Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 03.01.2018 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

So, my humble suggestion is to read something about the divine relationships from Shrila Rupa Goswami. In order to accomplish a study, we have to start at the beginning. We are ready to jump to the conclusion, but nevertheless we have to start at the beginning. Therefore today we shall read about the neutral love of Godhead. Do you like neutral relationships in your experience?

Krishna Piya: Not so much.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, if somebody is neutral, there is nothing to do with that, right? Not so much exchange there. And in one sense we can say that this is most bitter. If I have a positive relationship to someone, that makes me happy. But we’ve discussed many times, even for a good fight we need a good partner. To have a conflict – that’s an intimate relationship. No, really! With a really neutral person you don’t have any conflicts, do you? It’s true. So, even fighting is a relationship. Even an enemy is a friend. Beware not that your friend becomes an enemy, but treat your enemy as a friend. To have a real enemy, it’s a gift of God. But truly I mean, that to have a good partner for discussion, to have a quality partner for a debate – it’s a gift. Because that will bring something out of you – some reasoning, some answers, some reactions. It agitates you so much that you can show something.

So, we can conclude that there is not so much use of the neutral relationship. Nevertheless the science of divine relationships starts with the neutral relationship to Godhead. Why? Because on the divine platform even neutrality has some meaning. It also has a place. We cannot really handle neutral relationships in the daily life, but in divine relationships they’ve got a place.

“Shrila Rupa Goswami offers his respectful prayers to the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always so beautiful and for whom the pure devotees are always engaged in loving transcendental service. This third division of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu describes the five primary kinds of devotional service – namely neutrality, servitude, fraternity, parenthood and conjugal love. These five items will be very elaborately explained here, and thus they have been figuratively described as the five waves on the western side of this ocean of the nectar of devotion. When one is actually able to maintain the transcendental position, his stage is called neutrality in devotional service. “[1]

So, here we got the definition: “one who is actually able to maintain his or her transcendental position in devotional service – that stage is called neutrality.” Do you have any questions? I think now we have homework – to climb up to that very high level to be able to maintain our spiritual consciousness. So, when in a very brave and audacious mood you say: ‘Ah, neutrality is nothing, it’s zero’, then first please think of yourself for a moment. Whether we can maintain our spiritual position, spiritual consciousness, or not? Unfortunately many times not. That means we are not on the neutral stage of devotional service. Then what is our stage? Conjugal love, or supreme ecstasies? We are most probably below that level of neutrality.

But what is below neutrality? Atheism; is this our level? Hopefully not. Maybe a little higher, we don’t deny that there is a Supreme Lord. Then maybe we are adharmacharies? Adharmachari is a person who doesn’t follow the principles of dharma. Well, I think this is us. Many times we cannot follow the principles of dharma, right? So, maybe we are adharmacharies. Or if we force yourself to control yourself and follow your sadhana, then maybe we can improve the standards and maybe we can become dharmacharies – followers of the dharma. But from among thousands of dharmacharies, very few are enlightened, accomplished. Spiritual perfection and emancipation, liberation is very rare. I don’t know whether you feel yourself liberated or not, but it’s rare. And from among the many liberated souls, very few are emotionally connected to Krishna. There starts neutrality. At least these souls can maintain their spiritual identity consciousness.

And it is very nicely described by the acharias how these progressive stages happen. First we hear the information about proper living, but we cannot follow. Then sometimes it happens: ‘Today I could accomplish, I could do something. Today I met the sunrise. Today I didn’t sleep during the day time.’ Great achievements. ‘Today I was not vehemently violent, only a little bit. That means you could accomplish something; many times you forget, but sometimes you accomplish, you remember. And then the next stage means you are doing well, but sometimes you fail. The majority of times you are on a good standard, but sometimes mistakes come, your shadow again covers you, the old habits return. They call: whether you treat the old friends nicely or not. And then on the next stage this disappears and ultimately devotional service is established in the heart as an irrevocable fact.

But you know whether you are on the failing platform, or on the majority better platform, or on the accomplished platform, on the other side – everybody is a fan of you. Somebody is waiting for you. When we first heard about the chance for perfection, there was a grand celebration in the spiritual sky. When you made the first steps in your spiritual progress, all the demigods were jumping. When you had your first fail, then Krishna was smiling. And when you made your first accomplishments, He was smiling even more charmingly. So, don’t worry. Don’t hesitate to make you first steps. God is good. And you should also become good! His job is accomplished. Now comes your part.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of Devotion, 35

 



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