Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.05.2017 morning, Rila)

 (continues from the previous Friday)

 Again we jump back to the core of the story of Bharata Maharaja. We discussed that in this ideal and very beautiful environment, as Bharata Maharaj was practicing, he met this small deer and all his attention was immediately focused on the deer. Due to affection, due to compassion he started to take care. But this attachment started to grow more and more and occupy his consciousness practically fully. Have you ever perceived that feeling? When something started to happen in your life and it just overtook you fully. It didn’t let you free, it just engrossed you so much.

“After perceiving the moonshine, Bharata Maharaj continued speaking like a crazy person. He said: “The deer’s son was so submissive and dear to me that due to its separation I am feeling separation from my own son. Due to the burning fever of this separation, I am suffering as if inflamed by a forest fire. My heart, which is like the lily of the land, is now burning. Seeing me so distressed, the moon is certainly splashing its shining nectar upon me — just as a friend throws water on another friend who has a high fever. In this way, the moon is bringing me happiness.” Shukadeva Gosvami continued: “My dear King, in this way Bharata Maharaj was overwhelmed by an uncontrollable desire which was manifest in the form of the deer. Due to the fruitive results of his past deeds, he fell down from mystic yoga, austerity and worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If it were not due to his past fruitive activity, how could he have been attracted to the deer after giving up the association of his own son and family, considering them stumbling blocks on the path of spiritual life? How could he show such uncontrollable affection for a deer? This was definitely due to his past karma. The King was so engrossed in petting and maintaining the deer that he fell down from his spiritual activities.”[1]

So, sometimes it happens. You feel you are very fixed in your spiritual achievements, in your practices, you feel some accomplishment there. And then another chapter starts in your life when it all seems like evaporating. All that you had is just gone from your hands. Sometimes you feel bad about it, you feel the loss. But here Bharata Maharaja was satisfied, because he had the company of the deer. ‘A practical substitute to some theoretical fantasies – perfection, peace, meditation. Come on, let’s be practical! The deer is here to me and I can embrace!’ But other times we are sorry about our loss and we perceive this diminishing spiritual power or commitment with some apprehension.

Do you agree with such a substitute? To substitute worship of God for the worship of a deer? Is it a good bargain? Well, what is the prayer of Raghunath das Goswami? “Without my spiritual superior, Vrindavana is not pleasant. And the caves on the Govardhana Hill are just like the open mouth of a snake.” So, we have to consider many, many points.

And “In due course of time, insurmountable death, which is compared to a venomous snake that enters the hole created by a mouse, situated itself before him”.

This is one small little factor, that we all have to face. Our career in this life is: live, love and leave. We have entered the labyrinth of material life and one day we shall leave this place. Therefore it is suggested to live just as if this was your last day and to act as if you were working for eternity. Please, don’t forget this.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.8.25-26

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