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May 06, 2012
King: Who is your eleventh guru, O wise one?
Dattatreya: The moth is my eleventh guru. Drawn by light, it flies from dwelling to dwelling to sacrifice itself in the flame. It taught me that once I see the dawn, I must overcome my fear, soar at full speed, and plunge into the flame of knowledge to be consumed and transformed.
King: The twelfth guru?
Dattatreya: My twelfth guy is the bumblebee, who takes only the tiniest drops of nectar from the flowers. And before accepting even that much, it hums and hovers and dances, creating an atmosphere of joy around the blossom. It not only sings the song of cheerfulness, it also gives more to flowers than it takes; it pollinates the plants and helps them prosper by flying from one to another. I leaned from the bumblebee that I should take only a little from nature and that I should do so cheerfully, enriching the source from which I receive sustenance.
King: Who is your thirteenth guru?
Dattatreya: My thirteenth guru is the honeybee, who collects more nectar than it needs. It gathers nectar from different sources, swallows it, transforms it into honey, and brings it to the hive. It consumes only a bit of what it gathers and shares the rest with others. Thus, I should gather wisdom from the teachers of all disciplines and process the knowledge that I gain. I must apply the knowledge that is conducive to my growth, but I must be ready to share everything I know with others.
King: Who is your fourteenth guru, I wise seeker?
Dattatreya: Once I saw a wild elephant being trapped. A tame female elephant in season was the bait. Sensing her presence, the wild male emerged from its domain and fell into a pit that had been cleverly concealed with branches and heaps of leaves. Once caught, the wild elephant was tamed to be used by others. This elephant is my fourteenth guru because he taught me to be careful with my passions and desires. Worldly charms arouse our sensory impulses, and while chasing after the sense cravings the mind gets trapped and enslaved, even though it is powerful.
King: Your fifteenth guru?
Dattatreya: The deer, with its keen sense of hearing. It listens intently and is wary of all noises--but it is lured to its doom by the melody of the deer hunter's flute. Like the deer, we keep our ears alert for every bit of news, rumor and gossip, and are skeptical about much that we hear. What I learned from the deer is that we become spellbound by certain words which--due to our desires, attachments, cravings and vasanas [subtle impressions from the past]--we delight to hear. This tendency creates misery for ourselves and others.
King: Your sixteenth guru?
Dattatreya: The fish who swallows a baited hook is caught by the fisherman. This world is like bait. As long as I remember the fish, I remain free of the hook.
King: Who is your seventeenth guru?
Dattatreya: A prostitute. She knows that she doesn't love her customers, nor do they love her. She waits for them, and when they come she enacts the drama of love, but she isn't satisfied with artificial love she gives or receives, nor with the payment she is given. Through her I realized that all humans are like prostitutes and the world, like customers, is enjoying us. The payment is always inadequate a we feel dissatisfied. This I determined not to live like a prostitute. Instead, I will live with dignity and self-respect. I will not expect the world to give me either material or internal satisfaction. I will find satisfaction myself by going within.
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