As per tradition after the completion of any scriptural education a given dakshina (a gift expressing gratefulness) is offered by the student to the teacher. So a student humbly asked his Guru what he would accept.
“Bring to me the filthiest thing in the world” demanded the Guru. Surprised by his teacher’s demand the student set out to pick up what he thought was the filthiest, human excreta.
But as he bent down to collect it, the filth said, “Don’t you dare touch me you filthy one. I was born as a beautiful green plant, spreading my oxygen giving leaves and splendidly shaped colourful flowers. I spread joy, give shade, beauty and nourishment to the world, till you plucked me out, consumed me and turned me into filth! Whatever you touch, you turn to filth. From every aperture of your body, nay even from every pore of your skin, your body expels the filth that it contains. Flesh, marrow, bones, blood, urine and fecal matter is all that this bundle contains and you are proud of it! Oh man, you need to wash and clean this filth producing machine, daily else it will stink and bring in disease! Oh you dirty one, do not defile me more by your touch.”
This hard hitting speech jerked the student’s mind into contemplating on the true nature of matter (the body).
His Guru, had taught him a hard lesson and humbled his pride in his body as well as his individuality, starkly focusing the students attention on his true self, the pure consciousness.
Realising the body to be the filthiest he went to the teacher in full surrender and offered himself as Guru Dakshina!
The teacher had taught.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi.