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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, morning, Sofia)
 
Question of Mahabhava: We all know that in this material world the love of Krishna is (represented) like a distorted reflection, yet for me, and I am speaking about myself only, the love of Krishna is something abstract. When I am trying to compare it with people relationship, I feel it’s very distant, because I can’t sit with Him at one table, or we can’t walk, we can’t discuss. 
Swami Tirtha: I am surprised a little bit, but go on. 
Mahabhava: Not that I expect Him to come at that very minute. But even if you close and chant all day and night, in the evening you will take dinner alone again. You can’t interact with Him face to face. At least I can’t do it. And this is very unsatisfactory, because we know that we have to control our senses, but we don’t have this whole hearted full communication and association of Krishna. 
Swami Tirtha: What to do? 
Mahabhava: That’s my question. 
Swami Tirtha: That’s a very sad story. We all attend the school of divine love. Some are in the first grade, others in higher grades. Still others are the teachers in the same school, yet they also attend the same school. Because this is the best school ever! And everything depends on elevation of our consciousness. As it was mentioned in the book we read: “My, God! My consciousness is so low! I was focusing on such insignificant things.”[1] If we can raise our vision, then theory will become a practical thing for us. Theoretical God, Truth, will become a daily exchange for us. 
So, this is one solution of this problem – we should come closer and closer to the reality of Krishna. Sometimes we expect that He comes in the very intensive meditation moments, when we feel like good devotees. But therefore I said in a half jolly way that you expect, you expect, but He doesn’t come! While you experience some difficulties or fall down, and then you feel the extended hand of God, then you feel the consolation of Krishna. Because He is a tricky guy. He comes in the unexpected moments, not when you expect Him. ‘Today I have prepared everything nicely according to the expectations, as it is written in the books. Now I am a good bhakta.’ You wait, wait, wait, but He doesn’t come. 
Once, the only brahmachari in the ashram at that time was working in the rose garden. So, every day he came back with his shirt full of roses. You know, in the sleeves, inside the shirt – he came with a big belly full of roses. And we were expecting Gurudev. Just once in a lifetime we had the opportunity to have three hundred or more rose buds. And we could make such a long garland that it was sweeping the earth. Because we were expecting Gurudev to come. And what did happen? He didn’t come! Practically that was the biggest garland in my life! And he didn’t come. And of course, when we don’t have even one little petal of flower – he will come! When we are much unprepared to accept him. It is not only flowers we don’t have, but there is no bhoga in the ashram, and there is no money in the pocket. Guru comes in such a moment – when you don’t expect. When you didn’t arrange everything nicely as it should be. Other times when Gurudev came, I don’t know how it happened, but every time halva was for the prasadam. We started to prepare halva once in half a year; that was for sure that he would come in the evening. And then he starts to chastise us: “Ah, again halva! Every time you eat halva! Can you explain it?” “No, Gurudev! It is once a year!” 
And as the good servants of Krishna come in the unexpected moments, we shouldn’t expect that their Lord will come in the expected moment. Because these servants learn from Him and follow Him. 
But actually you are correct, for most of us love of Godhead is a kind of theoretical truth. Therefore Krishna sends the sadhus who come closer to us. Through them we can learn something about practical service, because love is equal to service. And that also means that service is equal to love. Bhakti is a very practical thing, because if we cannot serve God directly, then He sends us His devotee, whom we can serve directly. With them we can eat together, with them we can sing together, with them we can play football. 
Just like once Gurudev invited us to play football. I was in the other group, of course, and I hope he doesn’t take it as an offense, but he was not very good at football. Fortunately enough, I am also not a good player. Nevertheless our group was stronger than his group. So, by every human calculation, we should have won over his football team. But you know, how can you win against your spiritual master?! We felt very uneasy, and then a good solution came: we let them win. 
But for example he was very good at chess. So, sometimes guru is ready to manifest a very human side, yet never forget who he is. This depends on us. If a disciple is elevated, then he is ready to enter the dance, if he is invited by his master. But he will never forget who started the dance. 
 
(to be continued)
 
1.  The Golden Staircase, Ch.1 Seeing Beyond The Perception Of The Senses, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
 

 



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