Category: Q&A

Datta maata 40: Discarding luxuries and sleep intensify your dedication

Each and every kind of education has its own way. The various walks of life are just like the different forms of education. These days, in order to obtain the B.A (Bachelor of Arts) degree, one has to study for 4 hours in a day. But, one who aspires to become an IAS officer must study at least for 12 hours a day. At present, we see that there is a huge competition in the field of education. This is also good. Our elders say “Vidya turānām na sukham na nidra”. This means that those who neglect the pleasures, sleep and concentrate totally on studies will get good education. Education comes to only those who struggle day and night. Else it will not.

Sage Bharadwaja is one of the strongest personalities amongst all the sages. But, we must also remember that he was a very great student. While he was obtaining his education, after finishing his part of studies, he asked his Guru whether he had completed the education or not. Then Guru told him that not even a small portion has been completed. Instead, he told Bharadwaja that only if he is born again with a long life, he can complete his study in Vedas. Bharadwaja did penance with strong determination. Indra appeared and blessed him with longevity in this lifetime itself. He again continued to study Vedas. Once again, he understood that he could not complete the study. So, he once again did penance to please Indra. This happened thrice.

On the fourth time, Indra appeared and blessed him with a lifetime of 1000 years and questioned him how he would utilize it. Bharadwaja told about his strong resolve to study the Vedas. Then, Indra showed three sandy hills and told him that they are analogous to the limitless Vedas. Further, he took out three fistfuls of sand from the three hills and compared them to the study that Bhardawaja has done. If the Vedas are infinite, then the study of Bharadwaja is so infinitesimal. This shows us the vastness of Vedas. Bharadwaja now understood the essence of Vedas and offered prostrations to Indra. Then, Indra blessed Bharawaja and told that a student must be like him because he possesses a strong determination. With such a strong will, any education will appear lucid and it will lead to victory. Such a student will develop innovative ways of thinking too. Indra then taught “Savitri vidya” to Bharadwaja and also told him that he has no further need to study because he can now visualize the divine hymns. He further blessed that Bharadwaja will become famous as “Mantra drasta” and left the place. Bharadwaja remained as a student forever and helped the world. Taking him as the role model, hope that both the children and elders will obtain good education. May you all become well versed in education!

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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Datta maata 39: The significance of Fire-worship

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Datta maata 37: Downfall is inevitable if eyes are blinded due to arrogance

Ego is not at all good. If a person is able enough to kick a palm tree, there will also be someone who kicks him. There are many great and revered people in this world. But, instead of being down to earth, they show their egoistic nature which sometimes makes them face harsh punishments.

Samudra (Ocean god) was really great. But what is the use? He showed his arrogance in front of Sree Rama. As a result, he had to surrender to his arrows. We know that story. Later, Samudra also had to surrender to sage Agastya and became the water in his water pot. You know this story too.

Similarly, Vindya also was really great. But, the ego that he is much greater than Meru took roots in him. Vindya was very humble. But, it was of no use. One day, sage Narada came to the mountain Vindya. He honored the sage and poured his heart out. Narada understood the egoistic nature of Vindya and said that he is indeed greater than Meru. Saying so, Narada left the place. Those with ego become blindfolded. Vindya also comes under that category. He did not know what he was doing. Because of ego, his humility and wisdom went in vain. He kept his peaks in between the way of Surya. Thinking himself to be superior, he troubled the people of all the three worlds and beings. The demigods prayed Lord Brahma to protect them from this calamity. But, he told them that he cannot do anything for them and instead advised them that sage Agastya alone can protect them. Then demigods went to Agastya and told about their problems. He was a staunch devotee of Shiva. It is Shiva who bestows peace to the world. Since Agstya followed Shiva, his master, he accepted the prayers of demigods and started his journey from north direction towards to the south. On his way, he reached Vindya, who knew about sage Agastya very well. Hence he bowed his head in front of him. Agastya praised him for his respect and humility towards elders. He said that he will go towards the south direction and come back while he ordered Vindya to stay in that bowing position. The sage came to the south.

Any education or greatness is of no use when one is not humble enough. Else, one has to face the same situation as that of Vindya. One must possess education which is deprived of ego. Parōpakārāya idaṁ sharēraṁ! Just like Agastya, one has to lead one’s life to help others.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!


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Datta maata 36: Charity is the stepping stone to liberation.

Charity is a stepping stone to salvation. Tattvātvam tvādrusho bhava! This is the lesson that a beggar teaches everybody. He teaches us not to born like him by not donating in this birth and instead by involving in charity, we can be born like what we actually are. We must understand this very well. Usually, when somebody talks, they use the words dāna (charity) and dharma (righteousness) together. The inner meaning behind such usage is that daana is the greatest dharma. The body is of no use if one does not learn to give.

Two foxes went near the dead body of a cruel person. One of the foxes knew the history of the deceased and it told the other fox not to touch the body because it had to undergo many blames. A sinful person’s mortal remains will not be touched by even dogs or foxes because his hands have never involved in any charity, his ears have never listened to God’s names, his eyes have never seen the Guru’s form anytime, his feet have never circumambulated around the God, his stomach was filled by the food which was obtained by the money earned through illicit means and his head is heavy because of ego. Hence, the first fox advised the second one not to eat that person’s body even if it is very hungry. It also said that if it eats him, then it has to take a lower birth. After giving all the suggestions, it left the decision to the other fox. The second fox immediately left the place even without smelling the dead body.

From this story, we must understand the importance of charity and lead our life. Such is the greatness of dāna. The mind and body that possess such a virtue are the greatest. There are many who do not even feed a crow. There are few who eat food on a banana leaf washing it every time. There are certain people who preserve the leftover food in refrigerator and eat it the next day. Occasionally it is good but not every time. Why such avarice? There are many who eat right in front of others without even caring for them. It is at least better to close the door and eat instead of eating in front of others. Few eat by closing their eyes while few others purposefully eat in front of others shamelessly. Such kind of eating will only lead to stomach-ache. We must offer to the people around us while we are about to eat. One should learn to do such charity else dogs and foxes also do not tend to see the dead body. We have listened to many stories teaching us this. During the ancestral rites, pindam (rice balls) is provided to the departed souls and usually crows come and eat them. If crows do not eat the pindam, then that person is said to be sinful. If they eat, then such a person is considered to be meritorious. We must observe the subtleties involved with dāna and dharma.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!


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Datta maata 35: True virtues a disciple should develop

What is the dharma of a disciple? How should he behave? It is a bit difficult to answer this. A disciple is obviously the one who has all the virtues. But, that is not enough. We have to answer the questions. Else, there is no use. The most important and greatest virtue is devotion towards Guru. This is what we must understand. To understand the virtues of disciples, we must learn about the story of Uttanka.

Uttanka was one of the disciples of sage Veda. He completed his education by devoutly serving his Guru. Now it is time for him to enter into Grihasthashrama from Gurukula. He prayed and asked his Guru about the Guru dakshina he wanted. Guru says that he does not need any Guru dakshina because Uttanka had finished his education with great devotion and that itself is like dakshina to him. But, because Uttanka insisted further, Guru tells him to ask his wife and bring whatever she asked for. That will be the Guru dakshina that he can offer. The wife of Guru says that she wanted the ear rings of the wife of King Paukshya within four days. Here comes the problem! He should have gone to his home directly after completion of the education. He had to struggle for this. Uttanka went straight away to the queen and requested her to give the ear rings. The queen agreed but cautioned while giving the rings that Takshaka – the king of Nāgās will snatch them away if he sees them. Uttanka while coming on his way stopped near a river for bath. He kept the ear rings on the floor. Takshaka came in the guise of a sage and took them away. Uttanka understood that it is Takshaka who took away the ear rings. Uttanka started digging the earth to find him. He did so for many hours. Pleased with his devotion on the Guru, Indra and other gods appeared in front of him and blessed him with Vajrayudha. With the help of that, Uttanka went down till pātāla loka (the world below Earth), re-obtained the ear rings and gave them as dakshina to the wife of his Guru. This is a very big story that tells us about devotion on Guru.

The devotion and commitment towards Guru is as equally important as the education that one pursues near him. Only then, he will be successful. In fact, devotion is more important than the education. Our devotion must be at least equal to the amount of education one obtains. Such an education alone will be meaningful. What is the use of education that is devoid of devotion and commitment towards Guru? Uttanka would not have gone to patala loka. Indra and other gods tested him and his devotion. Finally, they helped him go to patala loka. Else, he would not have gone at all. This story is a proof which tells us that only when there is devotion and concentration on Guru, the education will carry any meaning.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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