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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“My dear King and hero, said Jada Bharata, whatever you have spoken sarcastically is certainly true. Actually these are not simply words of chastisement, for the body is the carrier. The load carried by the body does not belong to me, for I am the spirit soul. There is no contradiction in your statements because I am different from the body. I am not the carrier of the palanquin; the body is the carrier. Certainly, as you have hinted, I have not labored carrying the palanquin, for I am detached from the body. You have said that I am not stout and strong, and these words are befitting a person who does not know the distinction between the body and the soul. The body may be fat or thin, but no learned man would say such things of the spirit soul. As far as the spirit soul is concerned, I am neither fat nor skinny; therefore you are correct when you say that I am not very stout. Also, if the object of this journey and the path leading there were mine, there would be many troubles for me, but because they relate not to me but to my body, there is no trouble at all.

Fatness, thinness, bodily and mental distress, thirst, hunger, fear, disagreement, desires for material happiness, old age, sleep, attachment for material possessions, anger, lamentation, illusion and identification of the body with the self are all transformations of the material covering of the spirit soul. A person absorbed in the material bodily conception is affected by these things, but I am free from all bodily conceptions. Consequently I am neither fat nor skinny nor anything else you have mentioned.” Unexpected teachings from a palanquin carrier.

“My dear King, you have unnecessarily accused me of being dead though alive. In this regard, I can only say that this is the case everywhere because everything material has its beginning and end. As far as your thinking that you are the king and master and are thus trying to order me, this is also incorrect because these positions are temporary. Today you are a king and I am your servant, but tomorrow the position may be changed, and you may be my servant and I your master. These are temporary circumstances created by providence.

My dear King, if you still think that you are the King and that I am your servant, you should order me, and I should follow your order. I can then say that this differentiation is temporary, and it expands only from usage or convention. I do not see any other cause. In that case, who is the master, and who is the servant? Everyone is being forced by the laws of material nature; therefore no one is master, and no one is servant. Nonetheless, if you think that you are the master and that I am the servant, I shall accept this. Please order me. What can I do for you?

My dear King, you have said, “You rascal, you dull, crazy fellow! I am going to chastise you, and then you will come to your senses.” In this regard, let me say that although I live like a dull, deaf and dumb man, I am actually a self-realized person. What will you gain by punishing me? If your calculation is true and I am a madman, then your punishment will be like beating a dead horse. There will be no effect. When a madman is punished, he is not cured of his madness.”[1]

Strong words, right. I think it’s really unexpected. Just imagine yourself, riding your palanquin then somebody starts: ‘Oh, you are not the King and I am not your servant! But if you like it I can accept. What can I do for you?” It’s a little annoying. But here certain very important things were mentioned; there was a long list: “I’m not fat, I’m not thin, I’m not young, I don’t possess, I have no bodily conception, no attachments, nothing. I am a soul.” This part we all like. We all want to achieve that state of perfect consciousness, when we never forget about our spiritual identity. And sometimes we are impatient, trying to achieve that realization, without first becoming a king, and then an ascetic, and then a deer, and then a madman, and then being sacrificed or killed, etc. etc. It doesn’t come so easy. So, if you want to achieve that platform, be prepared.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.10.9-13



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