Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2018 morning, Sofia)

So far we were reading about the neutral attitude towards the Supreme Lord. In one word, in one expression we can say that this is the level of consciousness about Godhead. And as we mentioned, it has an effect over ourselves, but there is not so much feedback towards God.

If we try to understand and apply this principle of neutral relationship and try to see which is the way to improve that standard, then we shall understand that there must be something further, that we have to do something about this relationship. It is called servitude. So, let’s see what important message Shrila Rupa Goswami provides about this next stage.

Transcendental affection or servitude. You see affection, a kind of loving relationship – it means to serve. Sometimes we have a hard time to find a proper definition of love or service… If you know the one, you will know the second as well. If I love someone, I am ready to make him or her happy. I make the sacrifice and he is happy. Love is service, right? And this is also true the other way around. Sometimes we don’t like the expression “to serve”. Because we like that others serve us, not that we serve them. So, ‘service’ doesn’t sound very inviting. But if we understand the inner depth, inner meaning of this servitude – that it’s an expression of love, affection – then it is very charming already.

That also means: if you have to serve something or somebody, you have to do it with affection. I think you perceive, you understand the difference between ‘do only what you like’ and ‘whatever you do, do it with love’. One is selecting: ‘Ah, I like this, I don’t like that’ – this is the mental platform. The other is the devotional platform: ‘Whatever I do, I try to do it with this surcharge of affection’. So there’s a big difference! Please, try to remember it.

The transcendental mellow of affection has been accepted by authorities like Shridhara Swami as a perfectional stage of devotion. It is just above the humour of neutrality and is a requisite for the development of the serving humour. In literature such as Nama-kaumudi this state of existence is accepted as continuous affection for or attraction to Krishna. Authorities like Shukadeva consider this stage of affection to be in the neutral stage, but in any case, this affection is relished by the devotees in different transcendental tastes, and therefore the general name for this state is affection, or pure affection for Krishna.”[1]

What was the most important definition given here?

Some activity from your side? Or ‘We’re just sitting here because we always sit here, so today we also come here and sit. We have two ears – one in, one out.’ If somebody asks you: “Hey, can you tell me what is this servitude to God? What is your conception about service to God?” Then what will you say?

Chakori: Pure attachment to God.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, in general we can answer like this; but here was a proper definition. “The servitude is the continuous affection for or attraction to Krishna.” This is the definition. What was the definition of neutrality? You remember – to maintain the permanent state of spiritual identity, spiritual consciousness. Undisturbed, permanent, spiritual consciousness. And here we get this very important definition: “Continuous affection or attraction for Krishna”.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of devotion Ch. 35



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