Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Dec

19


shining ocean

“Out of compassion for the fallen souls, Sri Krisna Caitanya came to this world with His personal associates and divine abode to teach saranagati[1], surrender to the almighty Godhead, and to freely distribute ecstatic love of God, which is ordinarily very difficult to obtain. This saranagati is the very life of the true devotee.The youthful son of Nanda Maharaja, Sri Krishna, hears the prayers of anyone who takes refuge in Him by this six-fold practice. Bhaktivinoda places a straw between his teeth, prostrates himself before the two Goswamis, Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, and clasps their lotus feet with his hands. “I am certainly the lowest of men,” he tells them weeping, “but please make me the best of men by teaching me the ways of saranagati.”[2]

This song should be the everyday prayer of a vaishnava. Because we start from the present assets that we have. And usually a human being is full of… full of what?

Rukmini: Illusions.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah! I would say potentials – to put it softer. But when we say “a man is full of potential” that means he’s got nothing, right? Nothing proper, only the future hopes. Nevertheless this should be an inspiring situation. Because if our cup is empty, then we can fill it up with nectar. If it is filled with poison of illusion, then it is very difficult to add anything. And if we don’t have anything, then we have the mood to pray for blessings. If we think that we are accomplished, that we have got everything, we have achieved everything materially, spiritually – then what is the use of prayer as we are driven by our false ego and it is fully satisfied? And what is the use of prayers, as God should satisfy your desires, right? Better to have this empty mood – to be filled up.

Nevertheless, we start from the present situation where we are. And really human beings are full of potentials. And in most of the case we cannot even imagine what kind of potentials we have got. Because intellectual understanding is very far from practical realization. And if we would understand the full potential all of a sudden, it would burden us a little bit. Therefore it is better not to understand everything from the beginning. Take the nectar only drop by drop. A drop of divine nectar – I mean a drop on the spiritual plane – is like a vast ocean on the material plane. What is less than a blink of an eye for Krishna – this is the period of lifetime of one universe, three hundred thousand billion years. What is a drop for Krishna this is an ocean for us. What is natural for Him is an incredible miracle for us.

 



[1] The ways of saranagati are humility, dedication of the self, acceptance of the Lord as one’s only maintainer, faith that Krishna will surely protect, execution of only those acts favorable to pure devotion, and renunciation of conduct adverse to pure devotion.

[2] “Sharanagati” – a song by Bhaktivinoda Thakura



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