Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“King Rahugana continued: “You have said: “I am not fatigued from labor.” Although the soul is different from the body, there is fatigue because of bodily labor, and it appears to be the fatigue of the soul. When you are carrying the palanquin, there is certainly labor for the soul. This is my conjecture. You have also said that the external behavior exhibited between the master and the servant is not factual, but although in the phenomenal world it is not factual, the products of the phenomenal world can actually affect things. That is visible and experienced. As such, even though material activities are impermanent, they cannot be said to be untrue.”[1]

You see, before it was a superior-to-subordinate connection – the king was ready to chastise the servant for carrying the palanquin in an improper manner. This is a one way communication – ‘I give the order and you follow’. But when Jada Bharata also expressed himself telling: “Oh, very nice! Although you are not a king and I’m not a servant, but if you like, all right, be a king!” So, with this humble and very meaningful opinion he just smashed the pride of the king. Not really the pride, the feeling of position of a king. And then a different type of communication started, a philosophical exchange. “You have said like this, but I say like that. This was your opinion and that is my opinion.” It’s a very polished way of spiritual debate, an exchange.

“The King continued: My dear sir, you have said that designations like bodily fatness and thinness are not characteristics of the soul. That is incorrect because designations like pain and pleasure are certainly felt by the soul. You may put a pot of milk and rice within fire, and the milk and rice are automatically heated one after the other. Similarly, due to bodily pains and pleasures, the senses, mind and soul are affected. The soul cannot be completely detached from this conditioning.”[2] Very good reasoning. This last sentence we can hardly debate with – that the soul cannot be completely detached from this conditioning.

“My dear sir, you have said that the relationship between the king and the subject or between the master and the servant are not eternal, but although such relationships are temporary, when a person takes the position of a king, his duty is to rule the citizens and punish those who are disobedient to the laws. By punishing them, he teaches the citizens to obey the laws of the state. Again, you have said that punishing a person who is deaf and dumb is like chewing the chewed or grinding the pulp; that is to say, there is no benefit in it. However, if one is engaged in his own occupational duty as ordered by the Supreme Lord, his sinful activities are certainly diminished. Therefore if one is engaged in his occupational duty by force, he benefits because he can vanquish all his sinful activities in that way.

Whatever you have spoken appears to me to be contradictory. O best friend of the distressed, I have committed a great offense by insulting you. I was puffed up with false prestige due to possessing the body of a king. For this I have certainly become an offender. Therefore I pray that you kindly glance at me with your causeless mercy. If you do so, I can be relieved from sinful activities brought about by insulting you.”[3]

You see these two verses seem like contradictory. Because previously the king said: ”If somebody performs his or her occupational duty, dharma, the karmic consequences are eliminated”. And here it is said “But if I act as a king trying to rule, or instruct you, I might offend you. So, I may create new karma.” So, then what to do? Stick to our dharma or not to stick to our dharma? If we do our occupational duty, shall it eliminate the problems or create more problems? Where is the solution? ‘Life is so complicated! Please, somebody instruct me what to do!’

Therefore we need to come to the spiritual platform. On the relative platform there is no end of the questions and problems. And we cannot eliminate one problem with another one. Especially in this age we are engaged in so many unusual activities. It’s called ugra-karma – so many strange, negative, frightening activities. And sometimes our life, our occupation, our profession is like floating in the air, it’s not real. Today a big majority of people are working in IT. I’m sure if Krishna appeared today, He wouldn’t speak to a fighter, but He would speak to an IT manager or something, because it’s more up to date. But do you know what the definition of an IT engineer is? You don’t know. He is such a person who resolves problems which wouldn’t exist without the computers. So, this is our reality – we resolve problems which actually don’t exist.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.21

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.22

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.23-24

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