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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Prahlada

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2012, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Question of Giridhari: I fully agree that we owe everything to the person whose bread we’re eating; and not only bread, because everything is there provided. What we see is that Prahlada really offers respect to his father, but together with this he has also offered his special opinion on a certain topic. How are these two tendencies living together?

Swami Tirtha: Thank you! Now I have to prove myself to remove your doubts. So, Prahlada officially and formally belongs to the asura race. Therefore he gives full respect to the father. But by spiritual lineage he belongs to Vishnu, to the devotional line, as he is committed to the truth. There are two levels of knowledge: one is para and the other is apara, one is higher truth, the other is lower truth. So on the lower platform Prahlada belongs to the demoniac race, he is a son of his father, student of his teachers, etc. – many relative positions. Just like we all have many relative commitments and positions. Yet by spiritual initiation and spiritual connection, he belongs to Narada as his teacher, he belongs to Vishnu as his beloved Lord – and this is the real connection, this is real life. It’s not formal. Therefore with sweet words and respect he wants to pacify the father, yet he’s committed to the truth. And many times it was mentioned in the text: “Because he was questioned publicly.” If the father would ask privately, Prahlada wouldn’t teach the father, because it is not recommended. But as it was a public affair, he used the opportunity to glorify the dignity of Vishnu worship compared to anything else.

So, what we have to learn from this? Give due respect to everyone, according to their position, yet be committed to the truth. Later on we shall see that Prahlada was so much committed, that he was not ready to give up his worship even if he had to face all the troubles and tortures. He was strong when he was put on test. So this is a clash of relative, or material commitments and the superior, or ultimate commitments. And if there is such a clash in our life usually it is recommended to choose the higher connection.

(to be continued)

 



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