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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Oct

16


(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, July 2005, Sofia)
We are all searching for harmony. But as many people there are – as many conceptions about harmony. Some people think that harmony is a very cozy lukewarm lake. But I doubt. For me harmony is not simply passive good feeling. For me harmony has some tension! It has some progressive aspect. For me harmony is dynamic. And you think for yourself whether harmony is only a passive state or an active principle in our life.
Usually we work very hard to achieve harmony – with more or usually less success. Therefore the know-how to achieve harmony we must also learn. To improve and enhance our practice we should study and burn into our hearts the message of the pure devotees. I would like to quote a very highly elevated vaishnava saint, Shrila Shridhara Maharaj. Some people were coming together in his temple and inquiring about spiritual topics. No big formalities, but very essential and deep teaching. So he says:
“Harmony… How the things of the opposite sides can be harmonized – by higher principles. To harmonize things of a particular plane – energy of a higher plane is necessary. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis… To any thing there must be something anti, cannot but be! Some opposition, some opposite conception will come. Any statement has some opposition; and to harmonize that, this is the duty. Hegel says that this is the process of progress. Progress is this: whatever there would be, some conception of opposition possibly will come. And to finish opposition, greater harmony is necessary. Highest type of harmony is so, that diversity ultimately helps it.”
There are some very important words here. “To harmonize things of a particular plane – energy of a higher plane is necessary”. So it is very good if we have opposition on the same level. Because in that time we have the chance to invite the harmonizing power of a higher plane. And what is impossible for us, that is very simple for superiors.
I’m sure that all of us have met opposition in our lives. May be simple or difficult case, may be more often or more rare – but opposition is there. What is the reason of opposition? This is not to give you trouble, but to test your reaction. So if opposition is there, it’s not the problem of opposition, this is our problem – how we react. The whole question is revolving around our response. The impulse is coming from outside, but what is the resonance that it will create in you, this is the question. And the more pure you are, the more harmonious reaction you will be able to create. A neophyte person will have very basic reactions. Somebody on the intermediate platform will have better type of reactions. But somebody on top platform will have only perfect harmonious reactions.
When we approach the devotees, usually we think that they are minimum like demigods, almost divine and respected very high. They are super-human, angelic! We come one step closer and then the wings of these angels are falling down. You understand that they are also human beings! With almost the same problems as myself! So then you start to think: “Well, may be it’s not necessary to give so much respect to them.” At that time opposition will come in the company of the devotees – or kind of fighting. And when devotes of the same level come together, they are very good in fighting. Usually they can represent their ideas very strongly and very passionately. Forgetting about Yoga – being controlled – they come very much into Bhakti – full emotions are manifest. Of course, never fighting over their ideals or interests – only on tattva, only on principles!
So if you enter such a temple, you will have a very bad feeling! “What is the atmosphere here? It’s nothing special, just like outside there! Outside there is disharmony, inside this is also disharmony. What are you talking about?!” So, if people on the same level, same platform come together, very easily they can manifest these symptoms. But what happens if the spiritual authority comes? O, immediately everybody starts to behave like a good vaishnava. Isn’t it? “O, I know the etiquette, I know the rules, I follow all the regulations.” So everybody tries to show a good face. Immediately when the authority comes, all the best is manifested from people. This is the special power of somebody authorized. He can bring out the best part of you. But even in the presence of spiritual master sometimes the devotees are ready to go on fighting.
That was happening in Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s time also. So when two devotees were fighting to each-other, sometimes the case was brought in front of the spiritual master and what was he doing? He was inviting both parties ready to fight with each-other and ready to say anything wrong about the other. And they got a very special spiritual practice – they had to glorify each-other. At that time the anger and the bad feelings had to be curbed, had to be stopped and you had to think what are the good qualities of the other person.
So this is a very vivid example of how the harmonizing power of higher authority manifests. And please, try to remember this example! If next time in your life when you come to such a situation that you are angry at somebody and you try to criticize somebody, try to invite your spiritual authority – may be in your mind, may be in your meditation – and follow this principle: start to glorify the other person. Immediately your bad feelings will be removed.
Of course, in most of the cases we are not able to do that. Because we have a different conditioning. And very few people are able to examine themselves from the outside point of view. Less is the number of those people, who can actively change their habits or character. And even less are those, who can influence others to change their characters. Anyway, we have to start somewhere.


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