(Purports To A Legacy Of Our Lunacy.)
This is the story of the bogus spiritual master Guru Paramartha and his five disciples. It was told to me by some devotees that stay in Sydney, Australia, who mentioned that when Srila Prabhupada came to Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, he said they should change the name to Paramartha, total madness, he translated it as. Anyway on to the story.
These disciples were obedient, but unfortunately not very intelligent. On one occasion, Guru Paramartha was riding a horse, and he was very nicely dressed. As his horse rode under a tree, a low branch happened to knock Guru Paramartha's hat off his head. The disciples saw the hat fall to the ground, but they neglected to pick it up. After some time, Guru Paramartha realised that his had fallen off, and he turned around to his disciples, who were walking behind the horse. "Where is my hat?" Guru Paramartha asked his disciples. "It fell off, guruji," they replied. Guru Paramartha inquired from one of his disciples, "Why did you not pick my hat up, if you saw that it had fallen off?" One disciple replied, "You never told us to pick it up, guruji." Guru Paramartha then said, "Look, if something falls off the horse, pick it up." After a while, the guru's hat happened to fall off again. Obediently, the hat up. But being completely devoid of any trace of common-sense, they also picked up the stool that the horse passed later on. This placed this in the hat, and when Guru Paramartha later on asked for his hat, he got a nasty surprise. "You fools!" he yelled at them. "Don't you have one brain between the five of you? Look, here is a list. If something falls off the horse, only pick it up if it is on the list." So after riding for a while, the hat fell off again. His disciples saw it on the list, so they picked it up. The guru's cane then fell from the horse, so after checking the list, the disciples picked it up. After some time, the horse sped up to a gallop, and the disciples had to run behind to keep up. The horse rode under a low branch, and this branch knocked Guru Paramartha to the ground unconscious. When the disciples looked at the list, they couldn't find "Guru Paramartha" anywhere, so they walked off and left him.
One other time, Guru Paramartha was instructing his disciples that they had to come to the mode of goodness before advancing. And this meant that they had to eat in the mode of goodness. After instructing his disciples, Guru Paramartha, being a yogi, went into samadhi, and his disciples began to talk amongst themselves. "Guruji has told us to eat in the mode of goodness. So what can we eat that is in the mode of goodness?" One disciple piped up, "I remember guruji saying once that the cow was in the mode of goodness." The disciples then set off to find a cow, and when they did they slaughtered it and took it back to the ashram to eat. The guru was just coming out if trance when he saw what his disciples were eating. "You fools!" he screamed. "You have just committed the greatest sin by eating your mother! What do you think you are doing?" One disciple replied, "We are just trying to eat in the mode of goodness, like you told us." "The cow is in the mode of goodness, yes, but you're not supposed to eat her! Find something which is really in goodness." So then Guru Paramartha went back into samadhi, and his disciples again talked amongst themselves. "Well then," one said, "What is in the mode of goodness." After a long silence one said, "I know. Guruji is in the mode of goodness."
Guru Paramartha and his five disciples represent everything bogus.
They are simply the personification of bogusness. Whatever bogus
philosophy there is, Guru Paramartha will teach it to his disciples.
And whatever bogus activity there may be, his disciples will engage in
it. The point of these stories is not only to make us laugh, but
to show us the foolishness of material endeavour, especially of the sort
which is sometimes passed off among ordinary people as something spiritual.
So one of Guru Paramartha's disciples was sitting in a tree, and he was
sawing through the branch he was sitting on. He wanted to build something
for his spiritual master. So immediately we have a good lesson is
just this. This is the nature of all material activity. Like
it is said, vipariyo smrti. This means "competitive mentality."
One actually wants to enjoy in this material existence. Krsna is
the supreme enjoyer, in the spiritual world. One is thinking "I will
become the supreme enjoyer" here in the material world. So by that
consciousness then attachments are established, one becomes attached to
some other thing. Our every endeavour to enjoy in this material existence
will be condemned. We may be maintaining so many attachments, but
they will all be broken, no matter what. One is working hard, one
is thinking, in his foolishness, "I am accomplishing something," but he's
cutting his own position out from under him. So as he's doing this,
one brahmin walks by underneath the tree, and looks up. He says,
"My dear young man, if you continue to saw like that the branch will break
and you will fall and hurt yourself." The boy said, "Don't talk,
you don't know what you're saying. I am doing this as a service to
my guru, and everything will be alright. You go away." "All
right, I'll go away," the brahmin said. "I have no desire to stay
here and watch you do something foolish." So he walked off.
So the disciple kept sawing, and finally the branch he was sawing reached
the thickness where it could no longer hold his weight, it cracked and
he fell. He banged his head and it raised a big lump. So he
was sitting there rubbing the lump moaning, when he thought, "Oh, but that
brahmin came by, and he actually saw the future! This is amazing."
So he began to think of this brahmin as a very mystical person who could
actually see the future. So picking up the branch, he was running
to catch up with the brahmin. So the brahmin was walking along and
he happened to look behind him and see this boy running with a branch in
his hand, "Stop! Stop!" So he began to run also, thinking,
"This fellow is a madman! First he's cutting the branch he's sitting
on, and now he's going to beat me, simply because I told him this would
happen." So they were running over hill and dale, and finally the
brahmin became weak and could not run any more, so he turned to face his
adversary, and the boy came up, but the boy was very respectful to the
brahmin, and he was touching his feet. "Oh dear sir, I'm glad you've
stopped. I understand now that you are a great seer of the future.
So you please tell me, because myself and my other four god brothers, we're
very worried about the time when our spiritual master will pass on from
this world. So can you tell us when this will happen?" So this
brahmin knew he was dealing with someone very foolish. Actually this
brahmin didn't have any power to see the future. He simply had common
sense. So in order to pacify this young man, he made a sanskrit statement.
Asana sitam, jivana nasham. This means that when the seat or the
asana (meaning the material body), becomes cold you will know your spiritual
master has passed on. So he was making a very simple, common sense
statement which anyone could have said. The boy was saying, "This
is a very perceptive, mystic statement." So he ran back and announced
that he now has the secret of preserving the life in the spiritual master.
So he told his god brothers, and they became excited, and they went to
see guru maharaja, Guru Paramartha. "Guru Paramartha, now we know
that we simply have to always keep you warm, and you will not die."
"What is this," Guru Paramartha asked. And then they told him, Asana
sitam, jivana nasham. "Oh!" Guru Paramartha said, "Yes, it's obvious.
Then especially my seat, my backside should be not become cold. So
then I will no longer clean myself after passing stool." "Yes, wonderful
idea," the disciples said. So then he was becoming very dirty and
filthy, and smelly also, but as he told his disciples, "Better dirty than
dead." So in this way life was going on. Then one day there
was a rainstorm, and there happened to be in the roof above the asana a
little hole. Water dripped down and soaked the seat. So Guru
Paramartha was going to give a lecture to his five disciples. He
came and sat down on the seat, and he began to speak. Then as he
was speaking, he began to notice that his seat was becoming cold.
He was then in great terror. "Oh no! It's happening!
My seat is becoming cold!" And because of the psychological state
he was in, he fainted. Then his disciples began to lament.
"Ohhh! Guru Maharaja has left his body!" They were lamenting
and crying. So they carried the body to the bathing tank to wash
it for internment. They wanted to put the body in samadhi, so they
had to wash it first. So they put the body in the tank and they were
pressing it down. So because Guru Paramartha was only unconscious,
thus the water revived him and he began to struggle. The disciples
were thinking, "Oh, a ghost has entered Guru Maharaja's body! Let's
drive this ghost out!" So they were pushing him down further and
he was struggling. "No, you fools! I'm still alive!"
So finally he somehow got free of their grasp, and he was able to stand
up. He was rebuking them, but they were still thinking that a rakshasha
has entered Guru Maharaja's body, so they all ran away, and Guru Paramartha
was left standing there. So these stories illustrate the foolish
predicaments the living entity gets himself into when he accepts false
shelter, and the prime predicament is that whatever we do is going to be
cut off by impending death.
Ghoda-dimba means "horses egg," and this point of logic means to confuse the effect with the wrong cause. There were five disciples of a foolish guru, Guru Paramartha and they wanted to do some service for him by getting him a horse so he wouldn't have to walk everywhere. But horses were very expensive, and they didn't have much money. Then one disciple came running in with the news that he had seen horses eggs in a field. There were horses grazing in a field, and on the ground near them, there were big eggs. "So all we have to do is buy a horses egg and sit on it. Then it will hatch and we will have a little horse. Then he grow up and carry guruji around." So they very excitedly went there, and sure enough they saw in a field where there were very nice expensive Arabian horses grazing, there were big eggs. Or what they thought were eggs, actually they were pumpkins. But the owner of the horses and that plot of land, he immediately recognised what is known as "a killing" when he sees one, how to make a lot of money out of nothing. So when they approached him and asked, "We want to buy a horses egg." He replied, "Huh? Oh yes, the horses eggs! Well, these are expensive horses you know, so the eggs are also not so cheap." Then they haggled, and finally five gold coins were paid for one pumpkin, which is of course an outrageous price. So very excitedly they went running back to the ashram, but the one carrying the pumpkin happened to trip, and the pumpkin went end over end through the air, crashed in a bush and broke open. So they were very sad, but instantly from out of the bush ran a rabbit which had been hiding there. They were pursuing the rabbit. "Get the little horse!" But they failed to catch the little horse, so they had to come back to the ashram and tell their spiritual master their big mistake. MORAL: This Ghoda-dimba story illustrates false cause. There has always been a class of scientists who think that life comes from matter, but this is based on a similar philosophy.