Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“How can devotion be known except through the hair standing on end, or through one’s heart melting, or through tears of joy, trickling down one’s cheeks? And how can one’s mind be purified except through devotion? A man, full of devotion to Me, who speaks in a voice chocked with devotion, whose heart melts through affection, who lives incessantly in the thought of separation from Me and sometimes laughs when reminded of My pastimes and who sings unabashed at the top of his voice and dances out of joy, purifies the whole world. Even as gold shakes its dross and regains its purity only when heated by fire, so does the soul shake off the seeds of karma through the discipline of devotion. The more ones mind gets purified by listening and recounting My auspicious stories, the better jiva is able to discern the subtle reality of the self, even as the eye is better able to perceive a minute object when treated with a medicated pigment.”[1]

So, how can we understand who has devotion? Here some symptoms of devotion are mentioned – like hair standing on end. But usually in our culture it is more like a sign of horror or shock, right? But if you have any little chakra experience, then you know what does it mean when you just start to feel this vibration going all over the body – this is what is meant here. But that is not easy to see, right? Melting of the heart is even more difficult to see, but you can feel how much power is emanating from the heart, I am talking about emotional power. And this we can perceive in the company of very purified and very great souls. It is simply good to be with them. So although we might think that these signals, these symptoms are very difficult to measure, we have the ability to feel, to perceive that in a subtle way.

And then were mentioned tears of joy, right? Actually tears of joy are like achintya philosophy – because if you are cheerful, how you can shed tears? Tears usually you shed when you cry. But when you are really happy, then some tears will appear. So this is achintya, uniting the opposites, bheda-abheda, happy and bitter. So there is a bitter taste in the sweetest moments.

“Weeps incessantly and sometimes laughs. And sings at the top of his voice and dances.” I have a friend and he is a very special devotee; whenever he should sing, he is not singing, whenever he should practice maunam, he is singing. Always on the opposite. But I am sure that this is very dear to our Lord, because God is not a controlled one. Well, some little things can control Him, but I think He is not very much captivated by the official version. Like the devotees should look like that, act like that, it should be done like that… It is very good in the elementary practice, necessary, no doubt, but when you can cross the borders in certain respect, I think this is real dedication.

[1] “Shrimad Bhagavatam” 11.14.23-26

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