Friday, February 28, 2014

404. Don't wish to Live like a Parrot in the Comfortable Cage..!

In a remote village at the foot of Himalaya a very wealthy businessman organized a grand pooja at his house. He invited everyone in the village and it was just pomp and show all the way. In the evening he had requested a Sadhu who lived on the mound to preside over and give a sermon on Spirituality. At the end he along with his family requested the Sadhu to bless. There was a pet parrot in an iron cage which was hung at the portico; the bird would repeat whatever one said. As the family members fell at the feet of the Sadhu they said “Please bless me” and the parrot had heard it. As the Sadhu was about the leave the house it mimicked “Please bless me” and Sadhu was surprised and as he knew to converse with the parrot with its language and he asked, “What do you want dear?”      

The parrot said, “Oh revered sir, this place is stinking and I would like to have a new cage which does not rust as it ages.” Then Sadhu called the wealthy man and asked him to change the cage and keep it clean always. The wealthy man was proud of his pet and said in a high voice, “See, I have a very intelligent bird as my pet.”  

Sadhu said, “No my child, it is not intelligence it is conditioning. The bird has a mind to think but has not got intellect to discriminate or analyze. If it was intelligent it would have requested me to open the door of the cage and would have liked to fly free.”

The man agreed, “Oh, yes Swamiji you are right it is not intelligent. The foolish bird could have asked you to let it free.”  

Sadhu said, “You and your family are no different from it, my child. Just as the parrot asked for a new cage, so did you and your family ask for material things which bind you down mentally and physically. I do not see any difference between your family and the bird in the cage.”

The man realized his fault and said, “Swamiji bless me and my family liberation then.”

Sadhu said, “My child, liberation does not come from getting the blessings of some person. It is the path which you have to tread individually. Liberation is for those who know that they are in bondage. If one is not aware that he is in bondage he will not do anything to get out of it. The irony is that the pleasures and comforts that you are experiencing will not make you aware that you are in bondage.”

The man got confused he said, “Then liberation that which I obtain when my life ends, right?”

Sadhu said, “No my child, Liberation is freedom while living in this physical body. It is not obtained in any other realm or getting something new, but realizing your True nature here and making use of it to the utmost. Liberation is got not by freedom from anything, but in the midst of everything. Vedanta emphasizes that liberation in order to be believable must be attained before death. One who dies in bondage, he will remain bound even after death and unfortunately he has to repeat the cycles of birth and death.”

The man now with gentle voice asked, “Swamiji, please guide me and my family. Tell us the means to practice in order to tread this path.”

Sadhu said, “Dispassion fuels the desire for wholeheartedness in this practice. This is the major precipitating factor in attaining Liberation. I am not telling you to donate all your belonging and stay with me in the mound, but not to crave for more, enjoy life with what ever comes in its way. At the same time do some good work which will help others around you also to be happy. You get to know all these when you are in good company.”  

With tears of joy the man fell to the feet of the Sadhu who turned the direction of his route by just explaining an analogy.

Sri Sri Sankara describes the benefits of Satsanga (association of good) in his famous Bhaja Govindam:

Satsangatve Nissangatvam
Nissangatve Nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve Nishchalatattvam
Nishchalatattve Jivanmuktih

From satsanga one develops non-attachment; from non-attachment one attains freedom from delusion and mental perplexities; freedom from delusion leads to stillness and from stillness gets liberation.

1 comment:

  1. It is a valid point that one should know that he is in bondage.Then he will find ways to be free.When one gets irritable with the happenings of the world and wants a way out then he would go to spirituality.It starts with knowledge and the company of the Wise.That leads to freedom.!!