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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




“Yogi Babaji said to Pandit Babaji: “I have one doubt. It is this: If we do not recognize and practice pranayama, dhyana and dharana on the path of yoga, then how can we attain rasa-samadhi[1]? In order to awaken one’s constitutional position within the heart, one is required to execute sadhana. What is the sadhana for arousing raga or spontaneous attachment?”[2]

 

Very important question. Because the sadhana has a goal. Sadhana has a sadhya to be achieved. Sadhana is the practice, sadhya is the goal and sadhaka is the practitioner. If you practice something, what shall you achieve? It should be clarified in the beginning. If somebody wants to achieve yogasamadhipranayama and etc. is very appropriate. But if you want to achieve rasa-samadhi then what is the method, what should be done?

 

“On hearing the question everyone looked expectantly on Pandit das Babaji’s grave and auspicious face. Malik Mahasaya became a little astonished. Perhaps he had believed that Yogi Babaji was the greatest vaishnava. On Yogi Babaji’s inquiry Malik Mahasaya understood that Yogi Babaji respected Pandit das Babaji like his guru. He then looked on Pandit das Babaji with great respect.”

 

From this we can understand that first you meet one vaishnava and he can provide you many things. But then you will understand that even that vaishnava has his sources to consult, to learn, to see. But it should not diminish the appreciation in you. Rather you should take the method – always try to search for consultation. It helps in many cases.  So Pandit das Babaji began to speak:

 

“It is difficult for the conditioned soul to act on the spiritual platform with pure spiritual attachment. It is this pure spiritual attachment which is pervertedly transformed into material attachment. As material attachment increases, the spiritual attachment proportionately decreases. As spiritual attachment increases, material attachment proportionately decreases. This is the natural characteristic of the living entity. It is not that subjugating material attachment awakens spiritual attachment. Many people take to renunciation just to subjugate material attachment, but they don’t try to increase their spiritual attachment. This ends in misfortune.

 

“Thought and practice like dhyana, pratyahara, and dharana are advised for attaining the end result of awakening one’s spiritual attachment. And many people practice these. But they don’t sufficiently discuss how to attain spiritual attachment . That is why often yogis become captivated by yogic opulence and ultimately fail to attain spiritual attachment. In comparison vaishnava practices are superior. One may develop attachment to whatever activities are required to be performed in human life and one may simply think and labor hard while endeavoring to achieve the Absolute Truth, yet are those who work in this way able to quickly awaken spiritual attachment? If a sadhaka keeps his attempts to develop spiritual attachment as a separate activity in his life, then he will be pulled by material attachment on one hand and spiritual consciousness on the other.” This is kind of schizophrenia. Material, spiritual – I am torn apart. „In that case his life will follow whichever attachment is greater. A boat moves by the strength of the oars.  But when the water’s current carries away the boat, the oars are defeated. In the same way as the sadhaka tries to cross the ocean with the boat of the mind and carries the oars like dhyana, pratyahara and dharana, sometimes the current of attachment quickly carries him in sense gratification.”

 

Now comes the final answer:

 

“But devotional service to Vishnu is executed with spontaneous love. The sadhaka certainly achieves spiritual attachments in no time through spontaneous devotional service.  One should know what the current of attachment is. Whatever the heart of the conditioned soul naturally likes and whatever things he accepts for his maintenance are all material attachments in human life. After consideration it is observed that among these attachments there are five kinds connected with the five sense organs. Being attracted to the sense objects the mind runs towards them. One eats with the tongue, smells with the nose, hears with the ears, feels with the skin and sees with the eyes. The mind of the conditioned soul is always attached to some sense object. What power can detach the mind from the objects of the senses? Although dry impersonal speculation could be helpful to some extent in this matter, still due to the passive nature of impersonal Brahman the worshipper is unable to get complete strength. Therefore the yogis and gyanis[3] face so many difficulties, but in devotional service there are no difficulties. The lives of Krishna’s devotees are not separated from Brahman. Material attachment and spiritual attachment on this path are non-different. When the mind wants to see the sense object through the eyes – good!-  let it see the beauty of the Deity. In this case material and spiritual enjoyment are the same. You want to hear – then hear the songs and talks which glorify Krishna. Do you like to eat palatable dishes? Then offer all types of tasty dishes to Lord Krishna and accept the prasadam. To smell – there is a tulasi and sandalwood pulp which was offered to Lord Krishna. Like this, all objects are spiritualized for the practitioner of Krishna consciousness. One who executes Krishna consciousness is always merged in spiritual existence. All of his activities enhance his spiritual attachment. For him the activities of the senses are not impediments rather they are the means of attaining love of God.”

 

So, for a devotee the senses and the sense objects are not only enemies, but also helpers. Through the body and the bodily senses you can be connected to the Supreme, because actually the body and the sense organs are the main instrument for the soul. Therefore this is something very important. It is actually a sacred instrument in order to achieve the supreme goal. Very useful. And only a bad master is complaining with the tools.

 

Right here and now we should use all our channels to come in connection with Krishna. Stay in yoga!

 

 

[1] Retrieval of living entity’s constitutional position in the pastimes of Krishna

 

[2] From “Prema-pradipa” by Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

[3] Gyanis – gyana yoga practitioners



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