Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2018 pm, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

And finally let’s see the followers of the Lord: “Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Mandana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dvaraka, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Mandana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Krishna. Sucandra is engaged in fanning with the white camara (bunch of hair), and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts. All of them are great devotees, and they are always busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. There are so many anugas in Vrindavana as well: Raktaka, Patraka, Patri, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakanda, Marandaka, Ananda, Candrahasa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Sharada are the names. Descriptions of the bodily features of the anugas in Vrindavana are given in the following statement: “Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the constant associates of the son of Maharaja Nanda. They always stay in Vrindavana, and their bodies are decorated with garlands of pearls and with bangles and bracelets of gold. Their colours are like black bees and the golden moon, and they are dressed just to suit their particular special bodily features. Their specific duties can be understood from a statement by mother Yashoda, who said, ‘Bakula, please cleanse the yellowish dress of Krishna. Varika, you just flavour the bathing water with aguru scent. And Rasala, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Krishna is approaching. There is dust overhead, and the cows can be seen very distinctly.

Among all the anugas, Raktaka is the best. An example of the attachment felt by Raktaka toward Lord Krishna can be understood from his statement to Rasada: “Just hear me! Please place me so that I may always be engaged in the service of Lord Krishna, who has now become famous as the lifter of the Govardhana Hill.”[1]

It’s a very nice invitation – to become a personal servant of Krishna. Really, did you ever think of giving a special scent to Krishna’s bathing water? Or bringing something for His personal pleasure? It is not only an obligatory duty to worship Krishna in puja and in offerings. No, this is something very personal. Such a nice invitation!

“The devotees of Krishna engaged in His personal service are always very cautious because they know that becoming personal servitors of Lord Krishna is not an ordinary thing. A person who offers respect even to the ants engaged in the service of the Lord becomes eternally happy, so what is there to say of one who offers Krishna direct service? Raktaka once said within himself, “Not only is Krishna my worshipable and servable Lord, but also the girlfriends of Krishna, the gopis, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not only the gopis, but anyone who is engaged in the service of the Lord is also worshipable and servable by me. I know that I must be very careful not to become overly proud that I am one of the servitors and devotees of the Lord.” From this statement one can understand that the pure devotees, those who are actually engaged in the service of the Lord, are always very cautious and are never overly proud of their service.”

Then Shrila Rupa Goswami further describes the subsections of these different devotional sentiments. And the last section finally:

“Devotees attached to the transcendental loving service of the Lord may be described either as surrendered souls, as souls advanced in devotional knowledge, or as souls completely engaged in transcendental loving service. Such devotees are called respectively neophyte, perfect and eternally perfect.”

So, we must have full and eternal confidence that first we can qualify as neophytes; then go on to the next stage – perfect, not half perfect. And then what was the last? Eternally perfect. Yesterday we were not perfect in service, but from now on for eternity we are committed to that – that means eternally. Because fortunately our past doesn’t exist anymore. Unfortunately, our future doesn’t exist either. Time is latent or let’s say possibly existent in the future. Time is non-existent concerning the past. There is only this present moment. The past is a history, the future is a mystery and the present moment is a gift.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of devotion, Ch. 36

Leave a Reply