A Lesson on Geometry

There was once a poor widow who, through great hardship, was struggling to

bring up her only son. As she realised that he was her only hope for the future, she

appointed a tutor for him although she would sometimes have to borrow the

money to pay for the tuition fees.

Once, after being promoted to class VII, the boy was being taught Geometry by the

teacher in English. As soon as the boy read out loud, “Let ABC be a triangle”, the

boy’s mother rushed into the classroom and screamed at the teacher thus:

“This boy is supposed to be advancing in his studies after being raised to class VII,

but you are still teaching him ABC — he learned all this when he was an infant-

and to think I am paying you 10 rupees a month! From today you are no longer

required here. You are only fit for teaching a primary school if all you can teach is

The widow’s outburst was so violent that it left no scope for the teacher to argue

and he was compelled to leave the place.

ABC!”

PURPORT

The arguments put forward by persons desiring other than Krsna consciousness, along with the karmis, jnanis, yogis, ascetics and the like, including so-called religious communities, are similar to those expressed by the widow. They say, 

“We have become totally worthless through serving all the time in this world”.

This sort of slave-like mentality is the root cause of all troubles. If we were to accept servitude even after entering into the domain of religion, and to serve Godhead in complete servitude even after liberation, then how will we advance, Only when we are ignorant, and conditioned under illusion, then our slave mentality is intensified. But upon liberation, the realisation “aham brahmasi” that “I am Brahman” should be developed. Upon listening to such an argument, pure devotees will argue that devotion or service to Godhead is the eternal position of all conscious living entities. Such devotion, when cultivated through different stages of performing devotional service (sadhana bhakti), ecstatic devotion (bhava bhakti), and loving devotion (prema bhakti), confirms verily the eternal utility of Servitude to Lord Krsna while performing devotional activities is known as sadhana bhakti (performing devotion), whereas intimate servitude or service to Sri Krsna, after liberated realisation, is prema bhakti (loving devotion). Service to Godhead in the liberated stage is irresistible service (apratihata seva). 

A,B,C,D or ka-kha-ga-gha may be practised while learning the alphabet on the elementary level; then again even after becoming the topmost man of letters, one has to cultivate the variegatedness and artistic delicacy of that very alphabet. 

Those who are impersonalists, speculate just like the widow as narrated in this story, advocating that A,B,C,D should only be practised by children in the elementary level and that these letters are of no use to any learned person. 

It is not that servitude to Sri Krsna should be offered only during devotional performance, but it must be renewed even upon attaining perfection through liberation as service to Lord Krsna is our eternal profession. Servitude or service offered to Lord Krsna is our eternal profession. Servitude or service offered to Lord Krsna after attaining the stage of liberation is to be considered as real and the most perfect form of service. Servitude to illusion (Maya) and servitude to Lord Sri Krsna should never be considered equal.

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Jagadananda Das

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