WANDERING IN THE GARDEN OF DESIRE
From the epilogue of the book: Love of the Two-Armed Form
a free-rendering of portions of the Bhagavatam Purana
by: Love-Ananda Adi Da Samraj
Your Master speaks:
I will tell you a parable of ancient understanding:
Imagine a deer in a garden of flowers, his attention caught by a female in the garden. Therefore, his senses are swooning in the fragrant maze of grazing grass, humming aloud with honey bees, where she moves. Thus distracted, he does not taste the scent of wolves, that wait ahead of him, hungry for blood.
Nor does he hear the arrow at his back, that kills him at the heart.
Need I say it? The deer is Man in the ordinary way. He is the soul, involved with mind and senses.
Flimsy passion wanders in the company of thighs. But lovers are like flowers. Their blossom is sudden, and suddenly it is gone. Attention wanders in the garden of the senses. Therefore, Life Itself is spent in payment for exaggerations of taste and touch. But all our superficial pleasures and all our moving desires are themselves nothing more than the mechanical achievements of vagrant attention. A lifetime is nothing more than self-illusion, a temporary and troubled distraction from the Bliss of Eternal Transcendence.
While the soul sleeps in an unmindful state, attention wanders into realms of possibility.
Now we are absorbed in sexual love, clinging to the household sounds of lovers and children.
Like the deer in the garden, our ears are occupied with creaturely conversation,
and our senses are fixed upon the taste and odor of the petty object
we are born to Idolize.
Thus exiled in our dreamy houses, the years of days and nights pass unnoticed in their suddenness.
But we are always fed upon by search and satisfaction, as by wolves in secret, unconscious,
unobserved in our deadly meditation. Suddenly, the garden is undressed.
Suddenly, the eloquent weapon of our devourer, who always followed us, is felt within the heart,
heard within the mind, and all this Life is stolen in a moment.
Consider this well in the lesson of your own desiring. Bring the motive of the senses to rest in the mind itself. Convert the Current of Life from its worldly course, and surrender bodily, toe to crown.
When the mind is thus made Full of Life, surrender it also, in the Heart.
Abandon the "married" disposition. Awaken to the Disposition of a devotee.
Exceed the company of ordinary desirers, who only talk of food and sex and casual amusement.
Yield attention to the Life and Self of all. Be Absorbed in the Living God,
and thus transcend every kind of experience.
(Book 4, chapter 29, verses 52-55)
Thus Awakened, the true man says: I am amazed! This soul, the King of the World and the Master of Man,
gave itself up to the mind of desires, and thus played into the bodily trap for years and years.
I became nothing more than the pet deer of a childish woman.
I deceived myself. For what is there in common between a woman's body (full of excrement and bad smell)
and the imagery of flowers, such as fragrant purity and eternal beauty, which I attributed to her?
I saw in her body what I only had in mind. A man thus becomes attached to the dying flesh of a woman,
praising her in his heart: "Oh, how I love this face, this shapely nose, this goddess of smiles."
But, at last, what is the difference between a man whose principal delight is in a woman's body-
made of skin and flesh, blood, fat, nerves, bone, and marrow
and a worm that loves to luxuriate in excrement, urine, and pus?
Through the senses of the body, attention comes in contact with the various objects of desire.
The mind arises and moves when there is contact with the world of experience.
But no one is disturbed by what he cannot see or hear or touch.
Therefore, a man may transcend the play of desire by turning his attention from things in themselves,
and yielding all attention to the Divine Person, through Love-Communion
in the Good Company of the Spiritual Master.
In this manner, a man's mind becomes tranquil and clear.
Then he may give up even his mind to the Radiant Self, the Master of the heart.
When a man is thus free at the heart, he may live in the world as long as it is given,
but he will only Exist in the Domain of God.
(Book 11, chapter 26, verses 7-26)
Thus Awakened, the true woman says: O Master, what mortal woman
Awakened to this understanding of Life could surrender herself to any ordinary man,
who is always meditating on the great fear?
The Master of the heart is the Domain of everything auspicious and wonderful.
Those who surrender to the Divine Person are liberated from all experience by Transcendental Love.
Awakened to my true need, I surrender only to You,
the Radiant Self of all beings.
The body of a mortal man is an odorous corpse. It is nothing more than flesh and blood and bones, full of excrement, mucus, and wind, held together with a little skin and moustache, with nails and hairs from head to toe. Only a stupid woman, who has not Realized the Bliss of surrender in Your fragrant Company,
would make a mortal man the Husband of her heart.
(Book 10, chapter 60, verses 42-45)
Thus Awakened in the garden of the world, the lady surrenders to the Master of the heart,
Who Abides Eternally in Radiant Bliss. And the Master gives Himself up to loving conversation with her,
in the manner of a man. In that same Eternal Moment, the All-Pervading Master of Man
appears simultaneously in the households of all devotees in the form of His own devotees, male and female, husbands and wives, who transcend the garden of desire through Love-Communion with the Living God, the Eternal Master is occupied in all the two-armed ordinariness of humanity.
(Book 10, chapter 60, verses 58-59)
The above is from the Bhagavatam Purana, as freely rendered by Love-Ananda Adi Da Samraj.
The Bhagavatam Purana (also commonly referred to as the Srimad Bhagavatam) is rightly esteemed as the most complete and authoritative exposition of ancient knowledge in the literature of the Hindu tradition of spirituality. Its roots are in the ancient oral traditions, but it may have been put into writing between the fifth and tenth centuries A.D. The author is purported to be Vyasa (Krishna Dvaipayana), a contemporary of Lord Krishna. This "Purana" is the ultimate text of spiritual science, or the Way of Devotional Sacrifice of Man into God. It extols the Virtues of the Divine Person, principally in the form of Krishna,
and communicates the esoteric secrets of the Way in which we may Realize that One.
Adi Da said the following in an address to adolescents on sexuality:
"Hormones can do two things. They can make the sexual impulse into fantasy
and thus turn the sexual impulse into a erotic matter,
making it something more than or other than what it really is,
and they can become a kind of drug that infuses the body
in a way that deludes you about life and about the whole matter of sexuality altogether.
You must understand that hormones are nothing more than a functional impulse to reproduce,
to guarantee that the race continues.
In addition to the reproductive purpose, however,
hormones can serve a useful purpose Yogically.
But in between those two purposes- the functional purpose and Yogic sexuality-
are fantasy and garbage.
Young people in the Way of the Heart must consistently remain realistic about bodily existence.
They should not indulge in the hormonal fantasy world, and they should not delude themselves
with a fragmented, illusory vision of the world.
They must always know what life is about.
Teenage hormones make you focus on the flowers, on romantic opportunity,
and not on all the rest of the garbage that it takes to make the flowers grow,
not to mention pain and death.
In Love of the Two-Armed Form, I did a Free Rendering of a traditional text that addresses this error
(This is the piece you have read above).
It employs the metaphor of a deer in a garden, distracted by the garden, caught unaware by the hunter.
That is what I mean. If you do not keep the total picture in mind,
you will end up focusing on the flowers as if everything is lovely and beautiful and nice to smell.
It is deluding to focus on romantic opportunity
instead of understanding the reality of life . . .
which is that it is a lot of work,
and then there is pain, and then there is death.