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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




“The Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna, is my life. Whether I am living or dying, beyond Them I have no other shelter. On the banks of the Yamuna river, under the short kadamba trees, on a brilliant jewel-bedecked throne I will sit my Divine Couple. I will smear Their dark and bright bodies with sandalwood pulp and I will fan them nicely. When I will be able to see Their beautiful faces, resembling the moonshine?! I will make a flower garland from malati flowers, I will hang it over Their necks and to refresh Their lotus flower lips, I will offer Them tambula enhanced with camphor. With the agreement of the sakhis, led by Lalita and Vishakha, I will serve Radha and Krishna’s lotus feet. The servant of the servants of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, this Narottama das, is hankering when he will be able to serve the Divine Couple.”

Let me go little step by step on this topic. Why this song is very instructive? Because it leads us through the different steps of devotional service. First of all: “The Divine Couple Radha and Krishna – They are my life.” Jugala Kishora is the young Radha andKrishna meeting, when They come together. Not in old form, not in old age like coming on a stick – no, when They are fresh, when They are beautiful like anything. This divine meeting is my worshipable object.

From this first sentence we can understand, that we are not monotheists. At least two – Radha and Krishna. So we are duo-theists. And why, why should we enhance monotheism? If we see the ultimate divine principle only as one, that is boring. It is universal, it is ultimate, but not so much diversity is manifested in that unified ultimate principle. But if we are able to see this ultimate divine principle as the unity between Beauty and Love, then the dynamic harmony will appear. It sounds a little theoretical, right? Dynamic harmony appearing in our life – what does it mean?! Simply that Radha-Krishna are my life – I love them so much. Because They are persons, They are mine! I can love Them, because They are mine! I cannot love a principle – that is really theoretical, sterile.

So this verse leads us from theory to practice. And what is the result of your practical faith? “Whether I live or die, You are my shelter.” That means, you will live. But that also means, you will die. Yet to live means to live in a different manner; and to die for Them – it also means in a different manner.

What type of life you can expect if you dedicate your life toKrishna, to Radha-Krishna, to Jugala Kishora? What do you think?

Kripadham: Dangerous happiness.

Tirtha Maharaj: Dangerous happiness?! This is the dynamic harmony!

Lokanath: Life full of suffering.

Tirtha Maharaj: And you are telling this with a smiling face?! This is the dynamic harmony. So, you can see that this is uniting the opposites. He is telling happily that this life is suffering. While others will say: “I’m so happy” in tears. To unite the opposites: black and white together. To unite Beauty and Love. How is that? Is that opposition?! It is really a big opposition, because they are competing with each other. Who is the ultimate principle, who is the greatest: Beauty or Love?

So, this type of life we can expect if we dedicate our life to Krishna, Radha-Krishna: a life of competition, a life of suffering, a life of death. This is very similar to material life; what is the specialty, what is the difference with it? Why should we practice it, if this is what we can expect? Let’s use this great principle to see the reflection in the mirror. So, this is the conclusion of life that we came to; let’s see what’s in the mirror, what is death. Because “while I am living or dying, I take Your shelter, You are my shelter.” What is devotional death? Devotional death means that we shall die for ourselves. And as soon as we die for ourselves, we are born on a higher platform for others. This principle is die to live. Devotional death means to be born for the real life. Therefore this is a big transition period when we die for ourselves and we take birth for God’s sake. Usually everyone is afraid of death; and many people are afraid of life also these days. But I think we should be enthusiastic for this shift, for this change.

This is what we can expect: “Whether I live, whether I die – They are my shelter.” And to have a shelter – this is very unique and extraordinary chance in life. If you have a protector, it does not mean that you do not have to work, but you can be sure of your success. Where is my shelter? Where we can find that divine protection? In dynamic harmony – die to live.

And then, immediately as soon as you have taken shelter, you will make a quantum leap. Is that physics or metaphysics? The next verse is the quantum leap: “On the bank of the Yamuna river, under the small kadamba trees, I will put the Divine Couple on a bedecked throne.” Quantum leap means an unexpected change, with big energy coming. So, you have taken shelter and immediately your mentality is projected into Vrindavana. This is a real quantum leap. Why? Because it is a big jump in your standard of life. Before my problem was how am I to pay the bills and now my problem is where are Krishna’s earrings. Before I was searching for money; now I am searching for earrings. Problem is little similar, but essentially different. So, bhakti means it’s not that our problems are finished, we shall have problems, but on much higher and much different platform.

Question of Krishna-katha: In the beginning we were discussing that the divine world is also based on dualities like bright and dark, Goddess and God and like this. And we know that this material platform is also a dualistic one, so what is the similarity between the two?

Tirtha Maharaj: There is no real similarity, because this world is only dark. This is the only resemblance. But from a more philosophical point of view we can say that in dualities or multiplicity of the world on material platform the beauty and the diversity of the divine world is reflected, but in a shortened, in a little distorted form. Therefore it is forbidden to equate the two. We should not miss one for the other.

 

(to be continued) 



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