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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2015 morning, Ludashto)
 
“Protect us, ah Lord Narayan, who wears the forest garland, who has the mace, the conch, the sword and the wheel, and who is called Vishnu and Vasudev!” The mace – this is a symbol of Lord Vishnu. This is not only a royal insignia, but also like a weapon chastising the opposite side. But also this is a symbol of divine knowledge. And from this we can understand that divine knowledge is like a weapon to overcome your enemies in spiritual endeavors. 
There are unlimited symbols of Lord Vishnu – really many. For example the chakra, which is also another weapon, chasing after the enemies of the vaishnavas. But as hopefully we are not offenders – neither to the Lord nor to His beloved ones – let’s think about the gentle symbols of Lord Vishnu. 
One such gentle symbol is the lotus flower – padma; or we can say kamala – which is a very complex symbol again. What is the meaning for you? 
Answers: Purity. Elevation. Beauty. The universe. The blossoming knowledge. Gurudev. Goloka Vrindavana.
Swami Tirtha: Wow! All right, then we stop here, I think. Because the more you give, very soon we shall faint, as you expressed more and more beautiful and substantial aspects. But let’s stop with this offer that the lotus flower is a symbol of the universe. When it is closed, like a bud, this is the potentiality – the unmanifested state of the created world. And when it’s opened up, when it’s a blossoming one, then this is the manifest state of the universe. 
And of course the lotus flower is also a symbol of a disciple. Don’t forget that it grows in the muddy water, but is blossoming in the sunshine. Yet the most important function of the lotus is that Krishna holds it in His hand and plays with it. When Krishna embraces His friends, He’s playing with this lotus flower while holding the shoulders of the other gopas. Then this is not a weapon, but this is a very playful symbol of our Lord. What does it mean? That the whole world is in the hand of God. And He is playing with it! He uses it as a flower offering at His friends’ shoulders. If we take the lotus as a symbol of the real disciple, then Krishna’s friends will carry the real disciple on their shoulders. This is a very prestigious position – to be in the hands of the Supreme Lord or to touch the shoulder of His beloved friends. And when He meets the other party of His beloved ones, the female partners, then He doesn’t touch the shoulder with this lotus flower, but offers it at the lotus feet. Lotus flower at the lotus feet. What does it mean? That the whole world is offered at the lotus feet of Radhika. Or – that a good disciple will find a place, find some shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Servant. And we can conclude, observing all the achievements of humanity for the last two-three thousand years and more, that practically all are due to Radhika’s blessings in different expansions. 
But let’s take one more symbol of Lord Vishnu. Practically all His expansions have this symbol over their bodies. For example Lord Buddha; if you imagine the picture of Lord Buddha, sometimes He has a mark on the chest or on the palm. Do you remember what this symbol is? 
Suggestion: Shrivatsa?
Swami Titha: Shrivatsa… or swastika. Many times He has a swastika on the chest or on the palms, sometimes on the feet. We might think that this is like an iconographic symbol of Buddhism. But here is some mystery hidden. Because this is the symbol of Vishnu’s beloved one, Shri, Laxmidevi. Therefore my dear fellow brother husbands, your wife is a swastika at home, a symbol of good life, a symbol of blessings. So even Lord Buddha, who was an ascetic, secretly embraces his beloved one on his chest. 
But what about all these different forms – like Lord Vishnu, Narayana, Buddha… Where is our Krishna? Don’t forget about the story when Mahaprabhu visited one village close to Jagannath Puri. It’s called Alalanath and there a black four-armed Vishnu form is worshiped. There Mahaprabhu was praying so ardently and calling Lord Krishna in the form of this deity: “Why do You want to hide from me? Come, show me Yourself!” So much so that the extra hands of this murti started to melt down and disappear so that the two-hand Krishna is revealed. 
So, beyond all these manifestations and forms we must have the desire, the burning desire to meet our beloved One, our beloved Couple. 
 

 



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