Recklessness Brings Destruction

In his ashram, Gurudev was teaching his disciples the importance of discretionary power and thoughtfulness.

Gurudev says, “Every human being has a pretty good idea about his competence, knowledge and his strengths. Sometimes, however, a man’s obsession with self-image lands him in trouble. The poet Bhaaravi says, ‘Dear man! Don’t be reckless. Don’t invite danger. If you grab every opportunity without thoroughly knowing your competence, it may turn out to be life-threatening’.”

Disciple says, “Please tell us a story.”

Gurudev says, “Sure. A traveler named Charudatta was sailing in a boat when he got caught up in a storm. He lost his way and landed up on the shores of a foreign land. He was safe but he had no idea he was about to face a bigger challenge. The shore was covered with a very dense forest that was home to fierce animals. Charudatta tried to find his way through the forest when he gets chased by them. He began running from them when he sees some people with weapons and a flag coming towards him.”

Disciple says, “That is frightful.”

Gurudev says, “He didn’t know what to do or where to go. He felt as though his death was standing right in front of him. He stopped and waited. The army approached him and then began dancing with joy right before his eyes. One of them said, ‘Our kingdom does not have a king. Our Goddess told us that the first person we see coming through this forest early in the morning would be our king. You are our king. Please mount this elephant’.”

Disciple says, “This is wonderful. His fortune turned around.”

Gurudev says, “O child! There is a popular saying ‘ghee dekha magar badaga nahi dekha!’ Charudatta began thinking, ‘These people aren’t interested in knowing my qualifications. Why should I worry?’”

Disciple says, “This is true. Coloring a stone with shendura (a coloring agent) does not make it an idol of worship.”

Gurudev says, “Days flew by. Charudatta was enjoying the pleasures and luxuries that came with the post, but the time had arrived when his competence was going to be tested.”

Disciple says, “What was the challenge?”

Gurudev says, “There was an epidemic in that kingdom. The people who made him their king now approached him and said, ‘O king! To get rid of the epidemic, it is customary in our kingdom to offer the king to our Goddess as a sacrifice. So please, we request you. This is for the benefit of all’.”

Disciple says, “Now he must be really frightened.”

Gurudev says, “Yes, he was. He said, ‘I may be your king. But I am not from your kingdom. I come from a foreign land.’ Charudatta had accepted the position out of greed and inflated ego and now he was paying for it. He made excuses to elude the situation. A Sanskrit quote says, ‘Greed destroys the intellect and as a result we face great misfortune.’ To avoid this, one must always be alert and aware. In order to achieve this, one must follow the spiritual practice given by one’s sadguru.”

Disciple says, “What is that?”

Gurudev says, “Sit on a rug comfortably, close your eyes, relax your body, focus your attention on the breath and experience eternal peace inside of you.”