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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj on Sharanagati-part 3, 7th of September 2006, Sofia)

The two elements that we discussed so far – humility and dedication of the self – depend on you.  And finally the two last elements of sharanagati are, we can say, the objective elements of dedication. The conviction, that Krishna is the maintainer of everything; and the second is the deep-rooted faith that He will protect us from everything. I am sure that you feel the difference between these two. Because the first is again theory: yes, He is the maintainer, He is there – this is just like theoretical conception. It is nice to understand that He is behind all the trees… “Just remove a piece of stone, I am there; just cut a tree – you will find Me there…” But how to put it into practice, this is the second part – when you have firm and deep-rooted conviction that if you serve Him, He will protect you. This is the way to become abhaya, fearless. May be I am weak. May be I have no power. May be in a street fight I would be smashed into pieces by the strong guys. But I have full faith that Krishna will protect me, irrespective of my physical power, because we are working on a metaphysical plane. We are not the bodies – strong or weak.
Until we are neophytes we put Krishna to tests: “If You exist, now show Yourself!” Sometimes devotees are just like kids. Once one devotee decided: “Well, if Krishna exists I will just close my eyes and without any crossing I will pass this highly trafficked road.” He succeeded, but I do not think that this is a high type of understanding of Krishna’s protection. Because lack of faith needs proofs. But this is only for the beginners. Those who have deep faith, they can work without proofs. They can work against these proofs! Not only “these proofs”, but disproofs! That is faith! Every morning you should chant “Shikshashtakam”! The last verse says: “Whether You come to me or not, whether You accept me or not, I am Your unconditional servant.”
How to practice this deep-rooted faith? We must have the eye to see that, to perceive that. Therefore we can say that first is the conviction that Krishna is there behind everything. We have to train ourselves to permanently think about it, to always remind ourselves: “Yes, Krishna is there, Krishna is there, it’s Him, somehow this is a manifestation of Him.” And when the things start to happen, simply you should not miss Him from before your eyes.
I would not put Krishna to tests. Life is complicated and difficult enough that gives tests to us. But we can conclude: “So far I have survived by the grace of Krishna.” In a logical way we can conclude that it will happen in the future also. And I will live exactly until the moment of my death – not before, not longer, exactly until that time. Is there any problem? Everything is under care. Sometimes we do not see that, sometimes we do not perceive that. Therefore we only have to purify the vision to see Krishna everywhere. You know how to do it. By chanting the rounds your eyes will open up. You will see the hidden extra-beauty of life and the hidden arrangement that is pervading this whole existence. Therefore you can observe your life. This will help you to understand what is deep faith.
And also if we associate with faithful people then our faith will grow. But I think real faith is achieved in difficulties.
To practice faith, we can observe or examine, but this is a theoretical approach. The other way is simply to feel it – how Krishna is carrying me in His palms. Just to put your cheeks into His palms. And it is much better if you approach His palm with your cheek, then if He approaches your cheek with His palm.
These are the elements of sharanagati, dedication of the self. Practice favorable, avoid the unfavorable – this is the entrance. Then the subjective part – be humble and dedicate yourself. Then the objective part – have firm understanding that Krishna is the maintainer and deeply-rooted faith that He will protect you.
“The young boy of Nanda Maharaj, Krishna, will listen to the prayers of all those, who seek His shelter through these six practices.”
So if you want to achieve that Krishna listens to your prayer, this is the way. Through these practices you will reach the destination. You do not have to become mystics, because by these practices you can reach. Тhis is the real mysticism.



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