Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Enlivening Elucidations

Hare Krishna,

The following conversation has been picked from the book “Saint of Sringeri” written by Sri Jnanananda Bharathi.

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A Sanyasi who was staying for sometime continuously in the Mutt led a very quiet and secluded life and earned the hearty blessings of His Holiness. Because of his continued stay, the Mutt servants unconsciously fell into the habit of being familiar with him. One day, his food was not properly salted and he pointed it out to the cook. The cook without intending any offence immediately said, “What Swamiji! You have not yet learned to curb your tongue, for it is still after tasty food.” This remark hurt the Swamiji somewhat. He did not reply but finished the meal that day without further remark. Next day and the day after, he did not go to the dining hall at all. The servants in there pre-occupations did not notice this. On the third day when he prostrated before His Holiness, His Holiness asked: “What is the matter? You look jaded. Any mental worry?”

S. None.

H.H. Then, have you had your meals regularly?

Then the Swamiji had to tell His Holiness that he had not dined for two days and, on being questioned further, confessed to being put out at the cook’s remark.

H.H. Your object in staying here is not food. Anything to appease the hunger is and must be sufficient. The cook was certainly impertinent in making that remark to you; but can you not view it as a healthy advice to you not to mind the taste of the food if only it is sufficient to appease your hunger? It was really your remark that it was not salted properly that evoked his remark. If you had restrained yourself and eaten what was given to you, the very same cook when he tasted that food himself later would have seen that it was not salted properly, would have immediately regretted having served such a food to you and would have run to you with apologies for his neglect and would thereafter be more careful in preparing the food. All this could have and would have resulted from your silence. On the other hand, your impulsive remark provoked him and his reply provoked you still further and resulted in upsetting your mental equilibrium, in disturbing the smoothness of your meditations and in your fasting for two days.

S. I quite realize my mistake.

H.H. This incident has occurred just to help you on in your spiritual endeavors. View it in that light.

It may be added that the Swamiji punctiliously carried out the advice of His Holiness, never indulged in any secular talk and before long began to command the deep respect of all including those who presumed to be familiar with him before.

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The following piece picked up from the book `Divine Words of Wisdom of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekara Bharati Svamiji’ may be helpful for contemplation, as we may easily put it in the context of the World Cup Football Matches, over which even many of us would have spent sleepless nights.
Another day, His Holiness stood before the Ashram in the morning sun after completing his morning Anushtanam. Devotees were paying their respects and returning. Then a group of 10 to 12 persons came and paid their respects. In response to His Holiness’ enquiries, they replied that they belonged to Tumkur, had come to Shimoga for playing a football match and had utilized the opportunity to visit Sringeri.

After their return, His Holiness exclaimed, “The game of football! Eleven persons on one side and 11 on the other, a total of 22 persons kick a single ball. I pity the poor ball. Can a thing survive after receiving strong kicks from so many robust men? Its fate is unenviable. When one side kicks it, it goes to the other side with the hope of protection, but there also it meets with kicks. The ball’s life is full of kicks.”

“The fate of living beings is also similar. Life is like the game of football. Jiva is the ball. The incidents of life are kicks. When does the ball get relief? Only when the players are exhausted, the light is insufficient, the play is over and the players un-blow the ball and relegate it to a corner. Similarly, man puffed with pride, holding his head high, and moving in this world does not get due recognition, peace of mind and happiness. Only when he relieves himself from unnecessary and useless activities, acquires humility, and practices meditation in seclusion, he will become wise and come to possess mental peace.”

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