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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2012, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“As long as the atman, the soul, is related to the subtle body, it is bound by karma. From these ties of ignorance and forgetfulness comes the mistaken identification with the body and subsequently all suffering.”[1]

So, if we are under the influence of karma and ignorance, then we think that ‘I am identical with my body’ and then we have to take all the consequences.

“But we wrongly believe that whatever we get from the three gunas is permanent.” The three gunas are the three powers of nature – like darkness, energy and light. “If we fantasize at night about being a king, enjoying a king’s opulence and pleasures, our projections are unreal.” Do you have some dreams like that? Well, maybe you don’t want to become kings, but at least successful businessmen, or happy by winning the lottery, or whatever – we all have these fantasies, right? But it’s not real. Even if you get it, you will lose it – it’s not real.

“When we have dreams of sexual activity our experience is illusory”. From a dream no son will be born. And sometimes it happens that a dream turns into a nightmare. For example, you cry because you don’t have a husband. And you have a dream: “Ah, if I had a husband, I would be so happy!” Then God provides you a husband and again you cry: “Ah, I have a husband!” So, your dream manifested in a very nightmarish way. I could mention a dream for a lady also, but as ladies are more in this room now, I think the boys can imagine the same story in their version. Anyway we are crying, right? Either you have or you don’t have – you just cry! And this is not only a joke. Some philosophers said that either you marry or not, you will be sorry for it. I think they had some realization on the troubles of life.

But anyway, let’s go back to our story. So, ”If we have dreams of sexual activity, our experience is illusory and in the same way enjoying the senses in this world is not a real experience. The soul is eternal and the body is not. Therefore there is no need to lament. Those who have no self-realization cannot do anything else but lament, this being their very nature.

Ah, queens, once upon a time there was a kulinga bird, who just like you was lamenting the loss of his wife. A hunter was travelling here and there in the forest and wherever he saw some birds, he would spread out his net and capture and kill them. One day by God’s arrangement, while he was walking in the forest, the hunter saw a pair of kulinga birds, who were husband and wife. So that person put some of their favorite food inside the net and waited hidden from their view. The female kulinga bird saw that very palatable food and became immediately attracted. But then she realized that she was caught in the net and began to struggle and cry, being terribly frightened. Although aggrieved by his wife’s plight, the kulinga male was unable to rescue her, so he also started to lament and cry very pitifully out of his love for her: “How cruel is destiny! How cruel is the law of creation! After falling into this dangerous trap, my wife is crying out for me. What benefit can the destiny obtain from the death of my beloved? Ah cruel fate, after taking away my wife, who is the better half of my body, you should take me also. Without my beloved why should I carry on living?! And our small children are on the nest, waiting for their mother and starving without food. They do not even have feathers yet. How I will be able to take care of these orphaned children without the help of their mother!?

Please, ladies, pay attention. Because here this bird says: “Ah, my wife is the better part of me.” So, you have to qualify to be the better part of your husbands. As soon as you can do that, your husbands will glorify you like anything. But if you expect that respect without really qualifying yourselves, you will not get it.

Please, dear husbands! Whenever out of your natural worship to your wives you want to glorify them, use these expressions: “Ah, the better half of my life! Ah, goddess of our home!” Have you ever seen an angry goddess shouting at you? Impossible! Goddesses are always smiling and generously providing you food, children, whatever you need.

So, it’s very easy to make a harmonious family life. The ladies should respect the husband as the representative of God and the husband should respect the ladies as goddesses.

 

 (to be continued)

 

[1] from B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The Holy Life of Prahlada, the conversation between Yamaraj, the god of death, and the relatives of a person who recently died



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