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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 23.08.2016 evening, Ludasto)

Now we have to continue our studies. I think it becomes more and more obvious that this is а very condensed spiritual science. Few lines, few sentences, few ideas, but a vast meaning and a very deep background we can find here. The Bhagavatam is considered to be ‘The Spotless Purana’. Why spotless? Because it is very important.

The Puranas are classified in two ways. One classification goes according to the gunas and the other classification goes according to the topics. There are three kinds of gunas and accordingly three types of Puranas. There are sattvic, rajasic and tamasic Puranas. You might raise the question: “How is it? A sacred scripture – tamasic? How is that possible?” But actually this is not the Purana which is tamasic, it’s the person reading it who is tamasic. So, people are classified according to the three categories and there are Puranas for each category. There are Puranas for those people who are under the influence of sattva-guna. There are some Puranas for the rajasic people, and there are some Puranas for those who are influenced by tamas. And actually it is not a tamasic Purana, rather it is a Purana for those who are in tamas.

So, this is one classification; the Puranas transmit a message to each class of people. The other classification is going according to the topics – how is that?

Manjari: About the goal, about the way.

Swami Tirtha: Here there are two classes of Puranas: one is the major Puranas, and what do you think, what is the other? The minor Puranas. Great and the small Puranas. The small Puranas have five topics to discuss. What do you think, how many topics are discussed in the great Puranas?

Sanatana: Five.

Swami Tirtha: This is for the small. Small Puranas have five. Great Puranas?

Sanatana: Double.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. Yes, the small Puranas discuss five topics: like creation and the absolute goal. So, in that sense it is correct what Manjari mentioned – what is the goal, what is the way. And the great Puranas go into a little more detail, they discuss ten main topics. Like the primary creation, the secondary creation, the manvantaras[1], the family lineage of the kings, etc. Also they discuss the ultimate shelter, the method how to reach the goal and what is moksha, what is perfection. So, from among all these different varieties of sacred literature – the Puranas – this Bhagavatam is considered to be topmost, the most important. So much so, that when you are a student in India and you have homework of writing in devanagari[2], the homework is to copy the Bhagavatam, First Canto. It is so important that this is like a textbook in schools. Why this is so important? Actually from among all these 12 Cantos, unlimited chapters and 18 000 verses the most-most important are only 5 chapters. No, no. Sorry, from among the 12 Cantos, one Canto is the most important. Which one is this?

Answer: The Tenth Canto.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, correct. This is the Tenth Canto. And from among all these hundreds and practically thousands of chapters and topics, five main chapters are the most important. Which ones? Which discuss rasa. Therefore this is the ripe fruit of the kalpataru[3] of the vedic literature.

(to be continued) 

[1] The epochs of reign of Manus, progenitors of mankind

[2] The ancient script of the Indian subcontinent

[3] Wish-fulfilling tree



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