Shree Maa gives us the message that we can learn from everybody.
When Maa was a little four-year old child, She was cleaning a room and upon finishing, she threw the broom to a corner. Then She heard the voice of Sri Ramakrishna say, "Hega, you threw that broom? See how beautifully you cleaned the room with that very broom and now you threw it? You must respect your tools as well as your actions. Cleanliness is next to Godliness?" The four-year-old Little Mother bowed down to the broom. From then on She would bow down to it everyday. Maa said that Thakur Ramakrishna told Her, "If you respect each and every one of your actions, you will get me."
Respect is an important part of learning. To illustrate this, Maa is sharing these stories with us. These stories teach us how to learn and how to become divine. We can learn every moment from every thing because Mother Nature is teaching us all the time. Please listen and enjoy the stories!
Now, Mother will tell us the story of Avadhut Dattatreya. Dattatreya was born divine and considered every moment as an opportunity to learn. He learned from everybody and everything. He considered all of Nature to be his Guru. How did He learn this way and what did He learn? Read on!
One day Avadhut was crossing a big field. He saw a huge wedding procession walking across the field with much fanfare accompanied by many musical instruments. There were pipes and drums and lots of singing. The marriage party was accompanying the groom. At the same time in that field, Avadhut saw a hunter. The hunter was looking with one-pointed mind at his prey. His eyes were completely focused on the target and he was oblivious to the marriage party and the sounds of their merry making. Avadhut went to the hunter and bowed down to him. He said, "You are my Guru. When I meditate on God, my goal will be to have the same focus as you have just demonstrated."
One time Avadhut was walking by a river when he saw a fisherman. He went near the fisherman and asked politely, "Oh Brother, what path should I take to go to the cityâ€? The fisherman was looking inside the water and did not pay any attention to the question. The sounds did not even enter in to his ears. At that moment, the fish was just touching the bait. When the fish was caught, the fisherman called Avadhut, "Hey, what were you saying to me?"
Avadhut came back to him and bowed down. He said, "You are my Guru. When I meditate on my Ishta Deva (beloved form of God), until the meditation is not complete, until I reach the goal, my mind will not wander. Please give me blessings to be like you in this way."
One day a hawk caught a fish and was flying with the fish in his mouth. Behind came hundreds and hundreds of crows. They all flew behind him and chased the hawk wherever he flew. They wanted the fish and went wherever the hawk went. They were disturbing the hawk greatly.
The hawk got mad. He threw the fish. At that time, another hawk was flying and caught that fish. The crows left the first hawk and started flying behind the other hawk.
The first hawk was so relieved and relaxed! Without a care, he sat on the branch of a tree and watched the plight of the other hawk.
The Avadhut bowed down to the hawk and said, "If you can leave all desires and attachments, then alone you can get peace. When I sit to meditate I want to leave all my desires and attachments, just as you have shown. " He prayed to the hawk and said, "You are my Guru. Thank you for your teaching."
There was a little pond in which a crane was walking with concentration and moving slowly to catch a fish. Behind the crane was a hunter who was focusing on the crane with the intent of killing it. The crane had no idea as to who was behind. The crane was completely focused on catching the fish.
The Avadhut bowed down to the crane and told him, "You are my Guru. When I will do meditation, I will never look behind, I will always be focused on the present and not on the past or the future. Please give me this blessing. Thank you for your teaching."
From these Avadhut stories we see a beautiful example of how we can learn from all of Nature -- every moment, every aspect of creation can be our Guru and we can learn. Avadhut gave respect with each action. From this we learn that if we, too, are respectful in each and every one of our actions, the entire Universe will become our family, and we can learn and share with all of creation.