Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


We continue our readings from Chaitanya Charitamrita. So, two or three hundred devotees were approaching Jagannath Puri. And it just reminds me of our melas. Although from this very secluded part of the world, Hungary, we cannot come by the hundreds to meet the devotees and Mahaprabhu here, but the devotees are very eager to come and meet the Lord and His servants.

“Shivananda Sena managed the payment of tolls at different places. Maintaining everyone, he guided all the devotees in great happiness.”[1] Again, you see – times are never changing. Even 500 years back you had to pay the toll – crossing the rivers or using the highways, and this and that. So, times are never changing. But there was this “Shivananda Sena who took care of everyone, and gave each devotee places to stay. He knew all the paths leading to Orissa. One day, when the party was being checked by a toll collector, the devotees were allowed to pass and Shivavanda Sena remained behind alone to pay the taxes. The party went into a village and waited beneath a tree, because no one but Shivananda Sena could arrange for their residential quarters. Nityananda Prabhu meanwhile became very hungry and upset. Because he had not yet obtained a suitable residence, He began calling Shivananda Sena ill names. “Shivananda Sena has not arranged for My residence” – He complained – “and I am so hungry I could die. Because he has not come, I curse his three sons to die.” Hearing this curse, Shivananda Sena’s wife began to cry. Just then, Shivananda returned from the toll station. Crying, his wife informed him, “Lord Nityananda has cursed our sons to die because His quarters have not been provided.” Shivananda Sena replied, “You, crazy woman! Why are you needlessly crying? Let my three sons die for all the inconvenience we have caused Nityananda Prabhu.” After saying this, Shivananda Sena went to Nityananda Prabhu, who then stood up and kicked him. Very pleased at being kicked, Shivananda Sena quickly arranged for a milkman’s house to be the Lord’s residence. Shivananda Sena touched the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu and led Him to His residence. After giving the Lord His quarters, Shivananda Sena, being very pleased, spoke as follows.[2]

So from this we can see that everybody acts according to their capacities, right. Nityananda Prabhu is like a very strong, avadhuta type of personality. Usually we are trained in this vaishnava line to be humble, right? So, if you visit a temple or some group of devotees and they are not rushing to serve you prasadam, usually you don’t call them ill names, or you don’t curse the whole families to die immediately on the spot. But if you invite an avadhuta, take care. Because avadhutas behave in a very unusual way. Better you have ready some prasadam to pacify them.

Because what does it mean avadhuta? Avadhuta means: first part “a” is for akshara – Supreme; “va” means varenyam – best; “dhu” means dhuta – messenger; and “ta” means that. So, avadhuta is such a person, who is best, the most excellent person, because he is connected to the Supreme and has renounced all that is inferior. And if we fully and deeply are committed to this supreme connection, then it’s only a very intensive lifestyle that remains. So, Nityananda Prabhu behaves like an avadhuta – crying, shouting and kicking. And the wife of Shivananda Sena also acts according to her capacity – starts to cry. Usually what is the reaction of ladies when there is an accident? “Ah!” and this is all, even when they are driving. This is a natural reaction of a lady. And that is nice – according to their capacity. Then the husband came and he showed his commitment. “No problem if we all die, but let’s satisfy God”. This is the message. It sounds little strong, I agree, but still this is true. Then this very famous story happened that Shivananda Sena was kicked by Nityananda Prabhu in the chest, like spiritual martial arts. And what was his reaction: “I am blessed!”

Now everybody is laughing here, smiling, enthused by this beautiful behavior of the vaishnavas. But just imagine – next time you happen to attend the discussion with devotees and somebody comes and kicks you in the chest. What will be your reaction? “Oh, I am blessed, prabhudji! Repeat it once more”. Or if somebody says: “Well, why don’t you join more services?”, you start to be upset and you start running around and telling: “Oh, this guy is intolerable, he is so puffed up that he reminds me of my services, this is an aparadh (offence)!”

So, if you read the stories, it’s not enough to read only, let’s put it into practice. But not Nityananda Prabhu’s part. Because we are ready to show how much avadhuta we are. No, please, have a competition in humility, this is our job.


(to be continued)

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya lila, 12. 15

[2] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya lila, 12.16-26

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