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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Jan

28


(comments of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj on “Dainya o Prapatti”, 6th of September 2006, Sofia)

“O my Lord Hari, my merciful Lord, all glories to You, the Lord of Radha! Many times I had avoided You, but this time please, accept me as Yours!”
Recently we were just discussing how to pray in a correct mood. And we discussed that there are different kinds of prayers like asking something, then there are some atonement prayers and there are some glorifying prayers. This song combines both. It tells the sad story of a devotee: “I had avoided You many times. But You are my beloved Lord. And although I have avoided You for many, many lifetimes now please accept me as Yours.” So you can see all the different elements of prayers manifested here in this song in the first lines. Like praying for something, asking for some benediction; also atonement: “I have committed mistakes but now please accept me.” But also glorification: “You are my beloved Lord.” So whenever we pray we should combine the different elements.
And this prayer is directed to the merciful Lord. So this is the chance of this prayer, of this person, who is praying like this – that the merciful God, the merciful Lord will act mercifully. Krishna is also a just God. In one sense He distributes karma-phala, the fruits of karma, and He is doing that according to your acts – He will give you the fruit, whatever you demand, deserve. But don’t blame Him. It is said: “Who sow wind will reap tempest.” So if you act in a certain way, you will have to take the results. How many actions, how many words, how many thoughts are there! These are just like seeds that you sow on the field of your heart. And by time these seeds will grow, sprout. And all of a sudden your heart is just overgrown by weeds and then you weep: “Something wrong is happening to me! I don’t deserve that!” Although it was you who have sown the seeds.
So if God would be only just, then we should pay for all the mistakes that we have committed. Which more or less we have to do. But the devotees are smart. They are good investors. And they are very good businessmen also, spiritual businessmen. So they know that “with the just God I will have some problems. So many mistakes I have done, so I will have to pay back the capital plus the interest.” It happens like this – you invest in activity and it will multiply, it will fructify. So we have to repay the debt in higher proportions. Therefore we try to approach Krishna as a merciful God. But not with a cheating mentality. Like: “I have committed mistakes, so better I approach the merciful aspect of the Lord, because in this way I can play a game with Him that He forgives and then I can have my private life.” Оf course that will not work. You cannot cheat mercy. Mercy comes unconditionally. We cannot enforce mercy. We should possess all the good qualities like desire to serve, devotion, sincerity, humility. But ultimately mercy will come by her own. So Bhakti has this quality that acts on her own. We cannot force, we cannot push. But definitely this is active, it’s a very powerful practice. Many times we cannot identify how it works, but it is irresistible. So: working on her own, powerful, irresistible and difficult to understand how it works – these are the four qualities of the bhakti process. And mercy also comes by her own. If Krishna is distributing the mercy, it will come even if you don’t deserve it. But this flow of mercy just binds us to obey. Then you cannot have this cheating mentality. May be you come with some hidden motives, but after you have perceived what divine mercy is, you cannot have that anymore.
And what is the sad story of a devotee in this song? “I have avoided You many times. Mercy was coming to me, but I said: “No, thank you! It’s not for me.” I avoided You.” How would you continue that sentence? “I avoided You, but You never avoided me.” This is the difference between the human person and God. I can leave Him, but He is not ready to leave me. Same with the guru; the disciple can always leave the guru. But the real guru can never leave the disciple. So, enjoy your freedoms! Later it’s too late.
So “I have avoided You, but You never avoided me. This time I am changing my mentality. Take me, accept me as yours.” What happens if someone is accepted as God’s, belonging to God? That so called independence that imagined independence, that fake freedom is just gone. “Please accept me as Your own.” This is a very intimate prayer. “O my Lord, after wandering through many different wombs, finally I have come and taken shelter at You. Please, please, liberate this wretched soul by Your divine mercy”. Bahu yoni bhrami – I have been wandering through many species, many different wombs. But this lifetime I have the chance of the divine birth. Please, liberate this wretched soul by Your divine mercy. Divine mercy is the antidote for the poisonous snake of material life.
So far this is the sad story of the devotee. And now comes an exclamation: “O Lord of Radha!” So it’s not a simple approach to some far away and unknown God. But this is very high type of approach – not to the just God, but to the loving God. “O beloved of Radha, o lover of Radha, You are the cause and the life of the universe! You are the everything of everyone!” So that is the glorification part – You are the everything of everyone. If we would have that vision, that’s a high understanding, a high realization of God consciousness. And that Loving Beauty in the next verse is mentioned that “You bring blessings to the world and You are the Lord of the universe. O my Lord, where can I find shelter if You turn me down? Finally I came to the conclusion that in this world only You can save Your fallen servant.”
This song is about humility and dedication, dainya and prapatti. Whenever you feel that you are lacking these characters, just sing this song. And immediately you will remember how many lifetimes you have taken, how many mistakes you have done, what is the goal and what is the approach to the Lord. But don’t lament what has happened. Past is a history; future is a mystery; present moment is a gift.



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