Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.05.2017 evening, Rila)

Imagine we are in a holy place. We have given up all material duties and engagements. We have accomplished the perfection of our life. Whatever we do the ultimate motivation is the full satisfaction of God Supreme. Whenever you remember Him, just tears flow from your eyes. What else can we add? We are in the lap of perfection. And then…

“Shri Shukadeva Gosvami continued: “My dear King, one day, after finishing his morning duties — evacuating, urinating and bathing — Maharaja Bharata sat down on the bank of the river Gandaki for a few minutes and began chanting his mantra, beginning with omkara. Oh King, while Bharata Maharaja was sitting on the bank of that river, a doe, being very thirsty, came there to drink. While the doe was drinking with great satisfaction, a lion, which was very close, roared very loudly. This was frightful to every living entity, and it was heard by the doe. By nature the doe was always afraid of being killed by others, and it was always looking about suspiciously. When it heard the lion’s tumultuous roar, it became very agitated. Looking here and there with disturbed eyes, the doe, although it had not fully satisfied itself by drinking water, suddenly leaped across the river. The doe was pregnant, and when it jumped out of fear, the baby deer fell from its womb into the flowing waters of the river. Being separated from its flock and distressed by its miscarriage, the black doe, having crossed the river, was very much distressed. Indeed, it fell down in a cave and died immediately. The great King Bharata, while sitting on the bank of the river, saw the small deer, bereft of its mother, floating down the river. Seeing this, he felt great compassion. Like a sincere friend, he lifted the infant deer from the waves, and, knowing it to be motherless, brought it to his ashrama. Gradually Maharaja Bharata became very affectionate toward the deer. He began to raise it and maintain it by giving it grass. He was always careful to protect it from the attacks of tigers and other animals. When it itched, he petted it, and in this way he always tried to keep it in a comfortable condition. He sometimes kissed it out of love. Being attached to raising the deer, Maharaja Bharata forgot the rules and regulations for the advancement of spiritual life, and he gradually forgot to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After a few days, he forgot everything about his spiritual advancement. The great King Maharaja Bharata began to think: “Alas, this helpless young deer, by the force of time, an agent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has now lost its relatives and friends and has taken shelter of me. It does not know anyone but me, as I have become its father, mother, brother and relatives. This deer is thinking in this way, and it has full faith in me. It does not know anyone but me; therefore I should not be envious and think that for the deer my own welfare will be destroyed. I should certainly raise, protect, gratify and fondle it. When it has taken shelter with me, how can I neglect it? Even though the deer is disturbing my spiritual life, I realize that a helpless person who has taken shelter cannot be neglected. That would be a great fault. Even though one is in the renounced order, one who is advanced certainly feels compassion for suffering living entities. One should certainly neglect his own personal interests, although they may be very important, to protect one who has surrendered.”[1]

So, what happened? We were floating in the ecstasy of spiritual perfection undisturbed, when all of a sudden an action story started. Something very general, an everyday thing started to happen – a doe came to drink by the water. Anytime it can happen that you are perfectly fixed in your meditation and something very simple, very general starts to happen around you.

And then the story started to escalate. A second character appeared – the lion. The lion’s contribution to the situation was a loud roar. And all those who are subordinate to the lion are afraid of this roar. Just like Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati – he was considered a lion guru; his roar shook the hearts of the disbelievers. Externally he was strong and powerful like a lion and internally he was soft like a petal of the rose.

So, what kind of person you are? A lion outside and a rose inside? Or a rose outside, a lion inside? ‘Ah, he is a rose bhakta, with some lion’s qualities’. Or ‘He is a lion-guru, with some rose petal qualities’.


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.8.1-10

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