Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Usually we don’t use palanquins. But before this it was like a royal symbol, a high class symbol. If somebody was riding a palanquin, he was very high class. But this is not a very humble position. Therefore it is listed in the 33 offences against the deities: “if you arrive to the temple in a palanquin”. Usually it doesn’t happen in the West. But if we come with the feeling just like riding the palanquin, that might happen. Nevertheless to carry a palanquin – have you ever tried such a job? Or something similar, when you have to work together, cooperate with others so that the job is done nicely? If somebody doesn’t keep the pace, a little off the rhythm and there is no harmony there – then the result is not good. It’s very simple – we have to work in harmony.

Of course here Jada Bharata had some excuse, because he wanted to save the ants on the road, but the king was dissatisfied. In the same way, in the devotional group we have our excuses why we don’t cooperate nicely. ‘Because I want to save some insignificant things.’ You know in India the king is called Maharaja. And if the Maharaja is not satisfied with our excuses, then we have to think it over. Because here the king is called – it’s important – Naradeva, a man-god, a Lord among human beings, he is considered like the representative of the Supreme. And in the next verse it is mentioned that due to his royal behavior, royal mood he became angry. “Inborn nature as a king.” We all have some inborn nature, this is called abhiman. Shishya-abhiman is that ‘I am ready to learn’. And guru-abhiman is that ‘I am ready to teach’. We have to develop a certain mood in order to accomplish our journey. But what happens if the shishya develops a guru-abhiman? It’s not very useful. Yet if the guru develops the shishya-abhiman – that he is also always ready to listen, to develop, to come closer to God, take more advise, more invitations from Them – I think that is very useful. Nevertheless basically everybody has to perform his or her own duty. The carriers should carry the palanquin and the king should criticize. Who is more safe? I don’t know yet, but let’s see how the story goes.

“King Rahugana said: “How troublesome this is, my dear brother! You certainly appear very fatigued because you have carried this palanquin alone without assistance for a long time and for a long distance. Besides that, due to your old age you have become greatly troubled. My dear friend, I see that you are not very firm, nor very strong and stout. Aren’t your fellow carriers cooperating with you?”

“In this way the king criticizes Jada Bharata with sarcastic words, yet despite being criticized in this way Jada Bharata had no bodily conception of the situation. He knew that he was not the body for he had attained the spiritual identity. He was neither fat, lean, nor thin, nor had he anything to do with the lump of matter, a combination of five gross elements and three subtle elements. He had nothing to do with the material body and its two hands and legs. In other words he had completely realized his spiritual identity. He was therefore unaffected by this sarcastic criticism from the king. Without saying anything he continued carrying the palanquin as before.

Thereafter, when the King saw that his palanquin was still being shaken by the carriers, he became very angry and said: “You rascal, what are you doing? Are you dead despite the life within your body? Do you not know that I am your master? You are disregarding me and are not carrying out my order. For this disobedience I shall now punish you just as Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, punishes sinful people. I shall give you proper treatment so that you will come to your senses and do the correct thing.”

“Thinking himself a king, Rahugana was in the bodily conception and was influenced by material nature’s modes of passion and ignorance. Due to madness, he chastised Jada Bharata with uncalled-for and contradictory words. Jada Bharata was a topmost devotee and the dear abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although considering himself very learned, the King did not know about the position of an advanced devotee situated in devotional service, nor did he know his characteristics. Jada Bharata was the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; he always carried the form of the Lord within his heart. He was the dear friend of all living beings, and he did not entertain any bodily conception. He therefore smiled and spoke the following words.”[1]

You see this is the really prestigious position – to carry the Lord always within your heart. Then our body is like the palanquin, right. And we could put the highest-highest possible Lord there.


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.10.6-8

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