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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Although before I said that it’s not necessary to travel too much, right now I have to mention one place that is worth visiting. This is Mother Ganga. All the Hindus in India who follow their faith want to visit Ganga at least once in their lifetime. Why? Because for them Mother Ganga is a sacred holy river. This much we all know. But the reason why Mother Ganga is sacred we don’t know.

Actually it’s got a story. The Ganges doesn’t originate on this planet Earth. It reaches the planet, but it comes from above. Actually it comes from the head of Shiva; after touching the head of Shiva it comes to the planet Earth. So we can think: ‘Ah, this is the sanctifying power of the Ganga – it touches the head of Shiva and therefore it is so sacred.’ So much so that people go to the Ganges to take a sacred bath and purify themselves from the sins. But actually the Ganges is a heavenly river, or we can say, a cosmic river. It enters this universe by the lotus feet of Vishnu. So this cosmic water touches the feet of God, then touches the head of Lord Shiva, then it comes to the Earth and then it purifies you. On the Earth it manifests in the Himalayas.

This sacred river is considered a female, a mother. And what is the nature of a mother? Generally very gentle, but sometimes very furious. The Ganges is sometimes very furious – washing away everything on her path. Roads, bridges, temples, people – it doesn’t matter, she shall purify everything.

Once devotees in one ashram built a very special, huge statue of Lord Shiva inside the Ganges water. There was a little artificial island and on a big piece of rock there was a huge, huge, two-three times bigger than a human being figure of Shiva, sitting in a meditative posture. And usually the waters were very nicely flowing at the feet of Lord Shiva. Yet one year huge waves were covering practically the whole body of Shiva. You can imagine yourself meditating while the wild river is just pushing you. And it happened like that – the current was so strong that it destroyed this statue of Shiva.

Therefore in certain sacred spots people provide big chains tied to the bank and by holding on these chains you can take your bath in the Ganges. Otherwise the current is so strong that it will just wipe you away.

Once we had the opportunity to visit the Ganges. When we came late, in the early midday, the water was very cold. It was very difficult to take a bath at that time. So next morning we decided we have to be more strong in our sadhana and we have to go early in the morning to take a bath. And I tell you, at that time the water was very mild – warm actually! So it looks like Mother Ganga serves those who come early, she provides warm water for them. And those who are lazy and come late will receive only the cold water. So, if we are strong in our sadhana, then we can take some benefits. Mother Ganga has both cold and hot running water; hot only for those who come on time. Warm water is there, but there is some preference for those who take it serious.

But I have to tell you, such a dip is a dip in the cosmic waters. Although this is cold, you feel you are purified from innumerable lifetimes’ sins. You can perceive the spiritual purifying power there. It’s not the material quality of the water, it’s the spiritual quality. Because it comes from Lord Shiva, it comes from Lord Vishnu, divine water connects you to divinity.

So if we start our journey as human beings, and if we start from the human platform, let’s go to Mother Ganga – to enjoy the divine connection, to help us to get rid of our sins and to purify us, to come to a higher level of consciousness and existence.

 

(to be continued)

 



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