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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 25.08.2016 morning, Ludasto) 

“Please therefore, being blessed with many years, explain to us in an easily understandable way, what you have ascertained to be the absolute and ultimate good for the people in general. O learned one, in this Iron Age of Kali men have but a short life. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.”[1]

Before we understood the lifestyle and the daily routine of the sages, of the great saints – they start the day with a sacrifice. And then some inquiries and discussions come – concerning what? The benefit of all living entities. Especially in this Age of Kali which is so much disturbed, we have to find and ascertain what is best to do. And here we find a bitter, but very precise description of this Kali Age. Life is short, but sometimes it takes so much time to spend. Knowledge is limited; there are always some conflicts and quarrels; and we are always disturbed – by fears, by anxieties, by hopes. So, this is the Age of jungle fight. Yet we also agreed that we are not partisans in this jungle, but we are treasure hunters. That means we don’t live in the Kali Age. Because we don’t identify with these standards, we want to live in a different age. Again a quantum jump – to overcome the limitations of time. Before we were connecting back to the time of the sages, now we jump over the limitations of Kali Yuga. The next verse says:

“There are many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied.”[2]

This is the most essential question: there are so many varieties of dharma, there are so many different ways of spiritual practice. One lifetime is not enough even to accomplish one. What to speak of trying this one, then jumping to the other and then trying the third one – it’s practically impossible. But “as you, Suta Goswami, had gone through practically all the different varieties of Vedic scriptures, you select for us.”

Now we make another jump because the sages go on elaborating on their question. But let me pick some very essential verses, which answer properly this question. So, ultimately to this question – which is the best process to follow, the most beneficial to all living beings – Suta Goswami gives a very profound answer, which is like homework for all devotees. Even if you awake from your dream, you must know it by heart.

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati[3]

Because what was included in the question? ‘Specify such a process by which people will be fully satisfied in their heart and soul.’

“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self”. This is the answer to the inquiry of the sages: select the best process that will make everyone happy. And it is a very broad-minded answer because it doesn’t specify one process, but gives us the essential substance. And what is the essence here? That, by which you can come to this living and loving connection – with the Supreme, not with somebody else! With the head of the divine hierarchy. The two requirements are also mentioned: to be selfless or disinterested; and also to be uninterrupted in this approach. And if you meet these two requirements, then your inner satisfaction is guaranteed.

So, the sages inquired about the welfare of the world and humanity. Suta Goswami was very happy: “Properly you have inquired. Because your questions concern the ultimate benefit of the living beings.” So, whenever we want to inquire from a spiritual person – this is the method, this is the spirit of inquiries: in service mood – how to serve the benefit of the world and through this to serve the happiness of the Supreme Lord.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.9-10

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.11

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6



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