Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Open-High Jump

We continue with our studies on the “Shrimad Bhagavad Gita”. This time we read the conclusive verse from this beautiful literature:

“Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucahAbandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”[1]

Ma sucah – don’t worry! After Krishna explaining very nicely in the previous verse what are the requirements for approaching the Supreme, like “Always think of Me, become My devotee, serve Me and offer Me your respects” – these are the official requirements – then in a very personal, very friendly mood He adds: “I promise you, that you will very quickly reach Me, because you are My good friend.” So the official side of requirements and the very personal side of gentle inspiration, like a friendly embrace, is included in this previous verse. And here He continues: “Don’t worry!” because again Krishna requires something from Arjuna: “Surrender unto Me! Give up all other engagements and surrender unto Me.”

If we hear this message and if we try to take it word-by-word, then what will be your understanding? This is a very high demand. “Surrender unto Me and give up all other engagements.” He says: “Sarva-dharman parityajya – give up all other dharmas, all other duties of human life.” So, if we are fanatic, we would think: “Ah, we have to give up all our activities and move into the ashram.” To move into the ashram – it’s a good idea, but to give up the responsibilities – it does not sound very good. And just like in the case of Arjuna, Krishna wanted to achieve that he performs his ultimate duty.

For that we have to identify what is our ultimate duty. The four main goals of human existence are dharma, or merit, religion; the second is artha, to create some values; the third is kama, your emotional, social sphere; and the fourth is moksha, your liberation, your spiritual future. Beyond these we have a param-dharma and this is bhakti, divine love. So all the other dharmas should be abandoned. And “surrender unto Me” – to put it very short: “do what I tell you.”

Mam ekam sharanam vraja.” Ekam means ek, one. Mam – be devoted to Me, as I am the one desirable object, the one goal. Ekagra means the one-pointed attention, dedication.

So, how to give up all our duties? We have so many duties. Shall we give up our duties in one big jump? Well, this jump should be a spiritual or internal jump. Actually you can abandon things in two ways, just like this in a high jump. So, there is this lath and you can cross it over or under. In the same way, you have some duties. You can abandon your duties by non-performing – that means you go under. And you can abandon your duties by transcending them, to take the jump over the line. If we perform our supreme duty that means we transcend our other duties. By loving and serving Krishna all other duties and requirements are met.

So, in order to fulfill something completely, we have to perform something higher. In order to fulfill all the human dharmas, all the different goals of life, we have to perform the param-dharma, the supreme engagement.


[1] Bhagavad Gita 18.66

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