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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Mama mana mandire… O my dear Krishna, please always live in the temple of my heart. I will sing beautiful songs about You according to Your desire. Please, accept my dedication and love, the beautiful flower garlands and the sandalwood, because You are my life and death. This is my loving offering at Your worshipable lotus feet. O my Lord Krishna, because You are so beautiful, you have enchanted my heart and mind, therefore I will sing to You, offer arati to You with the lamp of my eyes and the water of my tears. О my dear Giridhari, it is so painful to me that we are not together, therefore I can cry only. Please, come to me!”[1]

What to do in a temple, the temple of the heart? “I will sing for You!” – not about myself, not about my mistakes, not about my crazy life; I will sing to You about You! According to Your taste. This is what should be done in a temple. The temple is for the glorification of the Lord. “Please, accept my offering and love” – so, the temple is a place for dedication and also for making flower garlands. Because we also offer this with other many different ingredients of worship.

“Accept all this, because You are my life and soul, You are my life and death, I live for You and I die for You. This is my offering at Your lotus feet. O Krishna, You are so beautiful, that You have charmed my heart, soul and mind. Therefore I will sing – because what I cannot express with my words I can express with songs; and I offer You worship with the lamp of my eyes and the water of my tears.”

Here comes the question whether it is forbidden to cry in front of the deities or not? If you accept that it is forbidden to cry in front of the deities, then you have to move out from the temple of your heart, collect your tears and then go back to offer. If you think that it is not forbidden to cry in front of the deities, then you can go on with your puja permanently. And I have seen a young Bengali boy once doing a puja in the Madana-Mohan temple, you know, the one with the stairs… He was singing and meanwhile he was crying. So, we can say that this is a full service – all the different senses are engaged – hands for offering the flowers, voice for offering the hymns and tears for offering the water.

“My dear Giridhari, it is so painful for me that we are not together! Therefore I can only cry forever. Please, come to me!”

We can say: “Come on! This is a little sentimental song. All this crying and separation, and prayers… I am a young man, I want to be active! Let’s forget about crying” But once there was a big celebration where young preachers and also an old swami were present. And you know, the young swamis were giving excellent lectures! Everyone was astonished by the knowledge that they have collected. This was a brilliant logic included; and smashing philosophy; and funny stories so everybody was charmed. These were really excellent lectures! And once the old swami was also giving some… well, not really a lecture, because he was old. He was so old, that he was just sitting there and the brahmacharis, when he was sitting there too much or speaking too much, they were bringing a big watch – just to show him: “Swamiji, time is up, you should finish your lecture!” And other times a young one used to come with a handkerchief to clear the eyes of the swamiji, because you know, the old men always cry, at least they have tears in their eyes. Some old men have tears in their eyes due to old age; others have tears in their eyes due to some other reason. And what was his message? He said in a very low voice: “You know, when you enter the temple, try to offer your dandavats with full heart.” This was the message of the lecture. Forget about brilliant logic; perfect philosophical knowledge is useless; laughing is for the children… A little dedication you try to give!

So, is this s sentimental song? Yes, it is! We live due to, by and for sentiments.

Do not forget, you were conceived in love; no doubt, you were born in pain, but you were conceived in love. How you will pass?



[1] a devotional song from Bhaktivinod Thakur



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