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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2017 evening, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday)

Once Narada Muni was walking around in Vrindavana. He had his lute and he was fully absorbed in chanting the names of his Lord: “Narayan! Narayan!” There is a short version, a medium version and a longer version of the same mantra: namo narayan; namo narayanaya namaha and om namo narayanaya namaha. So, he was absorbed in chanting these mantras and all of a sudden what did he see? He was walking among the tulasis and he saw a dog approaching. Before I go on with the story, I have to mention that it is said that the tulasi is so sacred that if you feed it with some water, if you circumambulate the tulasi or simply if you pass by a tulasi, moksha is guaranteed. So it’s a very sacred, very powerful object. Narada Muni was passing in this tulasi garden when this dog came. You know the nature of dogs when they find a tree. Narada Muni was horrified: “Impossible! To pass urine on the tulasi!?! It’s incredibly sinful! What to do with such an animal!? Although I’m considered to be the apostle of bhakti, this is so offensive that I’ve never heard of that! So what can I do? I have no answer, so I should find some authority.”

Immediately he collected some gandharva friends around and they decided: “We have to find an authority to discuss this very serious topic – a dog was passing urine on the sacred tulasi!” They decided that they will bring this dog to the authorities; but you cannot touch such a sinful thing because you will also become sinful if you come in close contact with it. So the gandharvas and the demigods made a palanquin, the dog jumped into it and the demigods started to carry the palanquin with the dog, with Narada Muni in the front. “Ah, such a job! We have to find a solution. So let’s go to Lord Shiva. He’s the protector of the dhama[1]. This is such a serious issue that we have to consult Shiva.”

So with the grand procession the demigods with the leadership of Narada Muni were carrying the sinful dog to the presence of Lord Shiva. He said: “Ah, Naradaji, so nice that you came! Who is this special person there in the palanquin?” Narada started to describe the story: “Lord Shiva! This dog was passing urine on the tulasi!” Then Shiva was horrified. He tried to open the third eye – because with the third eye he can burn up everything. But he was so much frustrated that even his third eye didn’t open. He was trembling and he said: “I have no idea how to punish such a dog! But we have a higher authority – Lord Brahma is there, let’s ask him.”

So Lord Shiva, Narada Muni, the demigods and the gandharvas were carrying in the palanquin this dog to Brahma-loka. Brahma-loka is the highest sphere of this universe, which you can reach only after unlimited tapasya and renunciation. This is the topmost platform in this universe and from there only one step is the spiritual sky. Brahma was very happy to greet all: “Hey, Shiva, you are here! Narada, my son, you came – so nice! And who is that special person that you are carrying in the palanquin?” And then they started to describe the story. Brahma was horrified. All his four faces turned sour: “I have absolutely no idea what to do with such a sinful dog!” Don’t forget, he is the topmost intelligence in the universe and he said: “No idea. Only God can help. Only He can solve this problem. Let’s go to Vaikuntha, to Lord Vishnu and ask Him.”

So in a grand procession they were crossing the viraja – from the materials sphere they entered the spiritual sky. And what happens in Vaikuntha? There’s Lord Vishnu and all the Lakshmis are serving Him. Usually He smiles. And all our friends came with a very depressed face because they didn’t know what to do. When they entered the palace of Lord Vishnu, He was smiling. He was greeting them very nicely: “Welcome! So nice that you came.” Then He asked: “Who is this special person?” – as if He didn’t know. Then they started to describe the story. And then Lord Vishnu was smiling even more: “You see this is the glory of tulasi! A little service to tulasi, even an offense to tulasi will result that Shiva, Brahma, Narada, all the gandharvas and the demigods are carrying the guy in a palanquin to Me.”

So, what shall we do? Please don’t pass urine on the tulasi – to create a big trouble in your small system. Don’t do that. But we all need the divine presence. We all want to find our way back home, back to Godhead. Always try to find your superiors. And even if we start with a mistake, no problem. Your superiors, your well-wishers will take you back home, back to Godhead.

(to be continued)

[1] The holy Vrindavana



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