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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




There is a song about different rasas[1] in spiritual life. It says:

“You should chant the holy names of our Lord and then blessings will come to you. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

For the deliverance of the fallen souls Shri Gouranga, as distributing mercy, just chants: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Krishna, You are protecting Your devotees and You give blessings to your enemies.

You are the playmate of the gopas and the good cowherd of the cows.

You are the treasure of Mother Yashoda and the glory of Nanda Baba.

You are the Lord of the beautiful-faced gopis and on Your lips the bamboo flute is just sounding.

Therefore, just like a happy prayer you should chant this mahamantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!”

In this song, all the theory of Chaitanya type of devotion is comprehended.

“In order to liberate you, Shri Gouranga, as showering mercy, just chants the holy names.” He came for the liberation of the fallen; He did not come for liberating the liberated, or the highly elevated. Because with the bramins, He had only one type of activity – when they were chanting the Gayatri in the Ganges water, He was going under the water and just catching the toes of the bramins. But for the fallen souls He was very much ready to act as a savior. There is a beautiful film about this – “Nimay of Nadya”. There it is said, that somebody understood in how fallen situation he is and then approached Mahaprabhu: “Please, forgive my sins, my sinful activities.” And in a very elevated and divine mood He said: “Just chant the holy names and you will be liberated from samsara.” So the first qualification is: you have to understand your fallen condition. And not only that, but we have to repent our mistakes; and then we can chant fully. One secondary result of this chanting is liberation. For most of the different religions this is the end, final end – liberation. For a bhakta this is only the beginning. Easy to say, but it is a long way to accomplish. But still if we really can understand the beauty and the power of divine loving connection, then we can understand what is the position of liberation and what is the position of bhakti. It is also possible to get stuck in the maya platform. So how it is not possible to get stuck anywhere?! Of course it is possible to get stuck in liberation also. But salvation is ever there. From material sphere, from liberated state – mercy can come and help.

The first verse says that Mahaprabhu brings the liberation for the fallen jivas. And then comes a description of the nature of Krishna: “You are protecting Your devotees and You bless your enemies.” So whoever comes in connection with Krishna will be benefited. No exception. Maybe myself… but you are all benefited. Krishna is Bhakta-vatsala, protects the devotees and liberates even the putanas (witches). So everybody is benefited. But this description about devotees and enemies is just like the passive state, the passive connection, shanta-rasa.

Next comes that “You are the playmate of the gopas and You take care of the cows.” First is more like passive, and maybe some service mood is there. But here the gopas are in friendly mood (sakhya-rasa) with Krishna. Krishna likes to play. And from the history of philosophy, Nitchshe said that “such a God should be worshiped, who is playing and singing and dancing.”  Krishna! Even the philosophers finally understood what kind of God should be worshiped – a playful one. He is a playmate of the gopas. If you are a gopa, then you can have your God as your friend. The cat is also playing with the mouse, but this play is not so nice. But Krishna’s game is not such a cruel game. This is a loving game.

And He is not only a friend, but “He is the darling of Mother Yashoda.” This is the next step of rasa – vatsalya-rasa, motherly feelings. And “He is the glory of Nanda Baba.” From this you can see the difference between mother and father. Mother wants to have a sweet baby. Even if the son is grown up she will say: “Have you taken your warm socks?” The biggest problem for a mother! Never mind that the son is sixty years old and he is the king of the country: “Where are your socks?!” But what about the father? The father is not satisfied with warm socks, he wants to have a king. He wants to have glory in his son. Mother is satisfied with some sweetness. Father – whatever he could not achieve, he wants his son to achieve. Is it like this? These feelings of fathers and mothers are very strong emotions. They are ready to serve, ready to do any service for the kid. And of course, the kid is also ready to serve the parents. Again, there is very much connection there. Sharing is there.

And then finally – although we may think that motherly and fatherly feelings are the highest – there is something more. Because there comes the next verse about gopi-bhaav. “Krishna is the Lord of the beautiful-faced gopis. And on His lips the bamboo flute is just sounding.”

In this way this song for me is just like when the different servants of Krishna make a procession. First come the more passive devotees. Then the gopas; in a friendly mood, they are just rejoicing with Krishna: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare…” Then come Mother Yashoda and Nanda Baba: “Krishna Krishna…” And then finally the gopis, the crying choir of gopis. They also say: “Krishna Krishna” in a full emotional rapture. Then you can start from Gouranga and you can finish with the chanting of the holy name. And as you have this idea, the whole Vrindavana scene is in front of your eyes. Nobody is missing. For Krishna’s happiness everybody is here. Do not miss this opportunity, join the Vrindavana party. You should also become a member, a part of Krishna’s happiness. Reflect back His beauty and let His attractive power work on you.



[1] Specific relations



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