Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

 In his impulsive illusion Bharata Maharaj would speak like this:

“Alas, the deer is now helpless. I am now very unfortunate, and my mind is like a cunning hunter, for it is always filled with cheating propensities and cruelty. The deer has put its faith in me, just as a good man who has a natural interest in good behavior forgets the misbehavior of a cunning friend and puts his faith in him. Although I have proved faithless, will this deer return and place its faith in me again? Is it possible that I shall again see this animal protected by the Lord and fearless of tigers and other animals? Shall I again see him wandering in the garden eating soft grass? I do not know, but the deer might have been eaten by a wolf or a dog or by the boars that flock together or the tiger who travels alone. When the sun rises, all auspicious things begin. Unfortunately, they have not begun for me. The sun-god is the Vedas personified, but I am bereft of all Vedic principles. That sun-god is now setting, yet the poor animal who trusted in me since its mother died has not returned. That deer is exactly like a prince. When will it return? When will it again display its personal activities, which are so pleasing? When will it again pacify a wounded heart like mine? I certainly must have no pious assets, otherwise the deer would have returned by now. The small deer, while playing with me and seeing me feigning meditation with closed eyes, would circumambulate me due to anger arising from love, and it would fearfully touch me with the points of its soft horns, which felt like drops of water. When I placed all the sacrificial ingredients on the kusha grass, the deer, when playing, would touch the grass with its teeth and thus pollute it. When I chastised the deer by pushing it away, it would immediately become fearful and sit down motionless, exactly like the son of a saintly person. Thus it would stop its play.” After speaking like a madman in this way, Maharaja Bharata got up and went outside. Seeing the footprints of the deer on the ground, he praised the footprints out of love, saying: “Oh unfortunate Bharata, your austerities and penances are very insignificant compared to the penance and austerity undergone by this earth planet. Due to the earth’s severe penances, the footprints of this deer, which are small, beautiful, most auspicious and soft, are imprinted on the surface of this fortunate planet. This series of footprints show a person like me, who am bereaved due to loss of the deer; how the animal has passed through the forest, and how I can regain my lost wealth. By these footprints, this land has become a proper place for brahmaṇas who desire heavenly planets or liberation to execute sacrifices to the demigods.” Maharaja Bharata continued to speak like a madman. Seeing above his head the dark marks on the rising moon, which resembled a deer, he said: “Can it be that the moon, who is so kind to an unhappy man, might also be kind upon my deer, knowing that it has strayed from home and has become motherless? This moon has given the deer shelter near itself just to protect it from the fearful attacks of a lion.”[1]

So, the heart is burning, separation is very intense. This story reminds me of another story of separation. When the participants will also be checking the footprints, praying to the moon, feeling the pain of separation. The story is always the same – sometimes meeting, other times separation. And when that intense moment of separation comes, you start to speak like a madman, or a mad-woman. Then you try to search out the footprints on the dust. The gopis feel that the arms of their beloved one is like two black snakes – embracing you so tightly that hardly you can breathe. Can you imagine yourself being embraced by two black snakes? It’s frightening! But when you slip from this embrace, that’s even more painful. And the moon, the famous moon, who provides light during the dark night for the travelers and who, although giving this light, is always being criticized for having spots. ‘Ah, this full moon is full of spots!’ Where is your focus, sorry? Is it on the spots or the full moon?

So, you start to see everything in relationship with your beloved one, right? It’s natural. And actually this is what we want to achieve – that the Supreme Lord should not be able to hide. How to achieve that? Become like a madman! In order to achieve that kind of spiritual focus on this loving relationship to the Supreme we have to lose control. Yet please, my dear ones, don’t quote me on this point. “I’ve heard on the weekend that we have to lose control.” But before gaining control – what can you lose? There is nothing to lose if you don’t have it. So, first please, gain control. And then we can see how it works. As Shrila Prabhupada said: “Work now, samadhi later.” Very practical.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.8.16-24


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