Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, morning, Sofia)
 
We are ultimately searching for the feelings, for the divine presence. Therefore in order to understand the process better, we have to study the teachings of the great ones. We shall read from this very beautiful book The Golden Staircase from Shrila Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj. The Chapter is entitled “Seeing beyond the Perception of the Senses”. 
Because actually we perceive everything with our senses. Yet we know that we are searching for something beyond the senses. It is very beautiful what we are able to see, but it is more beautiful what we cannot see. It is very important what we can hear, but it is more important what we cannot hear physically. It is very important what we can think, but it is much more important what is beyond our thinking capacity. Therefore we have to go beyond the perception of the senses. 
This is a discussion, questions and answers, by this very much respected teacher and some devotees around him. One devotee says: “Now the weather is starting to become hot!”[1] So, imagine yourself: you are sitting in front of a great saint and this is all what you can say: “Oh, it’s getting hot!” But the level of the question doesn’t limit the capacities of the person to answer. Shridhar Maharaj says: “We should not pay too much attention to that. It will come and go, it will come and go.” 
And even if he wouldn’t add anything more, from this we should understand a very important teaching. Because actually whatever question, whatever problem you might share with the higher authority, he will give the same answer: “Don’t pay too much attention to this! It will come and go.” 
And then there is a quotation from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: matra-sparsas tu kaunteya/ sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah/ agamapayino ‘nityas/ tams titiksasva bharata – “O son of Kunti, only the engagement of the senses with their objects gives rise to the sensations of cold, heat, pleasure, and pain. But these effects are temporary; they come and go. Therefore, O Bharata, you are to endure them.”.[2]
Regarding this verse of the Bhagavad-gita, one scholar, a Mr. Chatterjee, has explained this Sanskrit word matra to mean “what is measured by our senses, the result of our senses’ measurement.” In this way, the word matra comes near to the word ‘matter,’ it comes to mean matter or the world of material comfort. There are so many different views of the world. An ordinary man’s estimation of the world and a scientist’s estimation are different. An astronomer’s estimation of the world is of another type, the politician’s view is something else, the socialist’s, the humanist’s, the humanitarian’s views – they are all different. But if we can come to the plane of the soul – even the lowest conception of what is the real inner self – that will help us, and there will be a revolutionary change in our lives. All the things of this world will then seem to be trash, of no value, empty.”
So, beware! So far we are happy because we are engaged by the matter and then we feel more or less happy. At least engaged. But once you get a higher taste, you will not find your happiness on the lower platforms. Sorry to disillusion you! At first you might think that this is a loss. But I tell you, this is a gain. Because that higher taste will help us to adjust our vision properly. 
And why Shridhar Maharaj says that “Everything that you perceive will become meaningless.”? Because actually this world is very impermanent, very temporary. Whatever achievements, whatever security we have in this world, we shall lose it. Although we are searching for stability and protection, sooner or later we shall lose it. Because as we’ve discussed recently, material things have a beginning and have an end. Therefore if we want to find real treasures, we have to apply a proper method. Instead of material things we should search for spiritual things. It is said: if we come to the atman platform, then it will help us to adjust properly. 
 
(to be continued)
 
1. The Golden Staircase, Ch.1 Seeing Beyond The Perception Of The Senses, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
2. Bhagavad Gita, 2.14

 



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