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No Loss in Spiritual Course

Now, there is a story. It is very interesting. Visvamitra Muni, he was a great king, kshatriya, but his priest, Vasishtha Muni, he had great spiritual power. So he renounced his kingdom. He wanted to advance. He was kingly, royal order, but still, he wanted to advance in the spiritual order. So he adopted yoga process, meditation. That time it was possible for adopting this yoga process.

So he was meditating in such a way that the Indra, who was the king of heaven, he thought that, "This man is trying to occupy my post." As there is competition... Heaven means that is also material world. So this competition - no businessman wants another businessman go ahead. He wants to cut down. Competition of price, quality. Similarly, that Indra, he thought that, "This man is so strongly meditating, I may be deposed and he come to my seat." Then he arranged one of his society girls, Menaka, to go there and allure this muni.

So when Menaka approached that rishi, Visvamitra Rishi, he was meditating. And simply by the sound of her bangles, he could understand, "There is some woman." And as soon as he saw that is heavenly, celestial beauty, he was captivated. Then there was a result, Shakuntala. Perhaps some of you may know. There is a book made by Kalidasa, Shakuntala. This Shakuntala is supposed to be the most beautiful girl in the world, and she was born by this combination of Visvamitra Muni and Menaka.

So when this girl was born, then Visvamitra thought, "Oh, I was advancing in my spiritual culture, and again I have been entrapped." So he was going out. At the same time his wife, Menaka, brought this girl before her, and little child is always attractive. She showed that, "Oh, you have got such a nice girl, such beautiful girl, and you are going away? No, no. You should take care." So there is a picture, very nice. That is a very famous picture, that Menaka is showing Visvamitra Muni the girl, and the muni is like that, "No more show me." Then he went away.

So there are chances of failure. Just like a great sage like Visvamitra Muni, he also failed, failed for the time being. But Krishna says that this failure is not, I mean to say, unsuccessful. As we have sometimes the proverb that, "Failure is the pillar of success," especially in the spiritual life, this failure is not discouraging. So Krishna says that, "Even one fails in completing his spiritual course, still, there is no loss on his part."

Reference: Bhagavad-gita 6.40-43 - September 19, 1966, New York