Storytelling by Samhita
About the speaker: Ms Samhita studies in 7th grade, St Paul’s school, Mumbai. She has been practicing Krishna conciousness from birth. She is an avid reader and a very enthusiastic book distributor.
Description: The seemingly ordinary activities of Lord Chaitanya as a child are entirely transcendental.One day shortly after He learned to walk Lord Chaitanya was playing with other small neighborhood children when His mother, Srimati Sacidevi, brought Him a dish filled with rice and sweets. After asking her child to sit down and eat, mother Saci went about her household duties. But as soon as she left, Lord Chaitanya began to eat dirt instead of the lovingly prepared food. Upon returning, mother Saci was greatly surprised. “What is this!” she exclaimed.This was one of Lord Chaitanya’s childhood pastimes when He appeared on earth five hundred years ago.But what’s so uncommon or divine about eating dirt? Every one-year-old tends to think that anything visible is also edible. How is Lord Chaitanya’s dirt-eating any different? And how does it serve to establish universal religious principles? Let’s return to the scene of the Lord’s childhood misdemeanor and find out.Upon being asked by mother Saci to account for His behavior, the Lord replied in a surprisingly philosophical way. “Why are you angry?” He said. “You gave Me dirt, so how am I to blame? Rice and sweets, or anything edible, is all but a transformation of dirt. You gave Me dirt—and I ate dirt. Why do you object?” Lord Chaitanya argued that since all food comes originally from the earth, it is but a transformation of dirt. So eating sweets or eating dirt, what’s the difference? Lord Chaitanya’s childish reply parodies the philosophy of monism espoused by the Mayavada philosophers, who hold that the one and only reality. In eating dirt Lord Chaitanya was taking the “All is one” philosophy to its logical conclusion. “Dirt is illusion, and sweets are illusion,” He was implying. “So what’s the difference between eating dirt and eating sweets?” Mother Saci was no pundit, yet her stern reply to Lord Chaitanya shatters the foolish subterfuge of Mayavada scholars. “Who taught you this philosophy that justifies eating dirt?” she asked. “If everything is one, why do people in general eat not dirt but the food grains produced from the dirt?” Thus mother Saci exposed the impracticality of Mayavada philosophy and showed the commonsense Vaishnava viewpoint. (A Vaishnava is a devotee of Lord Vishnu, or Krishna.) “My dear boy,” she said, “if we eat dirt transformed into grains, our body is nourished, and it becomes strong. But if we eat dirt in its crude state, the body becomes diseased instead of nourished, and thus it unfortunately is soon destroyed. “In a waterpot, which is a transformation of dirt, I can bring water very easily. But if I poured water on a lump of dirt, the lump would soak up the water, and my labor would be useless.” Unlike the Mayavadis, Vaishnavas, as mother Saci explained, have a very practical, realization of spiritual truth. They accept that all is one, but only in the sense that everything is the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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