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11. Moth: From the moth the Avadhuta, Dattaguru learnt that one should not be caught by the beauty of colour and form. The moth is attracted so much "by the fire that it falls into it and gets burnt"
12. Honey Bee: The seeker should collect the essence of knowledge from wherever he can find it - from different books and traditions, from children or old people - just as the honey bee collects honey from different flowers. The Avadhuta, Dattaguru also learnt that he should collect food in small quantities from different houses, just enough to satisfy his hunger, so that he is not a burden on any of them.
While the bee is absorbed in sucking the honey, the lotus closes. The bee waits for the morning when the flower will open again. In the meantime an elephant uproots the lotus with the stem and stamps on it, crushing the bee. Ironically, the bee can make a hole in wood, but not in the lotus. Softer attachments are harder to break. Prisoners can break walls, but emotional attachments break a person.
13. Elephant: Elephants are notorious for their attachment to the sense of touch. During the mating season they keep rubbing each other. This proves their undoing, because the hunters use this weakness to trap them into a pit. The Avadhuta, Dattaguru learnt the dangers and pitfalls that lie behind the pleasures of touch.
14. Honey Gatherer: All the honey the bees accumulate so industriously is taken away by the honey-gatherer in one stroke. We tend to hoard thing and ultimately we neither enjoy them ourselves nor allow other to enjoy them. It is the duty of householders to share everything with others. Thus Shri Dattatreya also points out to the honey gatherrer.
15.Deer: Dattaguru, also refers to the deer. Attached to the sound of music, the deer falls prey to the hunter who lures it with music. Music should be devotional, otherwise it can take you to very wrong places. Also one should be careful not to listen to gossip or descriptions of alluring things, because it takes root in the mind and creates desires for the wrong things.
To be continued
About the author
This article is a continuation of “Gurus-24 Spiritual Teachers," which, is an excerpt from Swami Tejomayananda's “The Twenty Four Gurus" The article is about the spiritual teachers found in nature and world as revealed by Shri Dattatreya, acclaimed as Dattaguru. It covers teachers from 11 to 15 of the 24. This article is written for the Vedanta Vani of Chinmaya Mission.