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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015 evening, Ludashto)
 
The other day we discussed how to maintain a tradition, how to serve a tradition. And we agreed: if we perform the favorable activities for that – we serve. But usually we have another question: ‘How to?’ How to serve? How to do it better? The answer is given in the sacred tradition: nityam bhagavata sevaya[1] – by always serving the bhagavata you can achieve your spiritual goals. 
What is nityam, what is ‘eternal service’? Yesterday we didn’t serve bhagavata; today we serve and we have to serve it eternally. So what kind of eternity is this? This nityam means ‘from now on’. Without an end. This should be our ambition, a very high ambition. 
Then what is bhagavata? Bhagavata is something that is connected to Bhagavan. Bhagavata means ‘something belonging, describing Bhagavan’. And there are two types of bhagavatas: one is written in a book form and the other is a living form bhagavata. The written form is the Shrimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavata Purana – this is the ripe fruit of all the Vedic literature. And the living bhagavata is a person who lives according to the principles of the Bhagavatam – this is the pure devotee. 
Nityam bhagavata sevaya – by serving, eternal service to bhagavata we can achieve our goal. What is seva? Seva in need is seva indeed. And what is this need? Some say that the Divinities are thirsty for the devotion of human beings. Why – because they are so selfish? No, because this is the exchange. They are desperately waiting for the prayers, in order that they can share their blessings. In the same way, Mahaprabhu is very happy if devotees chant the holy names. So we know that seva, real service, is selfless chanting of the holy names. And we can serve the Supreme by chanting His names. 
You know, once I was chanting my rounds in the afternoon. It was a very beautiful September day, bright afternoon, the sunshine was entering the temple-room. This was a new ashram that we have found, a rented place. After a long day of moving all the belongings to the ashram it was finally a peaceful and lonely afternoon. I was chanting and all of a sudden a feeling came to me: ‘Ah, my dear Lord, please, keep me in this mood, keep me in this company!’ 
So, chanting your rounds, chanting your prayers and mantras will give you very beneficial thoughts. This is a source of inspiration for devotees – if you chant, you can enter into a mood of connection, you are connected to the higher reality. This is our mystic exercise and mystic experience – when through chanting and singing and praying something opens up in front of our eyes. And through this, devotion will become like an irrevocable fact in the purified heart of a devotee. 
 
1. Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18

 



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