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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Вриндавана

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2017, morning, Sofia)

I’m very happy that we are here together. I feel honored that you came, because in this way you give a chance for me to repeat what I have learned from my masters. And this is one way to remember God, this is one way to approach divinity. Actually for the upcoming days I want to share with you some points about this topic – what are the relationships between the human beings and the Supreme Lord.

We can say that the zero level of relationship to the Supreme is to deny His existence. ‘God doesn’t exist.’ So first you declare there is something that doesn’t exist. ‘God – doesn’t exist.’ This is our first, basic relationship to the Supreme. ‘He doesn’t exist.’ We can see how unusual and illogical is this approach, this atheism. Especially when our Lord appears.

So, the first approach, especially in this age, for many of our fellow brothers and sisters is to deny that there is some superior reality. ‘This is reality – body, earth, matter – this is reality.’ But we don’t agree. We do believe that there is a finer reality beyond all these external, relative realities. And actually this is what we are searching for.

Then if somebody is not atheistic, he might say: ‘I don’t mind if there is something or there is none – it’s not my business.’ This is a kind of negative neutrality, rejecting: ‘It doesn’t concern me.’

I think we can also skip this and search for the next level of relationship. And many times this is fear. Fear as a basic motivation for faith. Fear of death, fear of eternal hell – you want to avoid this unpleasant experience. “I don’t know how the heaven is, but definitely I want to avoid hell.” You know the famous joke when there was a big atheist on his deathbed and two priests were approaching him. One said: “Just give this job to me, I will convert him.” He entered and after five minutes he said: “He is converted.” And his friend asked: “Did you describe heaven so nicely, so eloquently to him that he wanted to join?” “No, no, I described hell.” So, if we want to avoid something uneasy, something bad – this is another kind of motivation based on fear. A little hope of something good, but basically trying to avoid something bad.

Of course ‘fear of God’ is a very broad expression and it’s not limited to this very human basic fear, but it’s something separate, because it’s more like an obedient relationship in Christianity.

Then another relationship to the Supreme is when it’s not rejection, it’s not negligence, it’s not fear, but it’s duty. ‘If there is God and I belong to Him, then there is something I have to do about it.’ This commitment is very nice. This is the basis of some further relationships. We have to become reliable. And if we understand our duty, then the next step is to realize it, to put it into practice. We all know that ultimately there is only one duty in this human life – to let ourselves be embraced by the Supreme. Don’t resist! The only thing is to give up your resistance. Such a dutiful approach to the Supreme is something very good, very strong.

And maybe a next step is when we are more conscious about this relationship. We human beings, we have a very strong capacity and this is our consciousness. Consciousness is not simply intelligence, it’s something more. If we can mobilize all our conscious capacities and energies in connection with the Supreme, then we fulfill one requirement from the Gita, where Krishna says: “Use all your consciousness in connection with Me.”[1]

But should we stop at being conscious of God? We know that there is a very good example of a person who is conscious of Krishna – this is Kamsa. Kamsa, the chief demon – he was always very conscious of Krishna: ‘He will come, He is my death personified. Where is He?” – he was always remembering, always conscious. But not in a positive sense. So, we need a positive approach to the Supreme and then all these different relationships will develop more and more.

And finally the ultimate taste – this is spontaneous affection. When this is not your duty, because duty is something very official; this is not your consciousness that you have to work on it and direct it properly – no! This is like the natural flow. You have no other alternative than to approach your beloved Divine Couple in a spontaneous way.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 12.8



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