Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.05.2017 morning, Rila)

(continues from the previous Friday)

 “At the time of death, Bharata Maharaj saw that the deer was sitting by his side, exactly like his own son, and was lamenting his death. Actually the mind of the King was absorbed in the body of the deer, and consequently — like those bereft of Krishna consciousness — he left the world, the deer, and his material body and acquired the body of a deer. However, there was one advantage. Although he lost his human body and received the body of a deer, he did not forget the incidents of his past life.”[1]

We know from the Gita that “Whatever you remember at the moment of death you will acquire that, you will achieve that position in your next life.”[2] You know we have this bargaining mentality: ‘All right, if the last moment will determine my future, I will fix my consciousness in the last moment.’ But be realistic, if it is so difficult to focus your mind in general, why do you think that at the last moment you will be able to control everything perfectly? These are very intense moments – acquiring the body and also leaving the body – these are very-very intense feelings. So, this is more or less out of control, out of the conscious control; something else will take over. Therefore actually from this example here we can also learn how to achieve that fixed state of consciousness at the end. Because Bharata Maharaja simply had this affection for the deer and he was thinking of the deer. In the same way, if you simply love Krishna, you will remember Him, or at least you will remember the devotees and meet them again.

Once there was a devotee and he told to the others: “Please, fix my car, arrange everything nicely.” The next morning he started with the car and somehow he felt that it was imbalanced. He started to think of the devotees, who didn’t accomplish that duty properly. And immediately he broke the car and his head. Then he started to think: “Hey, I almost quit the body, but at least I was remembering the devotees. Yet it looks like my meditation was not so positive, therefore my Lord said: “Go back! You cannot leave so easily.”

So, it’s not enough to have a kind of meditation; try to tune this meditation to be loving, affectionate, positive. This is something very serious, because our process, bhakti-yoga means control by affection. We gain control over the body-mind complex by affection. Not by analytical knowledge, not by tapasya, not by austerities, no. By practicing affectionate service to the Supreme – this is our way, this is our method. So, this is a very refined cultivation. Therefore, please qualify yourselves to that standard! And always remember that ‘Whenever I bring some flowers to the temple, the reason, the motivation behind is this very tender cultivation’. Please, always maintain this inner meaning, inner purport of every little detail that you are doing.

So, Bharata Maharaja was meditating and focusing on the deer and he achieved the body of a deer. But the deer was meditating on Bharata Maharaja, right? So, different topic, different object of meditation. But at least, although he had to change the species, Bharata Maharaja didn’t change the consciousness, he didn’t forget.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.8.27

[2] Bhagavad Gita 8.6

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