Don’t Be An Ass
No one wants to be called ill names, however guilty one may be of some wrong doing. A harsh word lodged at you is an ultimate attack on the ego. There are colourful words out there that might very honestly be characteristic of an individual. It’s hurtful when reality strikes in the form of derogatory nomenclature, when a word like ‘ass’with a tail end term happens to land at the side line openings of your head.
In the literature of Srila Prabhupada the phrase ‘ass’ is often used to denote the classic image of a labour intensive workaholic who is like a beast of burden – like a mule or donkey like creature. The word in Sanskrit for such a person, mudha, pronounce ‘moodha’. Generally in an ashram setting where I live such pejorative terms are rarely used towards each other. We try to get along. The word mudha is used however in the sense of describing what might be a brain dead, routine bound person. Mind you, hard work is favourable, but when divested of real purpose in life, one has to question.
Here’s an excerpt from the Gita, 7.15, the purport:
“The mudhas are those who are grossly foolish, like hardworking beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labour by themselves, and so they do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by his master, and satisfying his sex appetite, at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes , but this braying sound only disturbs others. This is the position of a foolish worker who does not know for whom he should work. He does not know that karma (action)is meant for yajna (sacrifice).”
Again, work is a good thing, but it doesn’t need to take on the flavour of being a zombie.