Learn from animals

In Srimad Bhagavatam, an avadhoota Brahmin tells King Yatu that he sees various creatures as his gurus. The python never exerts itself much to obtain food. It just eats whatever comes its way. It can go without food for many days. Sadhus learn from the python and they too do not obsess about food, said P.T. Seshadri, in a discourse. They just eat whatever is available, and whenever it is available. They do not bother even if they are given small portions of food.

Bees are hard workers. They do not stop with just one type of flower. They go from flower to flower, gathering nectar. Sadhus learn from them that to get the nectar of knowledge, they must read a variety of works. Another lesson is learnt from the bee. The bee spends days gathering honey, but it is all lost, when a determined honey collector comes along and takes the honey away. So, the sadhus learn that one should never hoard anything, for you will lose it eventually. People go on accumulating wealth, and after some time, they are not even able to keep track of all their wealth. When a person dies, someone else is going to enjoy all his wealth, just as the bee collectors enjoy the honey saved by the bees. Fishes are attracted by the worm at the tip of the fisherman’s hook, and lose their lives by biting the bait. So, sadhus learn that one must control one’s tongue. If we indulge our sense of taste too much, we will end up like the fish, losing our lives due to our craving for food. An eagle picks up a piece of meat, holds it between its claws, and finally perches on a tree. Just as it is about to start eating the meat, birds bigger than it in size, attack it for the meat, which it is forced to abandon. From the experience of this eagle, a sadhu learns that desires bring disappointment.

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