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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




 “I will sit the Divine Couple on a brilliant bedecked throne.” What is this throne? This should be our hearts. This is the practical duty of a devotee – to purify the heart so much so that it should be polished, it should be brilliant plus bedecked with jewels. Not a simply polished throne; it should be bedecked throne. What is the polish? And what are the jewels? The polish is the chanting and the jewels are the qualities – devotional qualities. There are so many, more than two dozens devotional qualities of a vaishnava. So, this is the bedecked and polished throne.

“I will be smearing Their dark and bright bodies with sandalwood paste. And I will fan Them with chamara” This also means that the service is not directed only to one person; both of Them are served. And if we make one happy, the other also becomes happy. Or if you make the other happy, the first also becomes happy and satisfied. This is a good chance – if you have some shortage, if you have some problem with one, you can go to the other; and vice versa.

And why sandalwood pulp? Because it cools the bodies. This is an offering for the highly respected persons. Plus – I will fan them with a chamara. And we should know that in certain aspects chamara is reserved for prema-bhakti. Chamara you cannot offer to anyone. This is not only a royal symbol; or a tail of a yak. This is a divine offering to Radha and Krishna. Usually chamara is offered to the kings, right? But here it is offered to the King of Love. So that shows that the king is Love, Divine Love. Of course, always put Divine Love. Because it again cools the body. And if you offer the white chamara to the black God, then you make Him remember the white Goddess. And if you offer the peacock feathered fan to the white Goddess, then you make Her remember the dark Lord, who always has a peacock feather in the hair as an ornament.

“When I will be able to see Their beautiful faces, resembling the moonshine?!” Moonlight is a message for the soul. Here it is plural: faces, resembling the moonshine. How is this possible?! Have you ever seen a black, dark moon? Something is wrong. Please, Narottam das Prabhu, there is something wrong! Only one face is like the moonshine; the other face is different. What are you talking about?!

Lokanath: The dark side of the moon.

Tirtha Maharaj: Well… That also is a very profound explanation… But I thought that although Love is the king, maybe Beauty is the queen. Hahaha! Now you are on the hook! Because you want to say: “Tirtha Prabhu! There is some problem, there is some mistake!” But this is dynamic harmony: when the black beauty is ready to give up His blackness and changes into a bright love. And when the bright love is also ready to give up Her shine, and She is ready to become black beauty. This is how to unite – not the opposites, but how to match the pairs, the different parts. But as both the faces will become shining like moonlight, we can understand that the ultimate King plus Queen in one person is Divine Love. Because the Goddess overpowers the God.

“I will make a garland from malati flowers and will put it over Their necks.” Malati flower is small, white and very fragrant. Flowers are always expression of respect and love. Here this is not respect, it is simply love. So it is used for the best purpose. Sometimes we think that if we give a flower to Krishna, in this way we enhance His beauty; but actually we enhance the beauty of the flower, by touching it toKrishna.

To make the Divine Couple, so to say, more beautiful, then we give this tambula with camphor – to make Their lips very sweet. What usually people do with the lips? Three functions: eating, talking and kissing.. But I do not want to go into details now. Most probably the malati garlanded Radha-Krishna are not talking and not eating this time. But let’s stop the story now.

So far it was the high ideals of prema-bhakti. Now comes your reality: “With the consent of the gopis, led by Vishakha and Lalita, I will serve the Divine Couple.” So, this is our level. Service is our practice, but service with a consent. Sakhi means girlfriend; the engagement of the girlfriends is simply to enhance the meeting of Radha andKrishna in different ways. This service we should join – to make the Divine Couple more happy.

Never forget that the goal of bhakti as a process of self-realization is to make others happy. The search for happiness is really a search how to make others happy. Search and serve others’ happiness.

So, our service should be given permission, or should be agreed by these high sakhis. Because that is a safe way: if we are under control, if we are under direction, then our service will be reaching the goal. And what happens if we have no access to Lalita, Vishakha and other sakhis? Then what to do? Then it is said: “Narottam das, the servant of the servants of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is hankering.” In this way we can have access to the divine blessings.

And the vaishnava as a principle, as a help, as a protector is very close. So if we find our shelter with the vaishnavas, with the holy name, with devotional practices, then these will be real shelters. Then they will help us to return to the first line: “Radha-Krishna, Jugala Kishora, are my life and death.”  Shall we start the explanation again, from the beginning? No, this is not the time for explanations, this is not the time for theories – this is the time for practice.

Question of Prema: After analyzing the last lines, we came back to the first lines, staring anew. The question is whether this “die to live” principle, this devotional death principle is repeated from time to time or is repeated on different platforms?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. It is easy for the kshatriyas – they die once and achieve heaven. It is difficult for the bramins – they die many times for the lower conceptions; as they progress they die many times, but finally they achieve perfection. But what about the vaishnava? Vaishnava is permanently dying. This is his goal, this is his fulfillment or achievement. This is the ultimate rasa, we can say. Permanent death, permanent dying is the ultimate rasa. Permanent death. Now you understand something.



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