Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Even if our masters let us do or do not let us do, sometimes we have to overrun the instructions. Shall I give you an example? This is a difficult, this is a hard story. Once a spiritual master told one of his disciples: “Go to that other disciple and bring his japa from initiation. Because he is not up to the standard, he is not doing his service, he is only criticizing and he is not cooperating, so I reject him, I withdraw my mercy from him.”

My dear ones, just imagine yourselves receiving such a service from Gurudev – go to your brother, snatch the japamala and tell him that „you are rejected”. Devotional service – ki jay! So our friend went to this brother and his heart was a little heavy. “I should come with such a sad message to a person, to my brother.” So with some little compassion he tried to approach the person to understand what is happening. May be the activities, may be the news are not so positive about the person, but what is there? And as they were discussing, he understood that “Wait a minute! He is not an offender. He doesn’t want to give up Gurudev’s connection. He is not so bad. Definitely he has some problems, but he is not an offender.” So what was his decision – he decided not to fulfill the desire, the direct instruction of the spiritual master: “Bring the japamala back from this person and tell him that he is rejected.” He did not do.

But you know in a good system you have to report your activities. So it did not pass unnoticed that the japamala did not return back and the message was not transmitted to the person. Our friend had to report what he was doing. So in a very humble way next time he started to explain to his spiritual master. His master asked: “Did you fulfill my direct order?”

I have noticed a very special type of avoiding mentality within the devotees – when they get a direct question, they come with the excuses. “Have you cooked the prasadam for Krishna?” “You know, Gurudev, today was very difficult and I was very engaged.” This is avoiding. Direct question, direct answer. “No, I was not preparing the prasadam yet.” Because usually the master is not interested in your excuses because he knows all of them, he knows much better and much more excuses than you can give. So don’t come with the excuses – direct question, direct answer, please! “Have you accomplished your rounds?” “Gurudev, you know, today…” No!

But at the classical times it was happening: direct question, direct answer. So the master asked: “Where is the japa? Have you accomplished the mission?” and he said: “No, Gurudev!” And then he gave the explanation why not, why this guy was very offensively overrunning the direct instruction of the spiritual master. And what did the spiritual master say? “Very nice!”.

I think this is a very instructive story. Sometimes, even in spiritual circles there are very difficult services. If you are fanatic – you will go, snatch the japa, smash the person, accomplish your mission and get a patting on the shoulder from your master. “Yes! He is an offender number one. He is lazy, he is in maya. You were right, Gurudev – he is in maya, totally! I also knew him like this.” Trying to get a better position – up licking, down kicking. But no, this guy said: “Gurudev I could not do that, because I was watching, I was observing, I was talking to that guy and he is a very nice devotee. May be little in trouble, but don’t do that. Please don’t do like that.” It happens that sometimes instead of the punishing finger of your spiritual master you can become the blessing hand.

Yet the basic principle is to say “yes” to guru, trying to accomplish the service that is given to us, however difficult it is, because without sacrifice you cannot live and you will not be successful either in this lifetime, or in the next.

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