Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Kirtan is just like you are sitting under a wish fulfilling tree in Vrindavan, chanting your japa or doing your other meditations. And all of a sudden a sankirtan party is approaching; and then it is just fading away in oblivion. But the spiritual assets never fade and whatever we have been provided by the Supreme Lord is never lost. Therefore we should also work hard and pray hard in order not to lose ourselves. We are allowed to lose ourselves only in one direction. We know that direction, so work hard to accomplish that.

So, we shall read from Chaitanya Charitamrita:

O devotees, may the transcendental life and characteristics of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu always be heard, chanted and meditated upon with great happiness. All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is all-merciful! All glories to Nityananda Prabhu, who is an ocean of mercy! All glories to Advaita Acarya, who is also an ocean of mercy! All glories to all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, whose hearts are always filled with mercy! The mind of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was always morose because of the continuously manifested feeling of separation from Krishna. The Lord would cry: haha krishna prana-natha vrajendra-nandana! kahan yana kahan pana, murali-vadana! – ‘O My Lord Krishna, My life and soul! O son of Nanda Maharaja, where shall I go? Where shall I attain You? O Supreme Personality who play with Your flute to Your mouth!’ This was His situation day and night. Unable to find peace of mind He passed His nights with great difficulty in the company of Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya. Meanwhile all the devotees journeyed from their homes in Bengal to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”[1]

This is a story of a life, pastimes on this planet Earth. And you know, many times I had the feelings that we should think and talk a little bit about Lord Jesus. Why? If we start Chaitanya Charitamria, why the Jesus story? Mahaprabhu didn’t end up on the cross, He had different lilas. Still, if we try to capture or understand the mood how both of them came, they came as liberators and saviors. So, this is an archetype role on the divine platform – to save the fallen souls. In the Christian terminology it’s called the sinful human beings. In our terminology it is like the fallen souls, or those engrossed in the deep illusion, etc, but the point is the same – we are here and we belong there. And someone has to help us. The function of these two personalities is very similar. Jesus is always talking about the Father. “If you see me, you see the Father.” This is the mystic expression because guru and God are just like replica of each other. But understand it properly: it’s not the same, yet guru helps us to remember and to come closer to the Supreme. Therefore if you see the master, you can see the Father.

In the same way: Mahaprabhu is always talking about the Divine Couple, Radha-Krishna, and He acts like a devotee. Therefore again this is a very deep parallel between the roles of these personalities. Also, if we see or try to examine some of the moods, some of the words or expression of the teachings. What did Lord Jesus say? “I can tell you much more, but you wouldn’t understand.” And Srila Sridhara Maharaj once when entering his room, he just turned back and said: ”If you knew where I am entering…” So, its very similar, there is something that we don’t know, something that we don’t understand. And also, as the teachers of dharma both of them are very similar, very close. Of course the details are different, because one was preaching in front of very simple Jewish traders and fishermen, so that was one setup, one environment. And the other was… of course we see many simple devotees around, selling the barks of banana trees, or something like this, but they come from His entourage. So, they are part of a higher hierarchy. But both of them preach about divine love and mercy as the way of real salvation – faith, mercy. So, what is the yuga-dharma of Kali Yuga? It’s chanting the holy names, we know, but generally, as a principle, salvation is based on mercy. This is a mercy path. And even the holy name is included in “The Lord’s prayer”. So, hints are here and there, and if you want to see the parallels and similarities you will see, if you don’t want to see – nobody can show you.

And here one special mood of Mahaprabhu is mentioned, that His days and nights passed in sorrow. Of course, this is a big book, so we see other moods also: as happy, dancing in ecstasy. But here it is mentioned that He was deeply touched by the separation from the Supreme. And there are some notes – it’s not sure if it is true or not, but it doesn’t really matter – from some soldiers and some agents from the Roman Empire describing Lord Jesus. His complexion is described as very bright and very shining, and he is behaving like this and that. It is said that hardly ever he laughs, but many times he cries for the fate of humanity. And this is a very nice parallel between the two personalities – one is crying for the human beings, because they are separated from the Supreme, the other crying for Himself, because He feels separated from the Divine Couple. So the yuga-dharma is tears.

But we have to understand these parallels very properly and very carefully. Because there are some tendencies when people want to unite or unify different things into one mixture. This is called syncretism – when they want to unite different paths, different religions. But if we want to make it cheap, it will not help. Because if you syncretize the sabji and the halva, it will not give a good taste. Although they both go to the stomach and there it is mixed up, yet if you mix everything on the plate, then it’s not so nice. So, cheap syncretism is not good. Because on the material platform there are differences for some good reason. One is one, and the other is another thing. But there are parallels, and there are similarities. Why? Because they come from the same Divine Source. And the problem is the same – we are here in a rotten condition. So, they want to provide a solution for this problem. And it was mentioned that even Himself and His devotees are like an ocean of mercy – that means compassion, right. And how can you be really compassionate without sharing the troubles of others, or shedding a few tears here and there for their suffering?

So, these very subtle similarities between the roles, the actions, the purpose of the actions, and the moods of these personalities – I think it’s a good topic to ponder, to think. And both of them came very close to human beings. Saviors act like this, with the full strength of the divine empowerment, they are ready to come very close to you. Therefore it is said, whenever you feel that you have come closer to God, it’s the opposite – He is approaching you.

[1]“Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Antya-lila, 12.1-7

Leave a Reply