A story that tells you the true value of a spiritual leader
In the spiritual realm, the position of a true master is indispensable. Sacred texts and traditions across the world point to the criticality of a Guru, who leads us in the journey of life.
In this context, Ramayana’s authoritative proponent, Morari Bapu, narrated a ‘Bodh Katha’ or a moral story that he had heard from the Late Akhandananda Saraswati ji, a spiritual teacher known for his grasp on the Bhagvad Purana and diverse subjects like Vedanata and Bhakti. One day while Bapu was visiting him in Walkeshwar in Mumbai, Akhandananda Saraswati ji narrated a story to explain the concept of a Guru to one of his disciples.
“Once there was a shepherd who was not particularly religious but always made it is point to offer milk to a learned sage who used to live close to his village. After the sudden demise of the shepherd, his son continued the custom of offering milk to the holy man as he took his herd of cattle to graze. The sage on learning about the death of the herdsman asked his son a question. “What is number of your cattle and what is their composition?” The shepherd’s son said that he had 20 buffaloes and one cow. Every day they crossed a small river to visit the pastures on the opposite side to feed on lush grass.
The sage remained quiet for a while and then again asked, “Who leads the herd?” The shepherd’s son said that the one cow led while the 20 buffaloes followed. Very sombrely the sage advised, “Even if you face the direst consequences in your life and material loss, never sell your cow.” After which the sage went into silence.
Months passed and the shepherd’s routine continued.
But then suddenly misfortune struck and the boy came running to sage, crying uncontrollably. The sage asked his for the reason of his dismay. The shepherd’s son said that due to heavy rains, the river had got flooded and all his animals had died. “He was destroyed!”
The sage asked about who was leading the herd. The shepherd revealed that they were all walking in a group. The saint further asked about why the cow was not leading the lot. The shepherd’s son answered that he had sold the cow when he had faced a financial constraint.
The sage bemoaned, “Alas! You have done what I told you not to. Had the cow been there, she would have led you all to safety.”
The moral of the story is a Guru is like the cow – he is adept and qualified to lead us through the ‘Bhavsagar’ (materialistic world). His nature is simple like that of a cow. As per Hindu mythology, 33 crore deities live in the body of a cow. The same can be said about a Guru, in whom many cosmic energies are manifest.
If we abandon such a true master, we will face nothing but misfortune and destruction.
The views expressed by the author are personal and do not in any way represent those of Times Network.