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Pigeon – the eighth Guru of Dattatreya

My eighth guru is a flock of pigeons. One pigeon fell into a hunter's net and cried in despair. Other pigeons tried to rescue it and got caught, too. From these pigeons, I learned that even a positive reaction, if it springs from attachment and emotion, can entangle and ensure. I must give a second thought to my emotional responses, especially if they are related to protecting my own group. (Source: The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD)

Another Interpretation

Once a pair of pigeons lived together on a tree. They bred their young and were bringing them up with deep affection and love. One day, a hunter caught the young fledglings in a snare. The ladybird, which returned from the forest with food for its young ones, saw their plight and, unable to leave them, she leapt in the snare to share their fate. Shortly after, the male pigeon turned up and, unable to bear the separation from its sweetheart, it too jumped in the snare and met its end. Reflecting on this, I realized how, even after being born as an intelligent human being, man is caught in the coils of possessiveness and brings about his own spiritual destruction. The self, which is originally free, when associated with the body sense, gets identified with it, and thus gets caught in the endless cycle of birth, death and misery.

Another Interpretation

From a pigeon that had little fledglings, which when caught in a net by a hunter, cried piteously, luring the mother to her death, Dattatreya realized the dangers of samskara. Too much involvement in samskara results in the destruction of spirituality. It was attachment to the family that was responsible for the destruction of spirituality. It was attachment to the family that was responsible for the destruction of the bird. Our samsara too, consisting of our prejudices, our desires, our passions, that are born of us and from out family, destroy the spirituality within us. The higher yearning is overwhelmed by preconceived notions, rigidity of mind and intellectual clutter.

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