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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




As usually all the devotees are searching for the nectar, I thought that we could read some nectarean short story from Shrila BhaktivinodaThakura, called “Prema-pradipa” – “The torchlight of divine love”.

 

As the sun set one spring day Haridas Babaji, the crest-jewel of the devotees, finished his evening prayers and went out on the forest path along the Yamuna. It is difficult to describe the various feelings of love, which manifested in him as he went along in great ecstasy. On the way Babaji had a vision, reminding him of the Lord’s pastimes and he began rolling on the ground exclaiming: “O Vrajendra-nandana! O Gopijana-vallabha!” Incessant tears of ecstasy washed away the Lord’s names that were written on his cheeks. The Babaji’s limbs, resembling the kadamba flower, were beautified by hairs standing on end. His hands became numb and he was unable to hold his japa-mala. He gradually lost external consciousness and began dancing like a madman. All the ecstatic symptoms like trembling, perspiring, faltering of the voice and fading of the bodily color arose as the Babaji fully entered into the transcendental realm, beyond material nature. He deeply sighed: “O Krishna! O Prananath!” and he began crying.

 

As Haridas Babaji enjoyed the bliss of Vaikuntha, the famous Premadas Babaji passed Keshi Ghat and arrived there. As the two vaishnavas met, ecstatic feelings of friendship suddenly awoke in them. And as they looked at each other’s beautiful faces, they began dancing. Before verbally greeting each other, they embraced out of natural affection and bathed each other in their tears. After some time they greeted each other with loving words.”

 

This is the Vrindavana atmosphere. When the sun is going down you go out and suddenly you see something that reminds you about the pastimes of Lord Krishna. And immediately you fall into ecstasy. You start rolling on the ground, shouting: “O Vrajendra-nandana!” Well, if you manifest these symptoms I think very quickly the First Aid will come. Therefore devotees control themselves. But as soon as you meet a vaishnava on the streets of Sofia, from natural ecstasy you should embrace him or her. Bathe him in the rolling tears of your eyes. These few words are very useful to teach us what is the essence of vaishnava association. This is not some formal organization. This is based on spiritual love and affection.

 

And if you meet a vaishnava there are two ways. First of all you have to be happy to meet a vaishnava. If you are not happy, then it is considered an aparadha (offence). It should fulfill our heart: “O, a vaishnava is coming!” So this natural feeling, flow of feeling is the first step. And then comes the next level – according to the etiquette to greet him with nice words.

 

“Premadas Babaji said: “Babaji, my heart was broken because of not seeing you for some days! Therefore to purify myself I was coming to your kunja to see you.” Haridas Babaji replied: “O Babaji! For the last five days I was staying near Govardhanа to see Shri Pandit das Babaji. I came here this morning. By seeing your lotus feet I have obtained the result of a pilgrimage.” Just by hearing Shri Pandit das Babaji’s name, Premadas Babaji’s face, which was decorated with tilak, become inundated with love. Remaining silent for a moment, Premadas Babaji said: “O my dear Haridas Babaji, what has been discussed these days in Pandit das Babaji’s enlightened assembly of devotees? My cherished desire is to attend his assembly with you.”

 

So they meet and immediately they start to glorify each other, and also they start to glorify a third person. This is a symptom of a vaishnava – he always tries to glorify others. Usually we are accustomed to criticize everybody. If I meet somebody first I give a big criticism to him by heart; I show a nice face, but in my heart I have my opinion. Then we can come together to criticize a third person, who is not present. This is our daily bread. We should change it – when you meet somebody you should praise the good qualities of that person. And if you start speaking about a third person, say only good words. Only good words!

 

From this we can understand what is the life of the devotees. What is the atmosphere of Vrindavana. And if you know what is the atmosphere of Vrindavana, you can create this atmosphere in Sofia also. Please, go on trying to create this Vrindavana atmosphere.



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