Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

Krishna describes what His preference from amongst the yogis is. He says: “From among all the different types of yogis that one is the dear most for Me who is united with Me in devotion[1]. Therefore a yogi should be an example for others. Abandoning attachments – this is one main characteristics of a yogi. It’s not that he possess or doesn’t possess something; the question is whether he is attached or not. You can have all the assets of the whole world; if you are not attached, then you are free. And maybe you don’t have anything, but you are full of desires – that means you are attached.

Once the devotees asked a beggar in India: ”Oh, you are so fortunate, you don’t have any material belongings. Why don’t you join us?” He said: “It’s impossible. That’s true, I don’t have anything right now, but if I join you, I will never ever have anything!” You see: to have or not to have is not a qualification. While here it is mentioned: “be unattached”- this is the real qualification, because then you are free. “Such a yogi who is free from attachment will act with his body, mind, intelligence and senses only for the purpose of purification.”[2]

This is a very positive type of engagement. Whatever is given to us in the form of our body, in the form of our talents – we can connect that to the service of the Supreme. But it is not enough simply to perform some activities; we have to add a special quality, which is called dedication. That will bring a different way of expression into our life. And if our goal is purification, then we can use practically all the abilities that we have in order to achieve that purpose. For example we don’t suggest that people should become fakirs. We don’t say: “Don’t eat!” Right, because this is like a real, ascetic demand: “Don’t eat!” No, we have a very easy version: “Don’t eat meat”. Because if you put karma-free energy into your body, your consciousness will be also karma-free sooner or later. So, you can use your eating habits as a spiritual practice. It’s very important. How many times do you eat per day – not calculating the chips, and this and that meanwhile? Two-three times, right. And how many times do you meditate per day? Usually people hardly find any time for spiritual practice: “Oh, I am so busy!” Isn’t it? Be realistic. Although by meditating we work for our eternal benefit; and by engaging in any kind of material, worldly activities is called “wild goose chasing”.

I wouldn’t say ‘stop all activities’, as we agreed that a yogi should be active. But be active in the proper sense. Connect all your activities with some kind of dedication, some kind of inviting divine powers, some kind of service mood. Follow some rules even during the simple daily activities. Offer your sattvic food to God, chant your prayer before starting eating. In the mornings try to find some time for meditation or worship. Follow the rules for bodily and mental purification. Because cleanliness is next to godliness. So, there are certain rules that will help your transformation. And slowly-slowly in this way we can turn our days into divine days. Your activities will be controlled, your knowledge will be controlled, your speech will be controlled. And don’t think by that controlling, controlling, controlling you will be a dry and ugly person. No, a fully controlled person is attractive. Why? Because his or her energies are focused. And as we discussed, he or she loves everyone and everybody loves him or her. It’s only a question of time. But if you are a pure soul, sooner or later it will happen.

This is the way to engage all your bodily or mental, practical and theoretical capacities in divine service. And then it is possible to achieve a very special and very dignified position – liberation. Liberation from the bondage of material existence. In order to achieve that you don’t have to die. I wouldn’t say it is easy to achieve liberation if you die – it’s not so easy – but anyway many people think: ‘Now I give some little time for myself. When death will come, it will liberate me.’ No, you don’t have to wait until your death. Because if you die for the sins and for the improper activities, then without leaving your body you can be born anew. Achieving that type of perfection means jivan muktah – liberated while living. That means a very special transformation has happened. With all the different capabilities of your existence you are connected and you are engaged in divine service.

The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.”[3]

So, peace is a signal of spiritual achievements. Peace – not in a passive way, but a kind of active peace. Therefore the highest engagement for the soul, for us, human beings, is the divine service somehow. This is the original function of the soul; if we start this kind of service, there is nothing new for us, only reviving your original nature and duty. This is the way how to come back to the source of all existence. And this is yet another aspect of the art of action. Spiritual culture means in harmony with the divine.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 6.47

[2] Bhagavad Gita 5.11

[3] “Bhagavad Gita”,5.12



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