Category: Datta Maata

Datta maata 56: Use every second to reach the other shore called liberation.

Time is very precious. We should not waste even a second. It is highly valuable. Our elders often tell us to utilize the available time judiciously. We read the same in books too. It is very fine with people who have this sense but those who do not have it are quite dubious. They only want to enjoy the life and are least bothered about anything else. There is a beautiful story to convince such set of people.

A boat was ready to ferry. Meanwhile, a bird landed from somewhere on the sail of the boat. The boat ferried into midway of the ocean. The bird flew into air, saw a particular direction and assumed it to be east and continued to fly to find the shore. Nevertheless, it did not find the shore even after a long time. Then, it understood that it is not moving towards the east direction and hence flew backwards towards the boat and sat once again on the sail of it. It then looked towards another direction and assuming to be west, flew again. Once again, despite flying far distances, it did not find the shore. It could only find water all around. So, it learnt that it is not the west direction. As usual, it came back to the sail of the boat and sat on its position. The bird tried its best by going in all the four directions but soon had to come back every time failing to find the shore. While the bird tried to find the shore, the boat reached the shore. The bird happily flew into the sky.

Here, the bottom line is about the “efforts” that we put in. Despite being in the midway of the ocean, the bird tried many a time to reach the shore. But, it never actually could. Similarly, a man is also entangled in the ocean of samsāra (cycle of births and deaths). Keeping aside about reaching the shore, he is not even putting any basic efforts and offering prayers to God. One must never restrain from putting in human efforts. Many do not consider it. They simply remain idle without any effort. Some or the other day, we must reach the shore called ‘moksha’ (salvation).

Hence, without wasting time, man must ascend the boat called ‘God’ and hold on to the sail called ‘God’s names’. Only then, God will make us reach the shore.
God is somehow making us travel in this life. Just like the bird, we are trying to do something by wasting precious time, money and other resources. This is not good. It is mere waste of time. The bird reached the mid of the ocean. It had no compass. By merely holding onto the sail of the boat, it reached the shore. Likewise, we never know towards which direction the samsāra will drag us. We must surrender to God, who is our boat to cross the ocean called samsāra.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!


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Datta maata 55: Never forget the help received from others

We must never forget the help received. Those who forget the help received are said to be ungrateful. Good befalls a person who is grateful whereas misfortune befall the person who is ungrateful.

In the kingdom of the king of Kasi, there lived a hunter. One day, while he was on hunting, he saw an antelope. Immediately, he left an arrow that was smeared with poison. But, that arrow did not strike the antelope. It instead hit a healthy mango tree. Because of the poison contained with the arrow, the tree was empoisoned and all the leaves and fruits of the tree withered and fell down. The tree shriveled and became unappealing. As a result, the birds that took shelter in the tree left the it. But, a parrot that stayed in a hole of the tree since a long time, did not feel like going away from it because the tree gave it shelter for its survival. It continued to live in the dried hole of the tree. The time for the tree to perish also has approached. Even then the parrot did not leave it.

Indra wanted to test the parrot for its gratitude towards its master – the tree. He visited the parrot in the guise of a man. He said that the tree can no longer give shelter to it and asked why is it that it stayed in that tree itself when there are thousands of other trees around. He asked why the parrot continued to stay there even after the tree is about to perish. The parrot immediately identified that it was Indra who came in disguise. It replied that staying in a tree when it is hale with fruits and leaving it when it is in its hard times is termed as ingratitude. The parrot told that it is a sin to forget the help received. Indra was very happy for the merit of the parrot because it had identified his guise and hence he appeared in front of the parrot in his real form. He wanted the parrot to ask for a wish. The parrot prayed for the good health of the tree. Indra happily made the tree blossom again and blessed the parrot with salvation in its future births.

Hence, we must never forget the help received from any one. They would have helped us some time in the past. Now, when they are suffering with utter poverty, we must not neglect them. We must try to talk to them, respect them and offer any possible help to them because they have helped us in our difficult times. Their help might have been very small in quantity. But today, they have nothing. We must respect and show our reverence. Instead, we must not leave the place just because they will ask us for money. We must try to help our bit. The parrot did not do so. It was blessed with sainthood in its future births.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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Datta maata 54: Which is greater- God’s will or self-efforts?

Once, Dharmaraja posed a question to Bhishma. Which of the two is greater – God or human efforts? Bhisma told that the same question was asked by sage Vasista to Lord Brahma. Bhisma described what Brahma had answered.

The human effort is like a field. God is like the seed. The karta (doer) will get results only when both of these mingle with each other. God will not give any results if there is no human effort. If karma is done by putting human efforts, then God will give results according to it. Just like a fertile land cannot produce any yield without a seed, without efforts even God cannot give any results. We get produce only after the land is tilled and ploughed rightly. We must understand that effort implies karma. Satkarma (good karma) gives good results. A good seed will give good yield and vice versa. This has been our experience in the world. The atom sized fire flares up and intensifies into a large flame. Likewise, gradually God will also become favorable with our human efforts. A lamp will not glow if there is no oil. Similarly, a man will deteriorate without the purification of karma.

Parashurama, Bali, Bhrugu and others had to face many hardships despite putting in many efforts. It was because God was not favorable to them. There are many such instances. Hence, we must never assume that either karma/efforts or God are inferior to each other. At the same time, we must understand that human efforts or God individually will not give any good results. Hence, man must couple both of them and reach the destination called Satphala (good results).

Good results will come to us only of we work hard with a good resolve. Even if we do not get good results despite our good determination, we still feel a sense of peace and satisfaction for doing our duty. But, we certainly do not get any results without a good resolve and efforts. To get good benefits and results, you must do your duty with good resolve and good behavior. Merely doing something will not give any results. How do you get good yield when you have not ensured good manure for the land or ploughed it enough? You will not get the crop. Despite all your efforts for a crop, if a cyclone hits and all your hard work goes in vain, then we must understand the tattva (principle) of God. We may worry if it happens so but it is meaningless to worry for not obtaining any results without any efforts. You have all the resources but you do not want to work hard to achieve results. Hence, you do not succeed. Let us discuss about this further.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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Datta maata 53: Who is responsible for one’s destiny?

Who is responsible for our destiny? Yudhistira (Dharmaraja) worried that Kauravas were killed because of him. He brooded over the matter time and again. Hence, Bhisma told a story to pacify him and make him understand that he was not at all the cause behind the killing of Kauravas and it is in fact the “karma” that is responsible for their death.

Long ago, the son of a Brahmin lady, Gautami was bitten by a snake. He died immediately. Gautami cried terribly in front of her son’s dead body. Meanwhile, a hunter named Arjanaka came there holding a snake in his hand. He told Gautami hastily that the snake was responsible for his son’s death. He asked her permission to kill the snake into pieces. But, she rejected and instead questioned Arjanaka that the snake is no way concerned with his son’s death and that it happened because of his karma. So, she asked him to free the snake. However, the hunter in a severe fury did not agree with Gautami. He strongly determined to kill the snake. Suddenly, the snake started to talk. It listened to the entire conversation of the lady and the hunter. It gave explanation that nothing is in its hands and it acts as a tool in the hands of God of death. It also clarified that it had bitten the boy only with the permission of the God of Death. Then, the God of Death appeared and told about her role. She explained that it is wrong to blame her too because she has control over nothing and that she is governed by the God of Time. She further added that she merely followed the words of God of time. Then, the God of Time appeared there and told that it is wrong to blame him too for anything that happens to anyone. He said that he is just a tool and it is only one’s karma that drives everybody and is the cause behind everything. Gautami intervened and endorsed the words of the God of Time so as to make the hunter understand. She requested the hunter to free the snake because nobody is responsible for her son’s death and that it is only his karma. Feeling ashamed for his ignorance, the hunter freed the snake. Thus, Bhisma explained about the principles of karma to Yudhistara.

Hence, nobody is responsible for one’s sorrow or happiness. It is one’s own karma that causes everything. We unnecessarily worry that it is because of a person, thing, etc that we suffer. But it is not so. It is destined to happen, so it happened. It is the predestined karma that is decided by time. Sometimes, Swamiji tells that karma is computerized. Our future is prewritten. Our disappointment is pre-appointed. We face disappointment as a result of that destiny and no one else is responsible for it. The persons who seem to be the reasons behind our sorrow have just coincidently met us. That’s it. The sorrow might have taken a form because of them but no one is behind our sorrow. If we have a strong karma with us, God himself cannot help us avoid it. We must face it. We must pray God for his grace so that we get the energy to bravely fight against it and forget the sorrow.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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Datta maata 52: Humble people overcome all hurdles easily

Good fortune does not come to us every time. There is an adage that says “If there is someone who eats the wealth of a temple, then there will be some other who robs away the idol itself”. Hence, it is always better to remain humble and down to earth all the time. 

One day, Samudra (Ocean), the husband of all the rivers enquired the well-being of his wives. Meanwhile, Ganga devi (The Ganges) arrived there. Samudra enquired her well-being and asked for her clarification regarding his doubt. Ganga smiled and nodded her head. Samudra said that no river has the pressure in the waves as that of Ganga and many mammoth trees also get uprooted with the force with which Ganga flows. But, he questioned why is it that a blade of grass at Ganga’s banks does not get washed away? He wanted to know the reason behind the survival of the blade of grass despite the tremendous flow of the Ganges which the huge trees also cannot tolerate. What is the secret behind this? – queried Samudra.

Ganga then replied that the giant trees do not bend even a little. They are always straight and harsh. They do not know about the flow of Ganga. Even if they know, they do not care the flow because they feel it is easy to tackle the flood. But, suddenly when the flow rises sharply and assaults the trees, they cannot sustain any further. Not knowing what to do, they get uprooted and flow all along with Ganga. They do not have the energy to survive whereas the blade of grass knows very well about the Ganga’s flow. As soon as the flow of Ganga rises, it remains humble bending its head. It stays on in that position as long as the flow continues to be heavy. Even the scary Ganga flow cannot cause any harm to it. Once the flood recedes, the blade of grass comes back to its original position. This is the secret.

The essence of this story is that an egoistic person loses in the hands of a stronger person and perishes just like the mammoth trees perish in the hands of Ganga. Those who maintain friendly relations with others and remain humble have the capacity to endure any adverse situation. They live happily forever. Those who remain modest can lead a joyful life. Hence, victory is bestowed upon only those who remain grounded. The giant trees are arrogant and hence they get uprooted. But, the blade of grass bends itself. Those who control their ego at the times of distress can easily come out of the tough times. Else, they will certainly perish.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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