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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




tulasi

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2017 evening, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday)

As we agreed, we have to be practical. If this is the theory – whenever there is a trouble in the world, God will appear – let’s try to put it into practice. As the whole cosmos, the universe is compared to the microcosm of a human being, in the same way the small human being is just like a big cosmos. Then, if there is a trouble in this small little universe, you can also expect that God will appear. How you will meet Him? If we apply formally this method, then you have to create a big trouble in your small system. Because then you can expect that He will come, right? So, make a big scandal! But sorry, it’s not sure that He will come.

If we want to meet the Supreme, we should apply properly the method. What was the method described here? All the superior authorities went to the next level authority. Mother Earth had a trouble – she went to the superior creator Brahma, and then they all went to Vishnu. This method we should apply: if you have trouble in your small little system, go to a higher authority. And if he doesn’t know the solution, then he will take you to the next level. It’s very practical. And then you will sit and meditate on the Supreme Lord, trying to find some answers.

Usually we expect that authorities should know the answers. But my dear ones, a stupid person can ask much more questions than a wise man can answer. And sometimes it happens that even the greatest authorities cannot find the proper answer. May I give you an example of that? You know, sacred objects deserve sacred attention. In the long list of devotional practices, there are many different services recommended – of course chanting the holy names, associating with the sadhus, visiting the temples, coming together on lectures, but also service to the cows, respect to the sacred trees for example, and also to a very special plant – the tulasi. Tulasi is like a bush. It’s also called vrinda. I think we have heard this name? Vrinda-vana; vana is a ‘forest’. And this vrinda is a personification of devotion in a form of a bush. It’s very sacred. And in Vrindavana they grow like a jungle – because this is the place of dedication, this is the place of devotion.

Once I visited India, I went to buy some books in a bookstore, we were selecting a long list and spending so much time; there was one senior Indian gentleman and he asked: “Ah, very nice that you came to India; which places you are going to visit?” I said: “Well, basically we shall go to Vrindavan.” He said: “Vrindavan! Why?! You should go to Kashi, to Benares – there is the Sanskrit knowledge. If you go to Vrindavana, there is only devotion.” And I said: “Correct! Therefore we shall go to Vrindavana!” Because this is the forest of bushes of dedication – this is what we are searching for!

So, tulasi is a very sacred object. It is said Krishna doesn’t accept any offering without the tulasi leaves. Therefore in the duties of a pujari, a person who is doing the service, it’s a very important point to go out in the early mornings, and collect the manjaris and the fresh leaves of the tulasis from the garden for the worship in the temple. It’s something very secret! Of course this is very beneficial, very useful also like a medical herb. But we don’t pay attention to this practical use, but we pay attention to the secret identity of the tulasi. Even while you pick the flowers and the manjaris from the tulasi you have to be very careful. First excuse yourself when you pick one leaf, ask for blessings and then you go.

(to be continued)



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