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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 7th of September 2006, Sofia)

This evening we have had an appointment – to meet the full moon. The full moon will always help us remember – stay in light forever. “Asato maa sat gamaya, tamaso maa jyotir gamaya, mrityor maa amritam gamaya*  – from unreal lead me to real, from darkness lead me to light, and from death lead me to eternity.” This is a beautiful, general prayer of the Vedas, which everybody can understand, irrespective of tradition, religion, creed, even language…
But of course the general meaning always covers the hidden meaning. “From unreal…” What is unreal? Everything that we believe is very much real, you should know, it is just a dream, it is unreal. For example, all the suffering – and all the happiness – that we feel to be so realistic is just a ripple on the surface of the ocean of our mind. In order to understand the real, first we have to understand the unreal. It is very difficult to comprehend that what we perceive so realistic, it is not that. The meaning of the Sanskrit word “maya” is “not that”.
From the unreal we have to come to reality. This means a path, a progress. We start our journey somewhere and we must have a destination. Therefore it is said, that life is such a mystery, that we should not think over it, rather we should perceive it. Because if we take the experience of reality, then we shall know face to face what is real and what is unreal. The Supreme Lord is hiding there in everything. Even in the hearts of all the living entities the Lord is hiding. We should take the consequences; we should understand what this really, substantially means! If God is there in my heart, I am never independent. I am there in and under His divine protection. Тhe more I dedicate myself to Him, the more I will be spiritualized by Him.
Reality is said to be much more beautiful than this illusion. I think as people you have some understanding about beauty, for example beauty of feelings or beauty of nature. From time to time I am just wandering in your country and I am amazed! That is an inexhaustible storehouse of natural beauty. Like a mine of beauty! This nature belongs to someone. And the possessor of that beauty must be even more beautiful! We have learned that Krishna has a bluish color, His skin is bluish. I have a friend; whenever he sees a cloud, he asks: “Is this Krishna’s color?” When he points at some nice sheep-type clouds, this is not Krishna. But when it is dark-blue, heavy with rain, that is the Krishna color. In this way it is so easy to remember this beautiful Lord. Whenever you see dark-blue, it reminds you of Him.
The next line of this prayer is “Tamaso maa jyotir gamaya – from darkness lead me to light.” Usually, every spiritual person is striving for divine light or enlightenment – things like this. I do not know how it is here, but in Hungary over the entrance of the cemeteries it is written: “Let there be eternal light for them” – for the dead. Everybody has this understanding, that light is good. “Let there be light – and there was light.” From darkness lead me to light: the first reading is very simple – yes, darkness is bad, it is lack of understanding, lead me to light, enlightenment! Simple! I realize the message. But just recently we have understood that Krishna is the dark Lord. Then how can I put this message altogether? From darkness lead me light, what is that?
The dark hue of Krishna is not the usual one. His darkness is emanating light. Just imagine such a dark person, who is shining. It is an interesting paradox. But still, what is the sentence here – from darkness lead me to bright, lead me to light? Who is the darkness – this is Krishna – the dark hue, dark blue. Then who can be this bright person?
This is radha-dasyam, the service of Shrimati Radharani. She is the beloved of God.  And She is the person who loves God most. So, from simply to understand that there is a highest God, we should understand that there is a highest Goddess. That is the real enlightenment in vaishnava tradition, in our line.
And finally “from death lead me to eternity”. This message is also quite clear. In most of the cases people have fear of death. Usually, you are afraid of something that you do not know, that is hidden from us, secret, mysterious. That creates certain aversion. As people do not know too much about death, they have this fear of death. This is a heavy psychological burden on most of the human beings. Still it is easy, because death is a moment, it is one occasion in your lifetime. As Kali Yuga – this dark, iron age – is progressing, now people start to have fear of life – not only fear of death, but also fear of life! This is worse, because it will stay with you for this lifetime, it is not only one occasion – it is permanent. Therefore until we do not see the beauty, the glory and the divine chance of our life, we might have this fear of life and fear of death.
Actually, first we should eliminate the false concept of mortality; second – we should pacify our intellect; and third – we should search for the satisfaction of the heart. Follow these steps: sat – understand that you are eternal; cit – pacify your mind; and ananda – search for the happiness of the soul. This is the way from mortality, from death to immortality.

*Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28)



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