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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




If we examine the fate of animals, it’s different. One has been kicked by everybody, other is a pet dog with air-conditioner. You can see the karmic reaction inside the animal realm. But even there mercy also exists. Because if one animal joins the company of the devotees – then his fate is really different. Just like the dogs in the ashrams – they are very special dogs. What is their main business? They are doing service, protecting Krishna’s temple, giving happiness to the devotees, always taking prasadam – it’s very good lifestyle. May be they have some problems with following some certain rules and regulations, but otherwise they are fully engaged in service. Personally I thing that the best thing in a dog is that he can give happiness to the devotees – this is what I like best. And next time they will have a very good chance to continue the same – association with devotees, giving service, taking prasadam. So there is a transcendental chance for animals also. And they are very sensitive. They will also immediately feel that they will be treated differently in this place. For example once in our farm in Nanda Falva some hunters came, there was a hunting. And the animals are very clever, they understood that they are in danger. But they also understood that inside the ashram court-yard they are safe! So all the pheasants started to come inside the court-yard to be protected, because they knew that here we are safe.

But sometimes the story goes the other way round. That’s a sweet story: You know Bhakti Suhrid Hridoy Maharaj? So once an old Indian sannyasi was visiting our place. And at that time we had small dog like this. And he was very much afraid of the dogs and he said: “They are not too much ferocious?” Ferocious – this small little dog… And we tried to pacify: “No, no, they are very nice, they are devotees, they will take care of you, they don’t give any trouble…” So Maharaja in the mornings was going for japa-walk. And you know, dogs have this tendency to follow anybody. If somebody is walking, they go with him. Hridoy Maharaj was going out, chanting his rounds – and the dogs were running after him, naturally. When he returned, he was very proud: “Have you seen? These dogs are following me!” So he made good friends with the dogs; first he was reserved, but then he made good friends with the dogs. And then after one year some devotee was visiting India and he met also Hridoy Maharaj. First question: “How are the dogs? They are nice? They are all right?”

This devotional exchange can manifest between different species even. But whoever we meet, we should practice ahimsa. And ahimsa in positive sense means: serve the spiritual benefit of the others. By distributing prasadam to the animals, we can help them to improve their lives. So to say we can help them to jump many steps, many levels.

We are also like animals. And when we don’t have masters we cannot think of our masters. When we have masters, then we think of our Lord. And the signal… for example when you see a dog on the street, when there is no collar on the dog, then you understand that he has no master. But when there is a collar on the neck then you understand: o, this dog belongs to somebody. I think it is like this? If you have kanties you belong to somebody. You are not running here and there without any good reason, without any direction. And if we remember our Lords, our masters – like the vaishnavas, the spiritual master and Krishna – then we are never lost. Because may be we loose ourselves, but they will come after us.



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