Despite having great wealth and power, Udhilipa wanted more. He wanted to fly. A guru told him to gather many panaceas and essences, to propitiate some angels, and to recite ten thousand mantras to uncover their secrets. Udhilipa did all of this, but still could not fly. His guru then asked him to refine what he had gathered in a copper pot, then a silver pot, and last a gold pot. Upon doing this Udhilipa could fly and was consumed with bliss.
A deeper reading of this story reveals a panacea as a cure-all and an essence as the fundamental nature of a thing. To propitiate means to make someone happy. When you recite a mantra you learn it’s teaching by heart. The guru directed Udhilipa to cure his suffering by finding and understanding it’s root cause, act so well that angels were pleased by his nature, and learn spiritual teachings by heart. These steps each prepared him for his final work, refining himself until he was consumed by bliss.
Love, by its very nature, changes people. More than that, it makes them willing to work hard to change themselves. Udhilipa’s story is an illustration of how love can be focused and intensified until it becomes everlasting bliss. His lesson reminds us to appreciate how the things we love change us. The guru’s instruction applies to everyone; cure suffering, act well, and learn the lessons. Then refine yourself until love pours fourth.
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