Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.05.2017 morning, Rila)

(continues from the previous Friday)

 “The father’s mind was always filled with affection for his son, Jada Bharata [Bharata Maharaja]. Therefore he was always attached to Jada Bharata. Because Jada Bharata was unfit to enter the grihastha-ashrama, he simply executed the purificatory process up to the end of the brahmacarya-ashrama. Although Jada Bharata was unwilling to accept his father’s instructions, the brahmana nonetheless instructed him in how to keep clean and how to wash, thinking that the son should be taught by the father. Jada Bharata behaved before his father like a fool, despite his father’s adequately instructing him in Vedic knowledge. He behaved in that way so that his father would know that he was unfit for instruction and would abandon the attempt to instruct him further. He would behave in a completely opposite way. Although instructed to wash his hands after evacuating, he would wash them before. Nonetheless, his father wanted to give him Vedic instructions during the spring and summer. He tried to teach him the Gayatri mantra along with omkara and vyahriti, but after four months his father still was not successful in instructing him. The brahmana father of Jada Bharata considered his son his heart and soul, and therefore he was very much attached to him. He thought it wise to educate his son properly, and being absorbed in this unsuccessful endeavor, he tried to teach his son the rules and regulations of brahmacarya — including the execution of the Vedic vows, cleanliness, study of the Vedas, the regulative methods, service to the spiritual master and the method of offering a fire sacrifice. He tried his best to teach his son in this way, but all his endeavors failed. In his heart he hoped that his son would be a learned scholar, but all his attempts were unsuccessful. Like everyone, this brahmana was attached to his home, and he had forgotten that someday he would die. Death, however, was not forgetful. At the proper time, death appeared and took him away.”[1]

It’s a little, in one way, sad, in the other way a little funny story – the father tries to teach the unqualified son. The son is not willing to accept any instructions. Other times in other places in the Bhagavatam it is mentioned that a teacher, or father, or king or any superior, or guru must carry on the instructions and teachings even if there is no willingness to receive. And I think this brahmana-father had done this. He was trying and trying and trying his best. As we understood that he was reasonable and knowledgeable; of course he understood that with his son this will not work. So, sometimes by your intelligence you fail, but the father kept on going due to emotions. By the intellect, by the thoughts you might feel that this is the utmost limit – you have reached your limit and you cannot go any step further. But then the reserve energy should start to function. This emotional surcharge can go beyond the limits.

“Thereafter, the brahmana’s younger wife, after entrusting her twin children — the boy and girl — to the elder wife, departed for Patiloka, voluntarily dying with her husband.”[2] ‘If you go, I will go. I don’t want to stay here. I will go with you.’ – this is called commitment.

“After the father died, the nine step-brothers of Jada Bharata, who considered Jada Bharata dull and brainless, abandoned the father’s attempt to give Jada Bharata a complete education. The step-brothers of Jada Bharata were learned in the three Vedas — the Rig Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda — which very much encourage fruitive activity. The nine brothers were not at all spiritually enlightened in devotional service to the Lord. Consequently they could not understand the highly exalted position of Jada Bharata. Degraded men are actually no better than animals. The only difference is that animals have four legs and such men have only two. These two-legged, animalistic men used to call Jada Bharata mad, dull, deaf and dumb. They mistreated him, and Jada Bharata behaved for them like a madman who was deaf, blind or dull. He did not protest or try to convince them that he was not so. If his brothers wanted him to do something, he acted according to their desires. Whatever food he could acquire by begging or by wages, and whatever came of its own accord — be it a small quantity, palatable, stale or tasteless — he would accept and eat. He never ate anything for sense gratification because he was already liberated from the bodily conception, which induces one to accept palatable or unpalatable food. He was full in the transcendental consciousness of devotional service, and therefore he was unaffected by the dualities arising from the bodily conception. Actually his body was as strong as a bull’s, and his limbs were very muscular. He didn’t care for winter or summer, wind or rain, and he never covered his body at any time. He lay on the ground, and never smeared oil on his body or took a bath. Because his body was dirty, his spiritual effulgence and knowledge were covered, just as the splendor of a valuable gem is covered by dirt. He only wore a dirty loincloth and his sacred thread, which was blackish. Understanding that he was born in a brahmana family, people would call him a brahma-bandhu and other names. Being thus insulted and neglected by materialistic people, he wandered here and there.”[3]


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.9.4-6

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.9.7

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.9.8-10

Leave a Reply