Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”[1]

Question of Kripadham: Is it possible to look at this verse in a different way? In the Second Chapter of “Bhagavad Gita” Arjuna tells to Krishna that he accepts Him as his master. And after all, this conversation is between Arjuna and Krishna, actually Krishna is talking to Arjuna. If we see this conversation like between guru and disciple, maybe this instruction concerns the disciple towards his master? Because in the ultimate sense we don’t have faith in Krishna, we don’t know who He is. The only faith we have is in our master. Where he leads us, there we go.

Tirtha Maharaj: To hell?

Kripadham: Recently I was thinking that if my Gurudev was preaching to me not for Krishna, but – for example – for the bright light – yet in the same manner, in the same mood, would I follow the bright light? And the answer was: yes, I would follow.

Tirtha Maharaj: But how can a lover of the black light preach about the white light? It’s impossible. It’s impossible in the same way!

But this is a very nice point that you’ve mentioned. I think your spiritual master is very satisfied. Because Arjuna has a multiplicity of rasa, of approaches to Krishna. First of all they are relatives. Second – they are friends. And they are like co-fighters. And here in the beginning Arjuna says: “Ah! I am your surrendered disciple. Please, instruct me what is best for me! I am a little perplexed.”

A good disciple is actually like a calf. In what sense? Not in the sense that he is escaping all around, running here and there. But in the sense that if the cow sees the calf, she will give more milk. So, Arjuna acts like a good calf. And sometimes the calves push the udder so much: “Give me more milk! Give me more milk!” In the same way, Arjuna pushes Krishna: “Show me Your divine form also! I’m Your surrendered disciple, but show me something more exciting!” but then it’s a little too much for him: “Ah, yeah, it’s very nice, but come back to Your original form, it’s a little too much for me!”

So, you see, there is a multiplicity of approaches here. But Krishna in a very generous way always acknowledges the friendship of Arjuna. Krishna calls Arjuna: “Ah, My dear friend!” And this shows a very generous, very gentle approach of the superior.

But anyway, first Arjuna says: “You are my guru,” then he says: “You are my God!”, right?

Kripadham: In the song “Samsara” is the same, Gurudev.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. Well, it is suggested that we should see God in our spiritual master. Therefore this conclusion, that we should put our faith into our spiritual master, is correct.

But who is the ultimate spiritual master? The adi-guru is Krishna. That is never changed. The samasta-guru or the multiplicity of gurus can be changed. Because the one sun is represented in the many reflections, like little waters. So the samasta-guru, the many gurus are the reflections of the original sun. And in certain cases one receptacle of water can be substituted for the other. But the tattva is not lost. So maybe the personal guru is lost – due to separation, death, whatever – but the essence, the tattva is never lost. Guru as a principle is never lost. Because this is a divine mercy – it’s never lost!

But once my friend asked me in a very intimate discussion: “Could you tell me something?” “Yes, of course!” “If your guru would have preached Buddhism, you would be a Buddhist?” And I said: “Most probably, yes.”

Because in the initial phase this connection to Shri Guru is like a love affair. You cannot really explain why, it’s just there, you are attracted. Why? Why you love me? I don’t know! Can you give an explanation to love, emotions? I think it’s impossible. I feel fortunate that he was preaching krishna-bhakti.

Yamuna: You would have felt fortunate if he was preaching Buddhism.

Tirtha Maharaj: But it happened like this, so I cannot help this.

Therefore we can conclude that guru-shishya relationship is not simply to follow some instructions, it’s not only an official entrance to some line of spiritual school. But this is a contact of love. A very essential, very powerful contact of affectionate connection between soul and soul. And this is a divine chance. We study this object; we learn how to do it properly. `

So, this initial faith in the Supreme must be very pure. Then He will guide you to the proper path, then He will guide you to the proper teacher, and then He will remove all the unnecessary obstacles – inner anarthas and the outer traps. This essential, inner, original faith should be nurtured and should be maintained all the way long. So many things can change in our life. But this should be permanent. This commitment should be permanent.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 18.65

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