THE PROUD DUNG BEETLE
There was one dung beetle. He was hiding in his hole,
and he smelt fresh horse stool near his place. What had occured was that
some travellers on horseback had come by, stopped for a few minutes, ate,
drank a little wine, the horses had passed stool and they had got on the
horse and ridden off. So the little dung beetle had come out of his hole,
following the smell of fresh horse stool. And he crossed over a wet patch
where wine had been spilt, and by the time he reached the horse stool,
he was completely intoxicated. So intoxicated was he that he thought that
as he looked at the horse stool he thought that he was at the foot of the
high Himalaya mountains. And he felt himself most powerful.
"Now I am going to conquer these great
mountains, and in this way assert my mastery over the earth." So then he
scrambled up higher, higher and finally came to the top. And he considered
in his drunken state, "Now I have conquered Mount Everest." And as he stood
in the middle of the pile of horse stool, because it was wet, still fresh,
it sunk beneath him. And he said, "Just see how powerful I am. I have conquered
the Himalayas, and now I'm pushing the whole earth down."
So he was just basking in his own glory on the top of
the pile of horse stool, and one elephant came out of a nearby forest.
The elephant was walking directly towards the dung beetle. The dung beetle
saw this big elephant coming, and the elephant with his long nose happened
to pick up the smell of horse stool. And elephants don't like this smell.
So then the elephant turned to one side. He thought, "Horse stool straight
ahead. I won't go there." So he turned. The little dung beetle watched
this, and he said, "Hey elephant, don't try to run away! I see how afraid
you are of me. Come back here and fight!"
The elephant has big ears, so he can
even hear a little dung beetle. The elephant stopped and looked around.
"What? Who's speaking?" And he saw on top of the horse stool a little insect
with his chest puffed up and shaking his fists. And the elephant thought,
"That's remarkable. This little dung beetle, just by climbing on this lump
of stool, thinks now he can defeat the elephant. So if it's stool that
makes him feel so great, then more stool he shall have."
So the elephant backed up, positioned
himself over the horse stool, and let fly with a huge ball of elephant
stool, completely crushing the little dung beetle. He was no more after
that. He had merged into the impersonal absolute.
MORAL: This is what the Isopanisad is warning
by a little touch of knowledge, which is not properly understood from the
lips of the bonafide representative of Vedic knowledge, Krishna or His
pure devotee, even though one may seem to be on the right path of spiritual
advancement, one will become intoxicated, waylaid, and finally get hit
in the worst way by maya just like the little dung beetle.
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