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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 25.02.2007)
If by initiation I can be converted into a pure devotee and my heart will turn into gold – I have to take it! But then comes the next question – how to meet, how to find my authority. Once one of my dear godbrothers said: “Oh, I decided to go to India. I want to search for my master.” But instead of going to India, he was going to the farm, Nanda Falva, and finding his Gurudev – only thirty kilometers, not three thousand.
This search, inside search, must be there. And when I have come to the edge of my possibilities alone, then I have to take some other guidance, other help from a higher platform. But what is happening: you got an invitation, you like it so much and it is so exciting – so you want to jump. Do you know anything, what is waiting for you? Do you have any idea what is inside the devotional circle? Are you sure if this is for you or not? Can you really dedicate your full life to guru-seva? These are big questions.
People are very much addicted to check gurus. What are the qualities, what kind of qualifications he must have, he must be like this, he must be like that… Because I am so great, I need the best guru who fulfills all the requirements of the shastras. But if I tell you all the qualities that are required from a disciple… Nobody is interested in that list. Better forget about it. But just to give you a little idea – a prospective disciple, I mean a candidate, should be: educated, young, healthy, wealthy, wise, perfect in every sense and ready to surrender totally. Who is meeting these requirements? But then you can ask: if somebody is such a perfect man, why he needs a guru?!
Then by some mystical arrangement you meet a master and you approach him: “Oh, I want to be your disciple.” From the deepest core of my heart I suggest to you: if somebody approaches you and says: “You should be my disciple” then try to avoid that. Or be reserved. Examine: “Why?” Because in the classical stories it is a little different. Except if you meet Lord Jesus and he tells you “Follow me!” Then do it! Do it, do not hesitate! Do not be like Peter. The Lord told him: “Just come, follow me!” and he said: “But what about my nets?” “What about my inter-nets?!” – says Peter in the twenty first century… „What about my internets?” „Just come, follow me, never mind, do not mind. Give up your attachments, come with me.”
But saints, teachers and representatives of that caliber come very rarely. In Indian tradition different stories are given – when disciples are so eager to meet and search for their masters. One is the story of Narottama dasa Thakura and Lokanatha dasa Goswami. Lokanatha means “the lord of the place”. He was very renounced person – always devoted to his practices, not meeting too much people, not wasting time, therefore he was considered a great saint. There was one prospective candidate – this was the future Narottama dasa. He decided: “Lokanatha! He will be my master!” So he approached the master, went up to him and said: “Oh master, please be merciful to me, accept me as your disciple.” He said: “Get out of here! This is not my business. I am not qualified. Go to the saints. There are so many great saints here, just approach them, go to them. I do not accept disciples.” “No, no, no, I want to follow you. Please!” “No! No way! You cannot do this!” So he rejected this young man.
Just imagine yourself: you approach a great saint and you come with your life – this is your ultimate offering, everything that you have. You say: “Please, accept my life”, and then the guy says: “A, get out of here. Go back, do not disturb me.” Ha?! What is your feeling? You feel burned. And usually westerners at that moment run away: “No, I was mistaken, he is not my master. He frustrated me!” But Narottama was a different kind. He said: “Oh! My Gurudev is so great! He wants to test me, he wants to see if my dedication is real or not. But then what to do?” He was philosophically very well educated and he said: “I have to please my master. This is the way.” And how to satisfy your spiritual master? By words? By thoughts? May be by some activities, correct. He was also choosing this. He decided: “I have to serve him!” And you know, these saints were really living in very natural conditions. Their residence was under the trees, every day under different tree. But Lokanatha dasa Goswami was using one certain place as a toilet – in the bushes. And as he has no permanent residence, he had nothing. He had one little dhoti and practically there was no chance to serve him. The young man decided: “May be I can clean the place for toilet of my guru.” After some time Lokanatha Goswami noticed that “Hey, everything is so nicely arranged in these bushes. Something is happening here.” But he was suspicious: “Somebody is making this.” So next time he was hiding in another bush and checking what was happening. Then in the morning he saw Narottama dasa coming in a gamcha, very happily chanting and singing: “Oh, I come and serve, and clean, and make everything nice.” And then all of a sudden Lokanatha Goswami was jumping out of the bushes and said: “Hey, rascal, what you are doing here!?” “Gurudev, I’m trying to offer some service to you.” “Ah, no… But you know, do as you like!” And he said: “Oh! Gurudev gave blessings! I can do the service with his blessings!” He was even more happy.
But Lokanatha was really reserved and he was not ready to accept the guy. So much so, that even the other saints started to approach him: “Goswami, why are you so strict? Why you torture this young man? He is so nice, so dedicated, so qualified. Why you don’t accept him? He likes you so much.” He said: “No!” ”But why not?” Then he said: “You know, I made a vow. I will not take any disciples.” Just imagine, this is very serious. If a saint of such a caliber takes a vow, he means it, it is serious. But then the fellow saints started to say: “Hey, wait a minute. This young man has also made a vow. He is ready to give up his life, but he will be your disciple.” Then Lokanatha Goswami said: “Maybe his vow is stronger than mine. Tell him go to the Yamuna, take a bath and then come to me.”
So Lokanatha dasa Goswami, the ruler of the place, was ready to break his vow for the sake of the disciple. And he took one disciple. The name was Narottama. Narottama mean “the best of humans”. And how many disciples Narottama dasa Thakuar had? Sixty thousand. It is not a question of numbers. It is a question of quality.
That kind of commitment and that kind of intention we must have in order to really surrender ourselves. In this transaction everything depends on the master. Officially said, theoretically it is like this. But you can see from the example that gurus and very strong divine personalities are ready to change their views and opinions by the sweet desire of the students. So initiation means to enter a loving connection. It is not a theoretical school that you join, this is a loving connection.
Miracles do exist. Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says that the path of Krishna is full of miracles. Then he adds: “So be ready for miracles!” Are you ready for miracles? Just imagine, miracles start to happen right now, here and now – are you ready? To leave your nets?

(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 25.02.2007) If by initiation I can be converted into a pure devotee and my heart will turn into gold – I have to take it! But then comes the next question – how to meet, how to find my authority. Once one of my dear godbrothers said: “Oh, I decided to go to India. I want to search for my master.” But instead of going to India, he was going to the farm, Nanda Falva, and finding his Gurudev – only thirty kilometers, not three thousand. This search, inside search, must be there. And when I have come to the edge of my possibilities alone, then I have to take some other guidance, other help from a higher platform. But what is happening: you got an invitation, you like it so much and it is so exciting – so you want to jump. Do you know anything, what is waiting for you? Do you have any idea what is inside the devotional circle? Are you sure if this is for you or not? Can you really dedicate your full life to guru-seva? These are big questions.People are very much addicted to check gurus. What are the qualities, what kind of qualifications he must have, he must be like this, he must be like that… Because I am so great, I need the best guru who fulfills all the requirements of the shastras. But if I tell you all the qualities that are required from a disciple… Nobody is interested in that list. Better forget about it. But just to give you a little idea – a prospective disciple, I mean a candidate, should be: educated, young, healthy, wealthy, wise, perfect in every sense and ready to surrender totally. Who is meeting these requirements? But then you can ask: if somebody is such a perfect man, why he needs a guru?!Then by some mystical arrangement you meet a master and you approach him: “Oh, I want to be your disciple.” From the deepest core of my heart I suggest to you: if somebody approaches you and says: “You should be my disciple” then try to avoid that. Or be reserved. Examine: “Why?” Because in the classical stories it is a little different. Except if you meet Lord Jesus and he tells you “Follow me!” Then do it! Do it, do not hesitate! Do not be like Peter. The Lord told him: “Just come, follow me!” and he said: “But what about my nets?” “What about my inter-nets?!” – says Peter in the twenty first century… „What about my internets?” „Just come, follow me, never mind, do not mind. Give up your attachments, come with me.”But saints, teachers and representatives of that caliber come very rarely. In Indian tradition different stories are given – when disciples are so eager to meet and search for their masters. One is the story of Narottama dasa Thakura and Lokanatha dasa Goswami. Lokanatha means “the lord of the place”. He was very renounced person – always devoted to his practices, not meeting too much people, not wasting time, therefore he was considered a great saint. There was one prospective candidate – this was the future Narottama dasa. He decided: “Lokanatha! He will be my master!” So he approached the master, went up to him and said: “Oh master, please be merciful to me, accept me as your disciple.” He said: “Get out of here! This is not my business. I am not qualified. Go to the saints. There are so many great saints here, just approach them, go to them. I do not accept disciples.” “No, no, no, I want to follow you. Please!” “No! No way! You cannot do this!” So he rejected this young man. Just imagine yourself: you approach a great saint and you come with your life – this is your ultimate offering, everything that you have. You say: “Please, accept my life”, and then the guy says: “A, get out of here. Go back, do not disturb me.” Ha?! What is your feeling? You feel burned. And usually westerners at that moment run away: “No, I was mistaken, he is not my master. He frustrated me!” But Narottama was a different kind. He said: “Oh! My Gurudev is so great! He wants to test me, he wants to see if my dedication is real or not. But then what to do?” He was philosophically very well educated and he said: “I have to please my master. This is the way.” And how to satisfy your spiritual master? By words? By thoughts? May be by some activities, correct. He was also choosing this. He decided: “I have to serve him!” And you know, these saints were really living in very natural conditions. Their residence was under the trees, every day under different tree. But Lokanatha dasa Goswami was using one certain place as a toilet – in the bushes. And as he has no permanent residence, he had nothing. He had one little dhoti and practically there was no chance to serve him. The young man decided: “May be I can clean the place for toilet of my guru.” After some time Lokanatha Goswami noticed that “Hey, everything is so nicely arranged in these bushes. Something is happening here.” But he was suspicious: “Somebody is making this.” So next time he was hiding in another bush and checking what was happening. Then in the morning he saw Narottama dasa coming in a gamcha, very happily chanting and singing: “Oh, I come and serve, and clean, and make everything nice.” And then all of a sudden Lokanatha Goswami was jumping out of the bushes and said: “Hey, rascal, what you are doing here!?” “Gurudev, I’m trying to offer some service to you.” “Ah, no… But you know, do as you like!” And he said: “Oh! Gurudev gave blessings! I can do the service with his blessings!” He was even more happy. But Lokanatha was really reserved and he was not ready to accept the guy. So much so, that even the other saints started to approach him: “Goswami, why are you so strict? Why you torture this young man? He is so nice, so dedicated, so qualified. Why you don’t accept him? He likes you so much.” He said: “No!” ”But why not?” Then he said: “You know, I made a vow. I will not take any disciples.” Just imagine, this is very serious. If a saint of such a caliber takes a vow, he means it, it is serious. But then the fellow saints started to say: “Hey, wait a minute. This young man has also made a vow. He is ready to give up his life, but he will be your disciple.” Then Lokanatha Goswami said: “Maybe his vow is stronger than mine. Tell him go to the Yamuna, take a bath and then come to me.”So Lokanatha dasa Goswami, the ruler of the place, was ready to break his vow for the sake of the disciple. And he took one disciple. The name was Narottama. Narottama mean “the best of humans”. And how many disciples Narottama dasa Thakuar had? Sixty thousand. It is not a question of numbers. It is a question of quality. That kind of commitment and that kind of intention we must have in order to really surrender ourselves. In this transaction everything depends on the master. Officially said, theoretically it is like this. But you can see from the example that gurus and very strong divine personalities are ready to change their views and opinions by the sweet desire of the students. So initiation means to enter a loving connection. It is not a theoretical school that you join, this is a loving connection. Miracles do exist. Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says that the path of Krishna is full of miracles. Then he adds: “So be ready for miracles!” Are you ready for miracles? Just imagine, miracles start to happen right now, here and now – are you ready? To leave your nets?



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