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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 24 of May 2006, Sofia)
Sanatan Goswami was coming to Lord Chaitanya, who was staying in Jagannath Puri. Sanatan was coming from far distant place, from Vrindavan. And at that time there were no other travel possibilities – just like walking. He was traveling through different places and forests and meanwhile he didn’t have too much facilities.
In Jarikanda forest he took some water that was available and it was contaminated. So he got infected, all his body was covered with sores and moisture was oozing from these sores – very disgusting. He considered: “O. my fate is very bad, this body is very useless and I’m not fit for the service of God!” And he had an idea that “May be I should finish with this…” He was ready even to die, to give up this contaminated body, which was not fit for the service of Lord Jagannath. Still he went to this holly place and he decided that when there is a big festival for Lord Jagannath, he can leave his body under the cart of Jagannath.
“Sanatan Goswami said: “During the Ratha Yatra festival, when Lord Jagannath is coming out of the temple, I shall give up this body under the wheels of His cart. This will be the highest benediction of my life.” Having made this resolution, Sanatan Goswami went to Nilachala, where he inquired directions from the people to approach the residence of Haridas Thakur. He offered his respects to the lotus feet of Haridas Thakur, who knew him and thus embraced him. Sanatan Goswami was very eager to see the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore Haridas Thakur said: “The Lord is coming here very soon.”
Just imagine the situation. After a long time, a long journey, finally you arrive in a holly place and you meet a good old friend, who is also a great saint, and you want to meet God. And this friend of yours says: “He is coming soon!” Then your heart starts to fly!
“At that very moment Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came. Seeing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, they both immediately fell flat like rods to offer obeisances. Then the Lord lifted Haridas Thakur and embraced him”. So again, imagine yourself in the situation. You have been traveling a lot, waiting with an elevated heart and soul to meet God, and then two of you offer obeisances and He lifts the devotee next to you! His heart must have been broken: “O, my God doesn’t consider me…!” If he would be a materialist, naturally some envy would appear: “Why HIM!? I came from such a big distance, why him?!”
“But Haridas Thakur – in the embrace of God – said: “Here is Sanatan Goswami, offering respects to you.” So, if the Lord would embrace YOU, would you be so kind not to forget about your brothers and sisters there? The first thing that came to his mind was: “Here is your servant, don’t forget about him!” This is vaishnava behavior. Immediately when you enjoy the grace of God, you should be ready to share it with others, to distribute it to others.
“Seeing Sanatan Goswami, the Lord was greatly surprised. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came forward to embrace him, Sanatan backed away and spoke as follows: “My Lord, please do not touch me. I fall at the lotus feet of Yours, I’m the lowest of men, being born in a low caste. Besides that I have infections on my body.” So what happens when you admit all your shortcomings? “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu however embraced Sanatan Goswami BY FORCE!” You think that mercy comes to you in a very gentle way. No! Sometimes grace comes BY FORCE – catching you, don’t letting you escape. No way out from the divine grace. “Thus the moisture, oozing from the sores of Sanatan Goswami, touched the transcendental body of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”
So, according to that story you can judge the level of your tolerance. If you would see a fellow human being full of disgusting sores on his body, some liquid oozing from these sores, what would you say: “Wait a minute!” Or you would have big enough heart to embrace that person?
Once we were discussing this question in a group of devotees. And there was a little girl also in the audience, and after the lecture she came and brought a little picture she was drawing. It was folded and when I unwrapped, there was– as usually – some blue water and lotus flower and some rainbow, and the sun, and everything was there, nice clouds… And the title of the picture was: “I have big enough heart”. So… even a small kid understands that compassion we need.


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