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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 3 of July 2005, Sofia)
Devotional life is very simple. Devotional life, Bhakti Yoga means we try to establish living contact with God Supreme in an emotional way. And if we can devote some time in the morning and in the evening to our spiritual practices – I mean the spiritual practice proper, direct: meditation, puja, studies, mantra, then in the mornings and in the evenings you can start and end your days by inviting Krishna’s presence into your life. That is very simple. And meanwhile we have to harmonize all our activities with the divine desire and will of Krishna.
Once I met an old sannyasi. And there were some new, young sannyasis also following him. And the young sannyasis were giving very bright lectures: quotations from here, explanations from there – very enlivening! Everybody was charmed. When the old sannyasi came, what was the message of his lecture? “You just enter the temple, fall down, offer your obeisances to Krishna and everything will be nice.”
So until we are young we need bright and exciting experience. When you are old, elder, when you are more mature, then you will see the essence. What is essential? To offer yourself in the service of God. Otherwise everything will be harmonized. Everything else is secondary compared to this.
But imagine, if we repeat the same message for hundreds of lectures, after some time nobody would attend. Once I met a man, who visited a public lecture after some six years – before he was visiting, six years stopped and then coming again. And he was almost frustrated. He said: “These guys are talking about the same thing! Still the same message!” Is that wrong or good? In the world where we are conditioned to always try to find something NEW, according to that standard you can think that this is an old message. Actually Krishna’s message is an eternal message. Sometimes in order to make some propaganda, to make it more easily digestible for people, we include some this and that… But basically the message is the same: devote your life. Our highest ideal is voluntary self-surrender; and how is this possible without affection? This is the definition of Bhakti Yoga. Selfless surrender and full satisfaction guaranteed. By this your atman, your existential being will be super-satisfied.
But don’t believe me! Don’t believe such propaganda – that in the future you will be happy, you can achieve something. If you don’t achieve it right now, if you cannot taste it right now, what is the use?! We have to examine ourselves here and now. What is the quality of our life with Krishna and the devotees; and we can also put the theoretical question what kind of life we would have without Krishna and without the devotees?
We miss only the nectar if we stay outside. So what can we do, we are on the hook. Krishna has captured you. Something must be done. Then at least we should be happy about it!
And this transition from our separate interest to come in harmony with the divine interest is a big transition. But we should perform this experiment.
Whatever we have, we should somehow use or engage in devotional service. One very, very nice example of this is coming from Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s time. He had one lady disciple, she had a house in Calcutta. And she invited Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati; but at that time he was already very busy and always many people followed him – it was big troupe. So to invite him meant to invite many. And she was on the waiting list. But finally the news came to her: “Gurumaharaj will come.” So she prepared everything perfectly. Housing and prasadam and everything was in perfect condition. Bhaktisiddhanta came with many disciples and they had nice lecture, program there. They were sleeping there one night and next day they were leaving. And after some time he got the message that in order to prepare, to finance everything – their meeting and visit – she had to sell the flat. That was not inauguration ceremony, that was farewell ceremony for the house. She was ready to sell the house in order finally to invite her guru. So in the morning Gurudev was leaving, and at midday she was also leaving. When Bhaktisiddhanta got the news, immediately he said: “Provide a special place for her in the main temple.” Which is very unusual to invite a lady into a brahmachari ashram. But if you are above the limitations, then you can understand the essential message. And that is: full devotion – full satisfaction guaranteed.
I think from this mood we can understand what is the message of the “Bhagavatam”: “The best religion for humanity is that, by which they can establish a loving contact with God; and this approach should be unconditional and permanent. In this way the atman, the self would be fully satisfied.”


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