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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“Devotee: “Maharaj, the different animals, insects, and trees in the Dhama, in the holy place – how shall we view them?” Shrila Shridhar Maharaj: “They are wholesale chinmaya, completely chinmaya.” Chin is chit, maya is made of. So they are made of consciousness. ”They are not under bondage, but are posing in different way.” Because an animal on the material platform is limited, is bounded. But an animal on the spiritual platform is not limited. “There are different types of service, and they have their fullest satisfaction in their own plane of service. They imbibe the most blissful internal feeling thereby, and do not want any other. In their relative position, they are fully satisfied there. In other rasas also, sakhya or vatsalya: each person feels, “What I have is the best. I have got the best position and I do not care to go to any other. Shanta-rasa is also like that: the trees and creepers, the sands, and so many animals and birds are there, but still there is a qualitative difference between them. Uddhava, the highest devotee in Dwaraka, aspires to take birth as a creeper in Vrindavana. So there are qualitative differences within shanta-rasa. In Dwaraka also there is shanta-rasa; but he who has the highest type of sakhya-rasa in Dwaraka aspires after the shanta-rasa service in Vrindavana, once he has gotten a little peep into the atmosphere of the type of service rendered there. This shows that even the highest thing in a particular place still has its relative position in the absolute consideration. Though the relative position is satisfied there, the absolute always surpasses it; otherwise the unity, the connection with the whole, would ultimately be dislocated and disorganized”[1]
Uddhava is a very special, very dear devotee of Krishna. He is one of the main helpers and dear ones in Dwaraka, and he had the apprehension that Krishna will disappear. Therefore he urged Krishna: “Tell me again, what is the most important? Tell me again! You had spoken to Arjuna before, but tell me also. What is the secret?” And then Krishna started to educate him in a similar manner like in the “Gita” for Arjuna. It is included in the “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, Eleventh Canto. And just imagine, you have this fear: ‘Maybe my beloved Lord will disappear, withdraw from this world’, and He agrees: “Yes, I will go.” This is very painful. And it’s a long teaching. But slowly-slowly you come to the end, to the final understanding that He will go. Such a painful conclusion! 
Uddhava’s rasa, his connection to Krishna is considered to be basically sakhya or friendship. But he is in rasabhas, he is in mixed rasa. Yet this mix is not distasteful, it contains more taste. A tinge of madhurya is also there. He is a very intimate partner of Krishna, but mainly he acts as a friend. Also sometimes he is taking care of Krishna – taking the position of a superior. So, it’s a very diverse and very rich connection.
Yet, Uddhava has an aspiration. One of the most famous expressions coming from him is “I would like to be a creeper, a bush in Vrindavana.” How come? He wants to give up the friendship of God in order to be a bush? How is that possible? ‘I am discussing with Him: “Hey, are You going to leave?” and He says: “Yes, I will leave!” Shall I give up this position in order to become a bush?’ What is the secret here? The passive bush in Vrindavana is a higher position than an active friend in Dwaraka. 
Actually his ambition is not to become like a plant. But he has a different ambition: ‘Why I want to become a bush – and not even in Vrindavana, but around Vrindavana, close to Vrindavana. Why? Because sometimes the gopis will walk there. And as they walk, you know if you walk in the dust, it’s just raised. And in this way that dust of their feet as they walk by might come on my leaves.” So, actually therefore he wants to take birth as a bush. Do you want to take birth as a bush next time? But this is something very substantial, it’s not a joke. 
Many want to see Krishna, God Supreme. But He hides. In many cases He hides; for example when He tends the cows or the calves. The animals are in the front and He comes with Balaram at the back. So, what happens if the animals are passing? They also raise the dust. And this cloud of dust will cover Krishna from the eyes of non-eligible people. So, even the dust can be our guru in Vrindavana. Because if this dust settles, it can reveal Krishna to us. 
In all the different rasas all the different practitioners feel that ‘this is the best to me’. “So the absolute consideration is possible from any position. Although all servitors are fully satisfied where they are, in their own position, they realize the supremacy of Vrindavana. Impartial consideration is always there, and between the relative and the absolute, the absolute always takes the upper hand. Sarva-dharman parityajya: The absolute or ‘revolutionary’ consideration is firmly established above the relative or ‘constitutional’ one when Shri Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (18.66), “Just abandon all dharmas, all considerations of social and religious duties – even the ones that I Myself have established in the various scriptures and described here in My previous instructions to you – and just surrender wholeheartedly to Me”. This is called a spiritual revolution. “Give up all other conceptions and surrender to Me”. “Everywhere, the absolute consideration prevails.” 
 
(to be continued) 
 
1.  The Golden Staircase”, Ch.2 Full Satisfaction, Absolute Realization by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj

 



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