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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

What is the definition of service? One definition of service is that you offer the results of your activities. It’s like a business transaction – this doesn’t satisfy your heart. But another definition of service is a permanent and affectionate meditation. Ah, it’s better! This type of service we like – when we can affectionately think of somebody. It’s a good service. Therefore to think of Krishna, to glorify Him, to chant His names – this is also considered service. Permanent affectionate meditation.

And how can we perform, with what assets can we perform our service?

Answers: Our time. Our capacities. With heart and soul.

Swami Tirtha: Ah, come on! Be more practical! Forget about all this romantic spiritual stuff! Give me something real.

Answer: Money, hands.

Swami Tirtha: Correct! The first object that you can engage in the service is your money. That means – your extended wealth. Therefore in every temple you visit, wherever you go on this planet Earth you will find a donation box – just to engage this capacity in the service. Just to help us to remember: ‘Ah, wait a minute, I have a chance for service.’ But although “money is sweeter than honey”, nevertheless this is something very external, this is not you. ‘Service’ means ‘I give something’, right? But if you give something that is not you – it’s only some metal or paper – it’s very external.

The second way to serve is vach – with the words. When you speak about God: glorification, preaching – it’s another service. You see, now it’s closer to you. It’s not some object outside, externally, but your bodily capacity. You engage your body, your speech in the service.

And if we go more inside, then what is the next level of service? When you think, when you dedicate your thoughts to God. No second thought – He is the first. It’s very close to us. It’s so hard to differentiate between ‘my thoughts, my feelings and myself’. So it’s almost you!

And finally on the fourth platform – this is prana; you can serve with your life, with your breath. When you dedicate your life to the service. You see the gradation: on the first level you might think that ‘I can buy God or salvation with some little money’. Sorry, it doesn’t work. We have to give everything, we have to give our life. Then maybe there will be some feedback; maybe not – who knows!

But also if we are more focused in our practices, we can follow the rules given by God. To follow all the social and religious rules and regulations – this is also like an offering, like a sacrifice. And finally on the topmost platform, as you said, with something fully internal: if with a high level of selfless affection we dedicate ourselves – this is a prema-bhakta.

Here comes some good advice. It’s not enough that first you act and then you offer. First you make your job and then you say: “Ah! But my God, this is for You!” No – first try to offer this to Him. He is first.

But you know, sometimes it is difficult to find what is dear to Him today. What is His expectation for today? We have to inquire somehow what is expected from us. Of course if somebody has a direct connection to the Supreme, it’s all right, you can listen directly to the advice. In case not, then what can we do? We can make our list of suggestions. Then we may pray: “My dear Lord, this is my desire to serve You today with this and this activities. This is my opinion, this is my offering. But what is Your opinion?” So please, try to connect, try to pray like this – have a plan, but be ready to accept His opinion.

 

(to be continued)

 



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