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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Sri Guru Vandana

(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaja, 19 of July 2009, Sofia)

 

 

If we speak about spiritual life, sooner or later we shall find an indispensable element of our progress – and this is the spiritual master. This song very nicely describes our connection, our attitude towards the divine master.

 

“The lotus feet of the spiritual master are the abode of pure devotional service”

 

The guru represents the divine principle of guidance and teaching. And whenever you see Krishna, you should start from down to up, elevate your vision gradually. First we focus on the lotus feet of our Lord. And what happens if we see lotus feet? Immediately attraction will come and mood of service, willingness of service. The great saints say that the lotus feet of Shri Guru also has a very special effect. Because the eyes of human beings are blinded by illusion – this is the material disease. But these feet, the lotus feet have a special effect. Because there is an ointment, that comes from this lotus. And by this ointment, if you apply it on your eyes, you will have perfect vision. But how to obtain that ointment from the lotus feet? By grabbing! Not only the lotus feet, but also the chance for service. And why we have this vision? Because “the lotus feet of our master are abode of the pure devotional service.” This is the shelter of PURE devotional service. Usually we use our feet to approach a certain destination. A pure saint uses his feet only to achieve one destination – and this is the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. But He is also using His lotus feet to achieve some destination – and that is the divine company of His loving devotees. So by following the footsteps of our master we shall reach God Supreme. And by following the footsteps of the Lord… you will see what you will reach.

 

“I bow down to these lotus feet with great veneration and attention.”

 

Therefore with all my respects and all my attention I offer my respects at his lotus feet. So this means that the vision of the lotus feet involves respect and attention. Why respect? Because without taking a subordinate position we cannot learn. If we think that we know, it’s very difficult to teach. Therefore if you meet a person and you see his feet, what you should do with your head? If you want to see, if you want to observe, you have to nod a little. At least nodding! More enthusiastic can bow down; others can also catch on the lotus feet. But this respect, and also the attention, is necessary for the transaction of guru-shishya relationship.

 

“My dear brother, my mind, by the mercy of our spiritual master we can leave behind material existence and we can reach for Krishna.”

 

So if we have good friendship with our mind, then he will listen to us. Hey, let’s follow the footsteps of our spiritual master! Both of us – you and me. It’s not only that I follow and you oppose. We should go together. Because this is the way to leave material existence. And how can you leave something behind? If you have a goal, if you have something better to achieve. And then it says:

 

“You should engrave it into your heart that the teaching that emanates from the lotus mouth of our spiritual master and don’t desire anything else. Guru mukha padma vakya chittete kariya aikya”

 

So the words, emanating from the lips of the master we should engrave into our hearts. Not that we put them into books and then keep them on the shelf. Or – we use in devotional service both our ears that are given by Krishna; the message one in, one out. Meanwhile that vibration, entering one ear, must go deep, be engraved into our hearts. And then may be it will not leave on the other side, but in the front side, the mouth.

 

“The best method of spiritual improvement is if you are attached to the lotus feet of your master.”

 

Sometimes it is difficult to translate these beautiful expressions. Because actually it is said rati. And rati is not a simple attachment. Rati is just like a high voltage of love. So this is not a simple emotion, this is beyond human capacities. Shri guru charane rati – we must have this attachment, this enthusiasm for that representative. Ei se uttama gati; uttama gati means the highest achievement. So you can differentiate whether by attaching to the lotus feet of our master we shall achieve something higher – or this is the highest achievement. Whether we use the spiritual master as a ladder and then when we are up in the higher floor we just kick out the ladder from our life. Or maybe not. So uttama gati, the highest achievement is contained around the lotus feet of the spiritual master.

 

“By his mercy all the desires for spiritual perfection will be fulfilled.”

 

I think it is not necessary to explain this.

 

“From lifetime to lifetime he is my Lord, because he had given me the spiritual vision.”

 

Why we respect the spiritual master? We should not be fanatics of a cult. This is not a personality cult. But this is a divine culture of personal philosophy. You feel the difference? So we respect the spiritual master, because he has given us a special vision, a special eye. Before we had only seen the darkness and the light, black and white. Now we have a different vision. It’s not only the dark night and the full moon, black and white. But everything speaks about the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna. Therefore we appreciate his contribution. He has given us the divine vision. Therefore janme janme prabhu sei – he is my Prabhu, he is my Lord, life after life.

 

“By his mercy divine wisdom has settle in my heart, which dispels the darkness of ignorance and gives me the gift of prema bhakti.”

 

So beyond the divine vision, or the spiritual vision, you will achieve a divine wisdom also. Divya gyan, the divine knowledge will be manifested in our hearts and this knowledge is like prakash, like effulgence. And one single ray of light will dispel the darkness. This special knowledge will also deliver us prema bhakti, the enthusiastic devotion.

 

Vede gyay – all the Vedas sing the glories of the spiritual master.

“Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the best friend of the fallen souls, the teacher of all and the life of all.”

 

To have well-wishers is very precious. To have some people who work, and think, and meditate for our benefit. May be we do not perceive the effect of this meditation, of these prayers, but others can see on you very much. Because our vision is still blurred by illusion a little bit. Although Guru, Krishna and the Vaishnavas all try to give us the divine vision, we are still blinded a little bit – either by the darkness, or by light.

 

“O master, please be merciful to me and give me the shelter of your lotus feet. Be glorious in all three worlds!”

 

So this is one very remarkable, very important aspect of our spiritual life – this spiritual commitment to the line of teachers. Because by connecting to a master, you don’t connect only to one person. The guru person represents the samastha guru – all the unlimited line and family and tradition of gurus. So immediately by contacting one, you will achieve many.



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