rare, but the biggest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime!

Here’s part 4 of the story on Dattatreya, from  ” The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition” by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD. Click here to read part 1,  part 2 and part 3.

King: Who is your eighteenth guru?

Dattatreya: My eighteenth guru is the little bird who was flying with a worm in its beak. Larger birds flew after him began to peck him. They stopped only when the little bird dropped the worm. Thus I learned that the secret of survival lies in renunciation, not possession.

King: Who is your nineteenth guru?

Dattatreya: My nineteenth guru is the baby that cries when it is hungry and stops when it suckles at its mother’s breast. When the baby is full, it stops feeding and nothing its mother does can induce it to take more milk. I learned from this baby to demand only what I really need. When it is provided, I must take only what I require and then turn my face away.

King: Who is your twentieth guru?

Dattatreya: A young woman whom I met when I was begging for alms. She told me to wait while she prepared a meal. Her bracelets jangled as she cooked, so she removed one. But the noise continued, so she took them all off one by  one until only one remained. Then there was silence. Thus I learned that wherever there is a crowd, there is noise, disagreement and dissension. Peace can be expected only in solitude.

King: Who is your twenty-first guru?

Dattatreya: A snake who makes no hole for itself, but rests in holes other creatures have abandoned, or curls up in the hollow of a tree for a while, and then moves on. From this snake I learned to adjust myself to my environment and enjoy the resources of nature without encumbering myself with a permanent home. Creatures in nature move constantly, continually abandoning their previous dwellings. Therefore, while floating along the current of nature, I find plenty of place to rest. Once I am rest, I move on. 

King: Your twenty-second guru?

Dattatreya: My twenty-second guru is the arrow-maker who was so absorbed in shaping his arrowheads that the king and his entire army passed nearby without attracting his attention. Thus I learned to be absorbed in the fast at hand, no matter how big or small. The more one-pointed my focus, the greater my absorption, the more subtle my awareness. The goal is subtle; it can be grasped only by subtle awareness.

King: Your twenty-third guru?

Dattatreya: My twenty-third guru is the little spider who built itself a nice cozy web. When a larger spider chased it, it rushed to take refuge in its web. But it ran so fast that it got entangled and was swallowed by the bigger spider. Thus I learned that we create webs for ourselves by trying to build a safe haven, and as we race along the threads of these webs, we become entangled and are consumed. There is no safety to be found in the complicated webs of our actions. 

King: And who is your twenty-fourth guru?

Dattatreya: My twenty-fourth guru is the worm who was caught by the songbird and placed in its nest. As the bird began to sing, the worm became to absorbed in the song that it lost all awareness of its peril. Watching this little creature become absorbed in a song in the face of death reminded me that I, too, must develop the art of listening so that I may become absorbed in the eternal sound, nada, that is always within me. 

Listening to Dattatreya, the king realized that the wisdom of this young sage flowed from his determination to keep the goal of life firmly fixed in his awareness as well as from his ability to discover the lessons of life everywhere he turned. 

Dattatreya’s teachings are preserved in the vast literature of the Puranas and in the Datta Samhita, Avadhuta Gita, Dattatreya Upanishad, and Advadhuta Upanishad. This story is from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Many of these works are available in English. 

Hope you all have a great week…will definitely be posting a few great recipes for this upcoming, picnic-filled, long weekend!

Peace and LOVE!

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