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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(From lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, July 2005, Sofia)
It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of lectures we had heard, but it DOES matter how much we had realized from that. That is true that Bhakti Yoga begins with shravanam. From this we can understand that even the Bible is based on the principles of Bhakti Yoga.
Because in the “Apostils” it is said that “Faith is born from hearing.” We agree, because if we hear from faithful people, our faith will be strong also. So everybody knows that hearing is very important. But it’s not enough, the Upanishads say it’s not enough. Lot of learning, lot of studies, lot of hearing – it’s not enough to realize God. Because He will be revealed only to those, whom He chooses. Still we have some duties in order to invite the attention of the Supreme Lord. It is suggested that you should not live in a way that you see Krishna – but you should live in such a manner that HE recognizes you. You have heard this, right? Did you realize that? So you see, that is the difference between hearing and doing.
Of course Krishna observes with a gentle vision your movements. Still if we try to live according to His desire, His mood – then we can invite more attention. To invite the attention, or to catch the attention of someone you can achieve in different ways – in a loving way and in an offensive way also. So either you become a great devotee, or you become a great demon; you can achieve the attention of Krishna both ways. Because what was the position of Kamsa, for example? What were his activities, what he was doing? He was thinking of Krishna all the time! He was very much conscious of Krishna – he was Krishna conscious! Is that enough?! It’s NOT enough! You must have Krishna BHAKTI, not only Krishna Consciousness. Because you can be conscious of Krishna in an offensive way also. But in a gentle, in a loving mood we shall come to be.
Therefore don’t be satisfied with Krishna Consciousness. That’s nothing! We need Krishna Bhakti! Krishna Consciousness is available for demons. And you can achieve liberation by that process, no problem. But prem is reserved only for those, who have Krishna Bhakti.
Try to understand what I mean; I don’t say that you should not become conscious of Krishna. But we should improve. This is not a theoretical agreement: “Yes, Krishna is there”, but more, more, you should give more.
Raising money is not equal to Krishna Consciousness. What was the rule in the Gaudia Math in the beginning of the Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s time? The devotees were sent out, so to say to collect. But the collection at that time was not limited… I mean it was limited, but the limit was not a minimal standard – they had a maximum standard. They could accept a few paisas, even one rupee they could not accept at one place. Only few paisas. So at that time collection was NOT for the purpose of making money! But to fulfill this desire – go from door to door and give some spiritual message – on the pretest that you ask for some contribution.
Kali-yuga is moving fast. So… less then hundred years passed and the system changed in many places. Sometimes the amount of donations is limited, but on a minimum standard, minimum like this. Once I heard that somebody wanted to give to the devotees his exchange. And the devotee said: “No, we don’t accept coins.” This is the change of times. Times are changing. So we should not mix, we should not make a mistake: Krishna Consciousness is NOT equal to making money. And whatever is given you should accept – small or big, it doesn’t matter. You have to be independent. Good or bad, small or big – whatever is coming you should accept with an easy heart.
But we can try to explain it like this or like that – something we should give to God. And it’s not a question of percentage, or amount, or big, or small… no. Krishna doesn’t need it. But WE need that we could give. And it is said that if you don’t have anything, give some ashes. Because we have to practice giving, sharing, supporting. To renounce the fruits of our work is quite difficult. We are attached. And it’s not only the money that we have to renounce; everything we have to renounce. On the coffin there is no pocket. So you cannot take anything with you. And what you don’t give, you will be deprived of. Better give now, then to loose later.
So don’t forget, this is not the money, this is the connection.
Even now in India people are ready to give, ready to share what they have. Once I observed a very old and very poor couple. They were living in a very small room and their foodstuff for one day was a little cup of sabji and two chapatis. And one day I say that they distributed half of the sabji and one chapati to the dog coming to them. So it was so heart-melting, that they were so ready to share what they have. They don’t have anything, still they are ready to share. And THIS we should learn – to share what we have. So it’s obviously not question of money. Because it’s the most easy way – to satisfy somebody with money, but don’t take any more care. How much more difficult is to accept somebody into your life? To open your door to somebody – yes, you can live with me. That is real renunciation, that is real dedication – it’s not just paying some bills.
So we should learn how to give, how to share what we have. It helps us to train ourselves: “Yes, I have to give, give, give and finally I give everything to God, even myself.”


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