Kamini and Kanchana: 3 Stories about Women and Gold

Article No. 2041

Written by London swaminathan


Date : 3  August  2015

Time uploaded in London : –21-19

There are three interesting stories in the life of great men of India that shows the attachment to Kamini (Women) and Kanchana (Gold) are hindrances to spiritual development.

Machendranath and Goraknath were once wandering from place to place. Machendranath was the Guru and Goraknath the disciple. The disciple in this case was a Siddha 9realised soul), but the Guru was not yet ripe.

The guru had a bag which he would not trust anybody with, not even his disciple. He took it wherever he went, being ever cautious about its security. The disciple was surprised at the attachment of his guru for the bag and wanted to see what it contained. But he could not find an opportunity to do so.

One day the guru had to leave the bag under the care of his disciple as he had to attend to the call of nature. Now the disciple opened the bag and saw a gold bar in it. He said to himself, “Ah! This gold bar is that what has put my Master under bondage. I should free him from it”. So, thinking he threw away the god bar into a nearby well.

The guru came back and when he took the bag found the gold bar missing. He asked his disciple about it. The disciple told him that he threw the bar away. This made the guru furious. He took a big stick and started beating Goraknath, who ran and ran until he got exhausted and sat down on a rock saying, “Let me die at the hands of my Master.” The Master continued to shower severe blows on the disciple. Goraknath fell in to a swoon and passed urine, the touch of which turned into gold the whole mass of rock on which he sat!

The Guru beat him for throwing away a small bar of gold and here was a rock turned into gold! This opened the eyes of Machendranath who now realised the greatness of his disciple and gave up his attachment of gold.


Wife and Diamond

A husband and wife renounced the world and together undertook a pilgrimage to various holy shrines. Once as they were walking along a road, the husband, being a little ahead of his wife, saw a piece of diamond on the road. Immediately he began to scratch the ground to hide the diamond in it, thinking that, if his wife saw it, perchance she might be moved to avarice and thus lose the merit of her renunciation.

While he was thus scratching the ground, the wife came up and asked him what he was doing. He gave her in an apologetic tone an evasive reply, she however, finding out the diamond and reading his thoughts, remarked, “Why, did you leave the world, if you still feel the distinction between diamond and dust?”


Janaka and a woman Ascetic

Once a sanyasini (nun) came to the royal court of Janaka. To her the king bowed, without looking at her face.  Seeing this, the sanyasini said:  “How strange it is, O Janaka, that you have still so much fear of woman!” When one attains to full Jnana (wisdom), one’s nature becomes like that of a little child, – one sees no distinction between male and female.


“Sama loshta Kanchana”

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, “The ascetic whose soul is satisfied with wisdom and knowledge, who is unchanging and master of his senses, to whom a clod, a stone and a piece of gold are the same, is said to be controlled (in Yoga)” —(Bhagavad Gita 6-8)

He repeated it in a later chapter as well

“He who regards pain and pleasure alike, who dwells in his own self, who looks upon a clod, a stone, a piece of gold as of equal worth, who remains the same amidst the pleasant and unpleasant things, who is firm of mind, who regards both blame and praise as one (he is fit for becoming Brahman.”) —(Bhagavad Gita 14-24).

Tamil saints have also sung about the wisdom of great men who will see no difference between gold and a clod (Odum Ponnum Okkave Nokkuvaar). For them both have no value.


Bhagavad Gita and Tamil Hymns

Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna

Stories as told by Swami Ramadas

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