Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

It is not necessary to write about taking shelter and surrender, but it is necessary to practise. Sharanagati means how to take shelter. This song says:

“In order to show mercy on the fallen jivas, Shri Krishna Chaitanya descended to this world with His personal associates and divine realm in order to teach sharanagati, or selfless surrender in front of God, and to distribute freely the otherwise so difficultly obtained ecstatic love of Godhead. This sharanagati is the life of the true devotees.“[1]

So, Mahaprabhu came with His personal associates and divine realm. He came for two reasons – to distribute prema, divine love; durlabha means “difficult to achieve” and dhana means “gift” – so He comes with the greatest treasure free. Is that really free? Not really, there is some price – this is sharanagati, we have to surrender. Therefore He came to distribute this love of Godhead and to teach sharanagati. So, if we want to achieve selfless love of Godhead then we have to practice this sharanagati process.

Sharanagati, or to find your shelter – this is a general principle, everybody knows it should be like this. Women take shelter of men, men take shelter of alcohol, etc, everybody is searching for shelter. But instead of a fake and limited shelter we have to come under the protection of the ultimate shelter. Therefore we have to be clever enough where and how to practice this sharanagati process. Do not surrender to some false ideas. Do not surrender to your weaknesses, or you stupidity, or illusions – not to anything limited, but to something beyond.

What is the first step of beyond? Give me some ideal that is beyond the limited conceptions?

Manohari: God.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, but He is almost the last word in this process. Give me the first word that is beyond material dualities.

Paramananda: Purification.

Tirtha Maharaj: This is the process. It is before.

Yashoda: Searching for the spiritual authority.

Tirtha Maharaj: Also part of the process, it is not the goal. It is not an achievement. It is a necessary ingredient. So here we can find fake shelters. Give me such a shelter that is beyond this limited reality. What is the first thing, first ideal, first level that is beyond the material level?

Manjari: Is not it love?

Tirtha Maharaj: Love is very high. We need the first, lower.

Somebody: Faith.

Damodar: It must be something before faith, maybe penance?

Premananda: I thought when you start to serve, this is already an achievement.

Tirtha Maharaj: Truth, my dears! The first thing that is beyond material dualities – this is the truth. As I told you, we should be clever enough to search for truth. This is, so to say, on the ultimate platform. But truth is not the end of the story, because there is God in between and finally there is love, divine love. So, in case you want to surrender to something, to some idea, minimum this should be the truth.

We should commit ourselves to the absolute truth. This is the start of a general search. And meanwhile you will find all those necessary ingredients that you have mentioned, like faith, purification, following a process, masters – you will find everything. You will find also God. And if you go further you will find the secret how actually to come close to Him – how to love Him. Therefore we can say we should pay attention to all teachers who teach us about anything higher on material platform – knowledge – and in the spiritual sense also. But we should pay especially great and careful attention to those who teach us about divine love.


(to be continued)

[1] Couplet of devotional song “Sharanagati” by Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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