Story of Satyakama says that he got enlightenment by taking cows to forest, what is the significance of Guru sending a disciple for such mundane task?
There is a story in the Upanishads of Satyakama getting enlightenment by taking cows to a forest. What is the significance of the Guru sending a disciple for such a mundane task?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You know, the Upanishads on one level is just a story. On another level it has a very deep meaning. Gau doesn’t just means cow. Gau in Sanskrit means that which moves. Cows of course move, but it is knowledge that moves you to your goal, that nurtures you, and which is also called Gau.
In those days, they used to use cows for transportation. The bullock carts nurture you, and the cow gives you milk and nurtures you, and so cow is also called Gau and knowledge is also called Gau. Our mind is like a forest, it has so many thoughts, so many things. But when knowledge comes in there, then a transformation happens. So the Guru said, “You take this knowledge and go into the forest”. That means, sit and contemplate and remove the cobwebs from your head. It is only wisdom that can remove the doubts, the cobwebs and the uncertainties.
Like this, the story has multiple layers of meanings, this is one such — “I have given you these many cows (this much knowledge), take it into the forest (of your mind and contemplate and multiply your wisdom)”.
Hearing is one thing, but when it becomes your experience, that same wisdom is multiplied, it has become solid. In The Art of Living you hear, ‘Accept people and situations as they are’, or ‘The present moment is inevitable’, but then in life when you are in a situations then this knowledge arrives and it helps you to assimilate.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s Art of Living satsang.