Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 03.10.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

“Shrila Bhaktivinod Thakur has written that in general the measurement of a Vaishnava is according to his degree of humility. His natural, real humility. Only a show of humility has no value. Imitation has no value anywhere. Proper humility can only come when one feels his connection with the autocratic Lord and master. Then only can he feel himself as humble. The master is an autocrat and the servant has no position. This is a matter of realization and not a mathematical truth. In connection with an autocrat, he has no real position. And if a person accepts this truth naturally, not artificially, he will automatically be the humblest. The servant of an autocrat has no position and no ego whatsoever; therefore he will possess natural humility – and that is his wealth. What sort of wealth is that? It is such that it can capture the autocrat. Service is of that type. A real servant has such a position in relation to his master. And vice-versa – the master is also addicted to his servant.” Addicted! “One party is surrendering and the master is also naturally attracted to that sincere servant.”[1]

I think, very harsh words! “Servant, autocrat, you have absolutely no position…” We want to run away. We want a good position. We want to enjoy our freedom. And we don’t like autocrats – except if it is us! By the way, in brackets: do you know what is the definition of corruption? “Corruption is such a business which doesn’t involve us.” Do you get it? ‘It’s not my business, therefore we call it corruption.’ If you project that in a spiritual way, if somehow we are not part of something, we feel excluded. And then you feel like: ‘better I defame this whole thing, because I’m not a part of it, I’m so envious’. In order to avoid that separation, that being excluded, better we come as servant – to be included. Even if I have no position, even if this whole divine system is autocratic. Because actually it is like this! Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is not chosen by the subordinates. Elections every four years – it’s not sure whether He will remain in His position or not. No, never! It doesn’t happen like this! So, don’t bring your trainings into divine affairs. The superiority of the Supreme is not a question of voting. Therefore this expression ‘autocrat’ is used. Autocrat means He can do anything.

But what is the quality of the servant? Or better I say: what is the quality of the service? Because we can say that service is in between the servant and the master – this is a relationship between the servant and the master. That’s something separate. And what is the quality of that service? That relationship will bind them together. This is the natural expression of the servant: ‘I’m here to serve You.’ And that will be the very natural demand of the Supreme: ‘Ah, so nice that you are here to serve Me!’ As it was said, the master becomes addicted to the servant: ‘Ah, he is always around.’ So it’s a very powerful bondage between the two parties. Actually we can say that this is the meeting point. Therefore both parties are running after this service connection. And now this is theology. The autocrat is God Supreme, the servant is us – the human beings. And bhakti, or prema, is the connection between the two. This is where they meet. This is the special quality of this connection – it will bring both the Supreme and the subordinate closer to each other. Therefore we worship Bhakti Devi, the service mood personified. When she is personified like this, we worship her, because she will connect us.

Do you follow? ‘Service, service’ – it doesn’t sound very well, right? But if we understand what is the content, what is the meaning, the depth of this service – as this is divine connection, the divine meeting point between God Supreme and us human beings – then it starts to have a different context, a different meaning.

(to be continued)

[1] Shridhara Maharaj, Centenary Anthology



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