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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, evening, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“Question: “It is said there are five principles for Bhakti: associating with devotees, chanting Harinama, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, worshiping Tulasi, and residing in the holy Dhama. In regard to residing in the Dhama, is that for the general devotees, or just especially fortunate, or more advanced devotees?”[1]
So, who can live in a holy place? The beginner, the middle stage, or the elevated person? Three types of devotees were mentioned: kanishtha-adhikari is the beginner, the middle stage is madhyama and the highest stage is uttama. And adhikari is a very important expression. Adhikari means an eligible person, empowered to do certain service. Therefore the grihastha prabhus are usually called ‘this and this das prabhu adhikari’. Because adhikari means you are empowered to practice, you are empowered to do, you are empowered to help others. So, kanishtha means beginner, but he is also empowered to do something. Maybe he doesn’t understand too much, not so much experience. But this is good, to be a kanishtha-adhikari is good, it’s not bad. Because everybody has to start somewhere. You cannot start as a fully accomplished maha-bhagavata babaji. We start somewhere. But we have our direction, we have our goal. So, this is good. 
Yet we have to pay respect to those, who are ahead of us. And that is the madhyama. Madhyama, the middle stage devotee, is such a person who can distinguish: ‘He is even more elevated than me; he is very friendly to me; and I can help that person’. And of madhyama you might think: ‘Oh, madhyama is only a middle stage.’ But no, madhyama is very high. Madhyama-adhikari is already able to help others. 
And ultimately on the top there is uttama-adhikari, practically perfected devotee. And it is suggested that we should find uttama-adhikari as our guide. But an uttama-adhikari will not enter that service. Because he says: “Oh, I am fully satisfied with sitting here and chanting my rounds, and living in my meditation. Please, don’t bother me!” So, guru, or guide, usually acts on the middle platform. It’s not necessary to think that he is on the madhyama platform, but he acts on the madhyama platform. 
Therefore it is said that a madhyama person can already live in a holy place. That also means if you turn your home into a holy place and you live there – this is a madhyama feature. This is not the only symptom of madhyama, but proper understanding. And here again something very important is given – “religion means proper adjustment”. So please, try to remember this. Because proper adjustment is not a flexible backbone. It is not that you have no set of values. It doesn’t mean that any wind can blow you here and there. But proper adjustment means that you can see what is what, who is who. And also that you can apply the theory that you have learned in the practical life. So, all these questions must be answered: “Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I troubled? What is the real purpose?” Actually these are the symptoms of a madhyama-adhikari.
And Sanatana Goswami as the acharya of sambandha-jnana, or belonging to God, to the proper divine truth, he asks these questions from Mahaprabhu: “Who am I ultimately? And why these material conditions disturb me?” and then Mahaprabhu gave the very important answer, describing the original position of the soul. What was that?
Hayagriva: Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya – krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’. 
Swami Tirtha: Yes, krishnera tatastha-shakti bhedabheda-prakasha.[2] So, the original position of the soul – you, living entity – is that you belong to Krishna, you are living shakti, energy of the Supreme. Svarupa, your svarupa, your original form is that you belong to Him as energy. Krishnera ‘nitya-dasa’ – Krishna’s eternal servant. Krishnera tatastha-shakti – you belong to the tatastha-shakti; bheda abheda-prakasha’ – a kind of emanation, which is simultaneously similar to and different from the Lord. 
So, if you are troubled by the material environment, you should remember this answer. ‘I am Krishna’s energy – little similar to Him and more different from Him. And my original position is to do something about this connection.’ And then you will have a different vision of the previous problems. 
 
1. The Golden staircase, Ch.  2  Harmonizing Instructions Of The Upper House , by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
2.  Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 20.108


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