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Articles: Philosophy
Doors of liberation
- Dr. Anuradha Dakinedi
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One should never indulge in excessive affection or concern for anyone or anything; otherwise one will have to experience great suffering, just like the foolish pigeon. There once was a pigeon who lived in the forest along with his wife. He had built a nest within a tree and lived there for several years in her company. The two pigeons were very much devoted to their household duties. Their hearts being tied together by sentimental affection, they were each attracted by the other's glances, bodily features and states of mind. Thus, they completely bound each other in affection. Naively trusting in the future, they carried out their acts of resting, sitting, walking, standing, conversing, playing, eating and so forth as a loving couple among the trees of the forest. Whenever she desired anything, O King, the she-pigeon would flatteringly cajole her husband, and he in turn would gratify her by faithfully doing whatever she wanted, even with great personal difficulty. Thus, he could not control his senses in her association. Then the female pigeon experienced her first pregnancy. When the time arrived, the chaste lady delivered a number of eggs within the nest in the presence of her husband. When the time was ripe, baby pigeons, with tender limbs and feathers created by the in-conceivable potencies of the Lord, were born from those eggs. The two pigeons became most affectionate to their children and took great pleasure in listening to their awkward chirping, which sounded very sweet to the parents. Thus with love they began to raise the little birds who were born of them. The parent birds became very joyful by observing the soft wings of their children, their chirping, their lovely innocent movements around the nest and their attempts to jump up and fly. Seeing their children happy, the parents were also happy. Their hearts bound to each other by affection, the foolish birds, completely bewildered by the illusory energy of Lord Vishnu, continued to take care of the young offspring who had been born to them. One day the two heads of the family went out to find food for the children. Being very anxious to feed their offspring properly, they wandered all over the forest for a long time. At that time a certain hunter who happened to be wandering through the forest saw the young pigeons moving about near their nest. Spreading out his net he captured them all. The pigeon and his wife were always anxious for the maintenance of their children, and they were wandering in the forest for that purpose. Having obtained proper food, they now returned to their nest. When the lady pigeon caught sight of her own children trapped within the hunter's net, she was overwhelmed with anguish, and crying out, she rushed towards them as they cried out to her in return. The lady pigeon had always allowed herself to be bound by the ropes of intense material affection, and thus her mind was overwhelmed by anguish. Being in the grip of the illusory energy of the Lord, she completely forgot herself, and rushing forward to her helpless children, she was immediately bound in the hunter's net. Seeing his own children, who were more dear to him than life itself, fatally bound in the hunter's net along with his dear most wife, whom he considered equal in every way to himself, the poor male pigeon began to lament wretchedly. The male pigeon said: Alas, just see how I am now destroyed! I am obviously a great fool, for I did not properly execute pious activities. I could not satisfy myself, nor could I fulfill the purpose of life. My dear family, which was the basis of my religiosity, economic development and sense gratification, is now hopelessly ruined. My wife and I were an ideal match. She always faithfully obeyed me and in fact accepted me as her deity. But now, seeing her children lost and her home empty, she has left me behind and gone to heaven with our saintly children. Now I am a wretched person living in an empty home. My wife is dead; my children are dead. Why should I possibly want to live? My heart is so pained by separation from my family that life itself has become simply suffering. As the father pigeon wretchedly stared at his poor children trapped in the net and on the verge of death, pathetically struggling to free themselves, his mind went blank, and thus he himself fell into the hunter's net. The cruel hunter, having fulfilled his desire by capturing the head pigeon, his wife and all of their children, set off for his own home. In this way, one who is too attached to family life becomes disturbed at heart. Like the pigeon, he tries to find pleasure in mundane sex attraction. Busily engaged in maintaining his own family, the miserly person is fated to suffer greatly, along with all his family members. The doors of liberation are opened wide to one who has achieved human life. But if a human being simply devotes himself to family life like the foolish bird in this story, then he is to be considered as one who has climbed to a high place only to trip and fall down.

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