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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




“Some look at the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.”[1]

The second method depicted here is: “Some describe him as amazing”. They speak about the beauty of the soul or the wonders of the soul. This is a more active way. First is observation, which is more like a passive meditation. Describing and glorifying is an active principle. And this we have observed last time in India, in Vrindavana. In the afternoons the temples are closed, because then Krishna is taking some rest. This is His daily routine, so we had to wait in front of one temple. And you know, in the peaceful afternoon very little motion was there, very few people. There was one elderly lady, enjoying the sun, and there was one man also, who was finishing some duties. And the man started to describe Krishna and the loving connection between Radha and Krishna. At first he did not have any audience. Then he was turning to this lady and describing that Radhika’s love is just like Krishna’s love – giving a lecture in the afternoon – sometimes quoting some verse, describing nicely and very enthusiastically, practically to nobody.

So – describing the amazing beauty of the soul; and the other is – to hear,  “some hear, that the soul is amazing.”  Shravanam-kirtanam is here, glorifying and listening. These are other ways to understand – to describe and to listen. And it is said that you can explain something only if you understand the topic. Right? If we do not understand, we cannot explain, we cannot glorify. Sometimes with children or people who are inquiring you can really feel this: that the question helps me to understand better. By describing our faith will be stronger. And also by good listening our faith will be stronger. You know the story…. Sorry to quote always some stories, but from the stories it is easier to understand. Telling stories is a Kali-yuga symptom. Because in this age people are a little stupid, they do not understand too high philosophy, they fall asleep. But in an interesting story, they can catch some message. Here is described… “they describe that the soul is great” and by description we can improve our faith. So, once there was a thief. And you know, the thief had an idea, that “I have to rob this very wealthy house with the big garden.” He decided to enter during the night; he was sneaking into the house, catching some valuables and then running out. But while running out he made some noise, so the guards were chasing him. But the garden was big enough, so he was running and running and trying to escape. Then he understood: “Ah, I cannot climb the walls, they will catch me, what am I to do?” Finally he decided that :”O! Here in the garden is hanging some orange cloth. I will put it as my turban and I just sit under this tree in a meditating pose.” The valuables he had thrown already, because he was running, and finally he decided to sit like a sadhu. Then the guards were coming and said: “O swamiji, very nice that you are meditating here, but haven’t you seen the thief? “ And he said: “Yes, in that direction he was running!” But you know, if you pose as a sadhu, then you have to act as a sadhu. So, next morning the villagers came to visit the sadhu; some bringing the children: “Give blessings to my child”, others asking for advice: “What is your opinion, what is your secret teaching, please, give us…”  So, he started to give spiritual advice. When a baby came, he said: “Hare Krishna!” When somebody else came, he said: “Behave nice, do not steal, always tell the truth.” So by activity he had to act as a sadhu. He started to describe the beauty and the wonders of God and the soul. And look what happened: he really became a sadhu. He gave up the bad habit of robbing and stealing – and not only for the reason that this was a better income and a safer job – giving good advice. You know, because people were coming with some chapatti, a little rice, a little this, a little that – so the business was flourishing. Not in that sense. But by describing he understood what is right and what is wrong.

In the same way we should be ready to describe the beauty of Krishna. Because in this way we will understand it better, we will come closer to this. And anyway, if you tell to some friends and some people: “You should surrender to God,” then ultimately you will understand: “Hey, I must also surrender to God!” And if you describe it nicely, then the others will take the benefit by hearing it.



[1] „Bhagavad-gita” 2.29



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