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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj on “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Antya-Lila, 4th Chapter,
28 of May 2006, Sofia)
“In the month Jeishtha (May-June), Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to the garden of Yameshvar, Lord Shiva, and accepted prasad there at the request of the devotees. At noon when it was time for lunch, the Lord called for Sanatan Goswami, whose happiness increased because of the call. At noon the sand on the beach was as hot as fire, but Sanatan Goswami came by that path.
Overwhelmed by joy at being called by the Lord, Sanatan Goswami did not felt that his feet were burning in the hot sand. Although the soles of both of his feet were blistered from the heat, he nevertheless went to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. There he found that the Lord, having taken his lunch, was resting. Govinda gave to Sanatan Goswami the plate with the remnants of Shri Chaitanya’s food. After taking the prasadam, Sanatan Goswami approached the Lord. When the Lord inquired: “By which path had you come?” Sanatan Goswami replied: “I had come on the path along the beach.” “How did you come through the beach when the sand is so hot? Why didn’t you come by the path in front of the Singhadwar Gate? It’s very cool. The hot sand must have blistered your soles. Now you cannot walk – how did you tolerate it?” Sanatan Goswami replied: “I did not feel much pain, nor did I know that there are blisters because of the heat. I have no rights to pass by the Singhadwar Gate, for the servants of Jagannath are always coming and going there without an interval. If I touch them, I shall be ruined.” Having heard all these details, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, greatly pleased, spoke as follows: “My dear Santana, although you are the deliverer of the entire universe and although even the demigods and the great saints are purified by touching you, it is a characteristic of a devotee to observe and protect the vaishnava etiquette. Maintenance of the vaishnava etiquette is the ornament of a devotee. If one transgresses the lows of etiquette, people will make fun of him, and this he is vanquished both from this world and the next. By observing the etiquette, you had satisfied my mind. Who else but you will show this example!?”
So, observing the etiquette is the ornament of a devotee. What kind of etiquette we are talking about?
This event wouldn’t be a topic for an action-movie, because seemingly nothing happened. But if you go deep, you will find that self-sacrifice, self-forgetfulness comes when you hear the invitation from the Lord. Sanatan was not a stupid guy not to take care of the things around him, because he was a scholar. He knew very well that the sand is hot and it is painful to walk. But by the divine invitation, he thought: “O, my Lord is calling for me! I have to run!” not considering sun or shade, hot or cold, easy or difficult! Because that means, I’m still concerned with MYSELF, I didn’t forget myself. “O, this is a little dangerous, better we go by different path.” Total self-forgetfulness means: “It doesn’t matter whether I live of die, but I have to do my service.”
That kind of level of dedication should be there. Little blisters on the feet – come on, that’s nothing! A little sacrifice from our side – if you can achieve eternal perfection? What kind of calculation you have? “Yes, eternal happiness, I like the idea; but to make a little sacrifice – a, it’s too difficult.”
Don’t be stupid to be self-focused all the time. We should be ready to make sacrifice as and act of offering, just like Sanatan Goswami was doing. Because the invitation of the Lord was much more important for him then the little trouble that he had to take during the path. And what did he achieve? Mahaprabhu started to glorify him: “Yes, it is good what you are doing, following the etiquette.” And what is the etiquette – that for the service you are ready to take the risk. This is the etiquette. By this he made Mahaprabhu very satisfied.


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