Why do we need a guru
Vishnu – Hey look Goda! Grandma is pouring flour on the ground!
Go:da – She is not pouring flour. She is decorating the entrance with ‘muggulu’. Yesterday, I was told that these “muggulu”are auspicious and become food for small insects!
Vishnu – Wow! That is very compassionate!
Grandma – Our ancestors were really concerned and compassionate towards all creatures. Hence they brought this practice to feed small insects, birds etc.
Go:da – Then they can also live in harmony with us.
Grandma – Exactly! You are right. We are living not because of our own efforts, but because all these birds, animals and insects are helping us in many ways. Drawing “muggulu”, adds beauty to the house, improves our skills, connects us with neighbours, and helps other creatures to live.
Vishnu – Grandma, but why are you drawing birds in the muggulu?
Go:da – What birds are they?
Grandma – These are parrots!
Vishnu – Why parrots? Why not sparrows?
Grandma – I learned this muggu from my mother. Ask you grandfather why we draw parrots instead of sparrows. I have lots of work to do. I still need to cook dinner for you guys!
Vishnu & Go:da – Grandpa! Grandpa!
Grandpa – Calm down children! Whats up?
Go:da – Why is Grandma drawing a parrot in the muggu and not a sparrow? Is there any significance?
Grandpa – Yeah, sure, why not? Everything has an inner meaning. Parrots symbolize a:cha:ryas. Parrots also represent good speech. A:cha:rya is one who gives us good messages. We draw parrots, to remind ourselves to speak good words as taught by our acharyas.
Vishnu – There is a chako:ram in this slo:ka. What about that bird?
Go:da – What is a chako:ra bird anyway?
Grandpa – This bird’s only food is moonlight. Similarly, for a disciple, a:cha:rya’s upadesam is food. We should always grow with the knowledge provided by a:charya and not with anything else.
Vishnu – Are there any other birds which are significant?
Grandpa – Yes! There are many other birds.
Birds are commonly compared to a:cha:ryas. Scriptures mention many birds that each reveal certain qualities of an a:cha:rya. By understanding these birds, you will be able to admire a few qualities of a:cha:ryas.
Go:da – Can you name a few birds grandpa?
Grandpa – Sure. Cha:thaka, swan, peacock, cuckoo, crow, hen. Can you find out how these birds relate to a:cha:ryas?
Vishnu – Please tell us, we can’t do the research.
Grandpa – Okay. A cha:thaka collects and drinks only rainwater. Similarly, a perfect a:cha:rya collects knowledge only from the lineage of a:cha:ryas.
Go:da – Wow! What about a swan?
Vishnu – A swan.. it never lives in dirt. It lives only in pure water and drinks only the milk leaving the water behind.
Grandpa – Yes, you got it. Better than that, a a:charya eliminates the dirt and makes his disciples pure. Though the world is mixed with good and bad, a:charya selects only good things for us.
A cuckoo bird is known for its sweet song. A:cha:yas speak good for our welfare.
A crow invites all other crows before eating. It never eats alone. Similarly, a:cha:rya shares all good things with his disciples. He never enjoys alone.
A hen awakes people on a timely basis. A:charyas also remind us about our duties on a timely basis.
Peacock dances seeing the clouds. Similarly a:charyas feel joy when see their disciplies doing good and divine practices.
Vishnu – This is amazing Grandpa! A:cha:rya is so great!
Go:da – Thanks Grandpa! I will make a chart with this information and show it to my friends and classmates.