Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




gopi-bhava

(continues from the previous Friday)

 

Point number seven is: “Live in a holy place where God lives”. What is the residence of God?

Answer: In our hearts.

Swami Tirtha: Very good. So, it’s not the external temple that we have to build, but this is the internal temple. Because for practical reason it’s impossible that everybody moves in an ashram, or a temple. But you can make your home a temple. That is possible. And that is also possible that you purify your heart so much that Krishna accepts that heart as a residence. So, the internal temple we should build. And that again means that we are not on the bodily platform, we are not on the intellectual platform, but we are in the emotional house of our body. Krishna doesn’t live in your down chakras, He doesn’t live in your upper chakras, He lives in your central chakra. Krisnasuryasama – Krishna is like the sun and the lower chakras are your earth element, the middle chakra is your sun element, the upper chakras are your moon element. So, the Krishna-sun can come only to the sun platform of your existence, of your body. And therefore you also should not reside in your down chakras. Life is not only for running after women – except the gopis, all right. And life is not only for speculations. But human life is basically for purifying all our emotions, because this is the point of breakthrough. You should reside in your purified heart center, sun center and then Krishna can come in that heart, and you can meet Krishna there. This is the meaning of “Live in a holy place where God lives”.

Question of Hri Shakti: What is the feeling when you achieve this position? How to recognize if we have achieved this position to live in the heart?

Swami Tirtha: If you meet Krishna, then you are there.

Hri Shakti: I haven’t met Him yet.

Swami Tirtha: He is waiting.

Hri Shakti: I am waiting, too.

Swami Tirtha: Then it will happen.

Hri Shakti: At least I can make some steps.

Swami Tirtha: Sure. When we chant the maha-mantra it is just like the sign of welcome on the door of our existence. We say: “Hare Krishna! Oh, my Lord, welcome!” But when He enters, please serve Him nice. So, it’s not enough only to put an invitation. Also when He comes, pay some attention. But how can you recognize that you are there? How can you recognize if you are hungry?

Hri Shakti: I feel pain in the stomach sometimes.

Swami Tirtha: And how can you recognize if you are not hungry anymore?

Hri Shakti: One is if I eat the food; or if the time for food has passed and I still haven’t had any food, I will not be hungry, it will pass.

Swami Tirtha: Same way, same method you can use, but one is satisfying and the other is more demanding. Yoga or self-control, or tapasya means you don’t give food to your soul, but bhakti means we supply the prasadam to our heart. “Jive doya” be merciful to jiva. And you are a jiva, so you should be merciful towards yourself. You should take some nectar for yourself, supply your heart, supply your soul with the nectar of immortality. And when we eat, we shall feel some symptoms. The first symptom is that your need or your desire is diminished. If I am hungry, I have a big desire for foodstuffs; when I eat, this desire diminishes. I become satisfied. This satisfaction is the second symptom that you will perceive – the negative feeling diminishes and the positive feeling enters. And the third symptom will be that you will gain some energy. So, if you come to the realized platform in your spiritual practice, then the emptiness of your heart diminishes, the fulfillment comes and you will feel this new level of energy. So, these are the three symptoms by which you can judge where you are.

Hri Shakti: Sometimes I am more satisfied when the others eat and when they are satisfied with the prasadam.

Swami Tirtha: This is a higher level of realization, this is your gopi-bhava. Because the gopis are more satisfied if they can help others to come closer to Krishna than if they meet Krishna. Don’t think that gopi-bhava will come only in the spiritual sky, something that ‘I am unable to achieve’. No, this is your gopi-bhava – you derive more happiness from the happiness of others than from your own happiness. This is the intelligent way of becoming happy. So, serve others and you will be happy, help others to become spiritually satisfied and you will be spiritually satisfied. Give and you will be given.

All right, but the next question is how to recognize if another person is on the same level? How can I understand the other person, the other devotee, on what level he is? Once they put this question to Srila Sridhara Maharadja: “How to recognize a realized devotee?” This is not easy, right. But he said: “How can you recognize if somebody is intelligent or not?” What do you say?

Answer: Depends on your intelligence.

Swami Tirtha: Correct! If you are intelligent, you will understand who is intelligent. But how to recognize who is realized? I think you know the answer. So, therefore we have to be very busy making progress. In this way you will understand where you are, in this way you will understand where the others are. But as a general basic vision, I can tell you, if you feel the most humble and the last in the row, then you will see that all of a sudden everybody wants to stand behind you. If you put yourself the last, you will see that everybody wants to put you in the first place. This is our philosophy. We don’t want to be the first, we want to be the last – in this way everybody wants to push you in front. But be careful – if you know that this happens and then with this second intention you will go to the back in order to conquer the front, it will not happen. And I know some devotees who are very close to this ideal. When they are present nobody notices them, but when they are absent everybody is missing them. This is the platform where we should come. Presently most of us behave the opposite. When we are present we want to be in the focus, and when we are absent we want everybody to talk about us also. But try to remember, this is a beautiful achievement – when you are present nobody notices you, but when you are away, everybody misses you. How can you get that? Only by very humble service.

(to be continued)

 



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