September 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continued from the previous Monday) 

We have learned some qualities of pure devotional service: 1) it is the end of suffering; 2) it is the beginning of all auspiciousness, 3) it brings you inner satisfaction, happiness; 4) it is rarely achieved, unfortunately; 5) it is beyond liberation; 6) and also it is attractive for God.[1] Now let’s see some details, some explanation from Shrila Prabhupad about these features.

“Relief from material distress. In the Bhagavad Gita the Lord says that one should surrender unto Him, giving up all other engagements. The Lord also gives His word that He will protect such surrendered souls from the reactions of all sinful activities.”[2]

Sarva dharman parityaja mam ekam sharanam vraja – all other engagements, go beyond that. Dharma mean the duty of human life. Go beyond dharma, these general rules and commitments. Mam ekam – surrender to Me alone with one-pointed attention. Sharanam means to take shelter. To take shelter – this is like arriving home. This is a very good feeling.

So, the path of dharma is to be followed. Except in one case – when you fully surrender to the divine desire. Unless you cannot do that, don’t give up dharma engagement – the basic principles of human life. Therefore it is said: we should live according to the principles of dharma and we should think and feel according to the principles of rasa – the inner joy. Dharma is the proper engagement and rasa is our ultimate relationship to the Supreme.

But here it is also mentioned that God, Krishna, will protect us from sinful reactions. Finally a topic that we understand! Pure devotional service is so theoretical; sinful activities – this is our daily practice. But once Gurudev told me some bad news – that some devotees are listening to some stupid music. I was amazed to hear such thing is possible! I was horrified and I asked: “Ah, Gurudev, what will be the reaction of this?” And he said: “This already is a reaction.” Then I understood that I have to polish my understanding about action-reaction.

But what are these sinful reactions, what are these sinful activities? Again we have to frighten ourselves and torture ourselves with this concept of sin and feeling guilty? Yes! Yes, torture yourself a little bit. Because unfortunately that is true. We had committed a lot of mistakes. Our list is long. And if we depend on a just God, the way of salvation would also be long. So, do you believe in God of justice? No, we are not fans of a just God. We want a merciful God, who is not interested in where you come from, but who is interested in where you are going to.

There is something similar I have read in one book, the title is ‘The axis of life’. When our pilgrims meet the peasants, the lady doesn’t ask: “Where do you come from?”, but she asks: “What is your destination?” And then the master checks with all the disciples: “Do you remember this meeting, how it happened?” Some of the guys came up with different-different conceptions, but finally the master points out: “No. She inquired about your destination, not about your past.” So, irrespective of the long list what we have committed, we all have a balance, but irrespective of that there is a direct path of liberation and purification.


(to be continued)


[1]  Rupa Goswami Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.17

[2] The Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 1


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