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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




There are some very basic elements of any religious process. Like control yourself, purify your heart, do some active service, try to identify yourself more on the spiritual platform than on the material. These are general advices. And what is this special advice of Krishna Bhakti? Chant Hare Krishna. Nobody else is talking about this. What does it mean – glorify God by calling out His name. Chant Hare Krishna – this is not a sectarian approach to influence you into some bad direction. The meaning is: glorify God.
If somebody calls out your name what do you do? You turn away your face “I don’t want to hear”? No, naturally you turn: “O, you are searching for me? I am here, I am your friend.” A feature of a vaisnava is that he is a friend, good friend. Friend in need is a friend indeed. The bad friend is just like your shadow – following you when the sun is shining on you. Whenever the sun shine is off, bad friends are gone. This is very useful, because in this way we can understand who is a real friend. He is a friend only untill you pay the bill? Or when you are in need also…
And if you put your faith and trust only on the human platform, in other living entities – it’s very easy to be frustrated again, and again, and again. But the qualities of Krishna are manifest in a pure devotee and the friendship, the ability to be a friend in the case of a vaisnava is a reflection of the original friendship of God. So Krishna never leaves you. His shadow is dark. Krishna is also dark. But He will not leave you. He is not following you only when the sun is shining. And when everybody leaves you He will stay. Krishna is never lost. Guru is never lost. Service is never lost. Don’t forget these three little things.
Krishna says that “Those who are intimatelly connected with Me embrace Me in their hearts. I am there in their hearts. They are also in My heart.” So – Krishna is never lost. If you don’t lose Him, He is never lost.
Krishna is also called adi-guru, the first spiritual master. Guru is a function of God – to teach us, to guide us, to help us to come back to Him. So by different personalities, by different helpers He extends the help to us. Through Balaram, through Nityananda, through Ananga Manjari, through Radhika He is extending the help. Guru is divine. Divine manifestation, manifestation of the divine help on the practical level. So that is never lost! Guru-tattva is never lost. The guru principle is never lost. Immediatelly when you want to see that – you will see! If you don’t want to see, even the best guru is sitting next to you – you will never recognize. When the disciple is ready the guru will come. And it does not mean that I will meet my spiritual master when I am ready. May be I know him from 200 years, but when I will be ready, I will recognize. So guru is never lost. Why? Because at initiation the disciple makes a vow: “I will follow you. I will never leave you.” But guru means “heavy”. Like heavy weight. Guru is heavy weight champion. Disciple is light weight champion. So the disciple may say: “Yes, I was thinking that way in the beginning, but now I think in a different way. Now I leave you. I have changed my decision.” But guru never changes. At the initiation guru also makes a vow: “I will follow you. Wherever you go I will go after you. I will take you back.” This is very deep connection. So guru is never lost. Guru-tattva is never lost.
What about the service? Service also depends on our vision. If you want to serve you will find unlimited chances for that. If you don’t want to serve, nobody can force you. Sometimes we might think that: “O, for service I need this, I need that… so many instruments.” Only one instrument – it’s called willingness. If you want guru can give you so many service that you will run away! Some of the senior disciples of Srila Prabhupad, sannyasis, were crying infront of Prabhupad: “It’s too much, I cannot do this! Please! Take some little burden off my back!” And what is your condition? Have you ever cried infront of your spiritual master: “O please, give me a moment of free breath!” What is the level of your surrender? Light weight champion or heavy weight champion?
We should never think that we have accomplished surrender. Krishna is not interrested how much you give. He is interrested how much you preserve for yourself. Service means to be connected. I repeat: faith without activity is dead. So we should express our faith. And what was the definition given by the acharyas about love? Love is service, taking care. This is love. Very practical! This is not something mystical and hazy, but very practical. In our love we should be very practical. How can you express your love? By doing something! So simple. This should not be a phylosophy, this should be everyday bread.
It is just like equation. Love = service. But you can put it in the other way round: service = love. Don’t forget! Your service should be a loving offering to the satisfaction of God. Not some heavy job that I cannot tolerate anymore. Not some regulative formulas. But loving offering. This is service. Is it ever lost?! This chance to give with full heart and full emotions something to the Supreme? I think that chance is never lost.
Sometimes we are so busy doing our service that we forget to give this quality of service to Krishna. Service should be quality service. Sometimes the formalities block the vision and we forget why did we started. We started the process for Beauty and Love. Not for suffering and intrigue. So that chance is never lost.
May be Krishna takes away all the difficulties. Sometimes we might think that He takes away the instruments of service, of His service. But He is not satisfied with the instruments! He wants YOU! He wants you personally! Just like the gopies – they did not wanted some theoretical meditation over the Supreme. You remember the story when they were meeting at Kurukshetra… there is a beautiful verse saying: “This is the same fullmoon evening, the same company – you and me – same soft breeze is coming from the Malaya Hills… Everything is the same. But I cannot embrase you. And this is full suffering. Something is still different.” So… when they meet again, almost everything is the same. But because they are blocked from this free kind of meeting, the intensity is higher. So the chance is never lost for great service.
Then Krishna said: “All right, you cannot meet Me all the time, because I am busy with My kingdom, but I have an advice for you. You can for example meditate over Me.” And usually if God says to you that “you can meditate over Me” you would be satisfied, I suppose. But what was the answer of the gopies? “NO. We are not satisfied with some theoretical meditation over You! We want YOU personally! We are not satisfied with one picture, with some thought! We want You personally.”
And maybe Krishna wipes away everything that is blocking our vision: “Look at Me. I am here.” So chances for service are never lost. Krishna is never lost, guru is never lost, service is never lost.


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