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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Swami Tirtha: What other types of guru do you have?

Paramananda: Samasta guru.

Swami Tirtha: Very good! Who is samasta? What is that?

Paramananda: The collective body of the entire parampara.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. Samasta guru is like all the masters united. So, that means by serving our master we serve all the masters. By inviting the attention of our master we invite the attention of all the previous masters. And a guru is a well-wisher, but we have so many well-wishers. It’s a very good feeling, it’s a very safe feeling. That is the samasta guru aspect – all the previous acharyas and well-wishers and saints are working for us, praying for us. Who else is there?

Answer: The negative guru. Who is giving the example how not to do.

Swami Tirtha: Very good. Once I was talking to a Sufi master and he said: “If you meet a fake dervish, search because there must be a real one”. And then he added: “Have you ever seen a fake 75-dollar bill? No, because there is no original 75-dollar bill. But you might have met a fake 100-dollar bill, because there is an original 100-dollar bill.” That means if you meet a fake, a negative master – search! There must be a real one! Because it is said that even from a fake master, or a negative guru we can learn a lot – about ourselves. Very good! Who else is there?

Paramananda: Rasa-guru?

Swami Tirtha: Finally! Rasa-guru – who will introduce us to the divine mood of worship, of connection, of contribution. I think we discussed this topic, but it’s good to mention that Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote a novel about spiritual path, “Jaiva Dharma” – “The duty of the human beings”. And there the practitioners are directed to a highly elevated master. They are disciples of one, but this master sends them to another one just to consult on rasa. They approach the sacred master and then he asks: “Why did you come?” “Well, we would like to clarify our rasa”. The master asks: “Very nice, what is your feeling?” and then one person says: “Well, I feel very much attracted to the peacocks in Vrindavana. I would be very happy, very satisfied to have such a position – to be a peacock in Vrindavana.” The master says: “Very nice, my son! Go ahead!” So, a rasic acharya will introduce us to some rasa, to some specific type of service. Maybe you expected something else? I think this is high enough. It’s high enough.

I think here we should stop our search for more gurus. Actually when you enter, you will meet only gurus. Because who is a guru? The one whom we can follow. Who is ahead of us. Who serves better, who knows better. Not knows better, but who serves better, who feels better. Therefore we follow, we accept him as an authority. And in the spiritual sky everybody is of a higher substance than ourselves, because we are the newcomers. With the material calculation we might think: ‘Oh, to be the last one, the latest one it’s not so good. Because everybody is in front of me.’ But I tell you, this is so nice because then everybody will treat you as the smallest, youngest brother and sister. The most tender care and attention will come to you. And actually this is our philosophy. This is our goal – to become the last ones. But now you can see how glorious it is to be the last one. Because everybody is trying to pay attention to you.

And this chapter ended that “Sometimes a primary teacher may have a student who is an extraordinary scholar. In my school days, I remember there was a case we had to read about in history class in connection with the famous statesman Edmund Burke and the taxation laws passed by Parliament at the time of the American Revolutionary War. It happened that his service was so much appreciated that he had the title of ‘lord’ conferred upon him, and to make him a lord, his father and then his grandfather were also awarded the title of ‘lord.’ The title of ‘lord’ comes from up to down, but in that case, it went from down to up! The grandson was first given the recognition of lord, and then the father, and then the grandfather. The grandson received the title first by dint of his capacity. So it may be that because of previous arrangements, a less qualified person may give a push to a more qualified person in the beginning, and in return the more qualified person may later help him. Thus the Guru will instruct God-consciousness to different people in different places. From different directions one may receive help.”[1]

(to be continued)

 

[1] The Golden staircase, Ch. 2 Universal mind ,Absolute backing’, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj

 



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