H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Leonardo for Everybody

By Paramatma Dasi

Bhaktivedanta Ashrama, January 23rd 2009

Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu is sitting at the table with some devotees; he is having breakfast and he is talking to Premabhakti das about his experience on special wall decorations. Premabhakti das explains that nowadays, by means of a very peculiar method, it is even possible to have, on the wall of your sitting room, the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

Mmm, Leonardo for everybody” says Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu in a puzzled tone. “On the one hand it means a wide diffusion, on the other hand it means that what's special will become ordinary”, He adds. His comment, for the benefit of the few devotees present, soon turns into a short but very interesting lesson. Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu’s thought is that one thing is to go and admire Leonardo’s work at a museum or in an ancient building: in that case we are accompanied by our will and desire to meet Leonardo’s art. But to have Leonardo’s work on a wall at home and to walk continuously before it, it gets it too familiar and that spoils everything. In the end we will not even longer notice Leonardo's masterpiece, though it is as large as the wall.

This is why – carries on Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu – the Murtis are kept in a special place and before drawing the curtains of the temple, and opening or closing the doors, we ring bells and blow conches: because in that very moment we have to be fully aware and totally present. The world is a balance between union and separation. Too much confidence is not good, it makes you unable to correctly discriminate, to give something or someone the right value and generates addiction and pain. On the other hand, being too far apart is not useful either. It works the same in our relationships: between Guru and disciples, between parents and children and between partners. We should not to let events nor people stick to us, we should approach them in a sacred way”.

A note by Paramatma dasi:

I am so thankful to Guru Maharaja for the numberless “matchless gifts” that He always gives us and that inspire me to hold on to my old and good habit which I called “Guruvaca”. What He explained this morning struck me for its freshness and consistency.

Today everybody can have most anything... is it really ok? We take everything for granted, we are unable to prepare ourselves - we are unable to prepare our consciousness - for the most important moments of our life and of our present day. Everything is cheap, everything is near at hand, and everything can be at the same time so easily thrown away.

In traditional times a son or daughter used to offer obeisances to his/her parents, a wife used to lovingly take care of her husband showing him respect; a husband used to lovingly protect his wife. What to say about the everlasting and sacred relationship between Guru and disciples!

The Shastras were just for a few people, yes, but not to favour a classist ideology, rather because it was clear that without the right approach they would remain, as we read in the Garuda Purana, “a mirror for the blind”. This is why we offer our humble respects to the devotees, to the Spiritual Master and to the Murtis, and stay quiet in a holy place, turning off also the engine of our mind.

Putting everything on the same level without discrimination makes life mean, pale, frustrating. According to Bhagavad-gita for a self-realized yogi earth, stone and gold are alike, but certainly not because he can't distinguish between them, rather because he transcends duality. Anyhow, all those who have not reached such a self-realization level yet, should be careful and sensitive towards reality: when you don't recognize something (or someone) you cannot give it the right value and when it happens you will be forced to lose it. 

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