Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 30.09.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

I think the best way to celebrate the guru-principle is to remember those representatives who bring this principle so close to us. Therefore I’d like to read from Shrila Shridhara Maharaj. ‘Specific service’; this is a question and answer meeting.

“Question: The disciple sees his guru as absolute, but others may see the same person in a relative conception. So, is the guru relative or absolute?

Shrila Shridhara Maharaj: Generally the advice is that in the beginning the disciple will look at his guru as a representative of the Supreme Lord Himself. But when he makes some progress and inner enlightenment begins, he will gradually find that Krishna, the Absolute, has a particular system and He has His potencies of different varieties. According to the disciple’s inner awakenment, he will have fitness for that particular class of service. That will be considered and he will be taken under guidance in that particular type of service.”

So, that means that in the beginning we have a general conception of divine principle: ‘My master is very divine’. And later on our vision should not change to ‘He is not divine’, but to be more specific: ‘He is divine in a special way’.

“When one sees his guru gradually according to his innate capacity and quality, he will find dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa or madhurya-rasa. The government grants the service. He will face some examination, some test, and he will be put in a particular department, where he will find his immediate boss under whom he will serve and be guided. That is the general situation and in this way the devotee will find his maximum gain there.”

It’s like a hierarchy. And the original meaning of hierarchy is ‘the structure of sanctity’. So it’s a divine structure and if you integrate yourself into this hierarchical structure, which is based on divine principles, then you will find your prospect. What is a family? A family is a hierarchy. Some participants might have some misunderstanding, like prabhus might think that they are the boss; let them live according to this illusion. But in general we can say that there is a head of the family, there is a mother of the family, there are some kids in the family. And if a kid integrates nicely into this structure, he will find shelter. Problems will start when he starts fighting for his freedom. Then the hierarchy is broken and he will find no shelter or a different shelter. In the same way, if we integrate ourselves into a spiritual structure, so to say, then we can find our place, we can find our service. And this gives us a prospect – where to go, how to act, how to think, how to feel.

“At first the whole system is as if one – like an integrated unity. Then a devotee will find himself in a particular part of that system, arranged according to his fitness and awakenment. Then finally he will be posted as a servitor to a particular guru, under whose guidance he will do anything and everything required from him.”

So, gurus have an eternal path and disciples also have an eternal path. And sometimes these tracks meet and cross. Sometimes a devotee is given to a guru and other times a guru is given to a devotee. But as both parties, the guru and the disciple, represent the principle – the principle of guru and the principle of the disciple – when they meet and this meeting is harmonious, then this is a divine act. So don’t think that only guru is a principle. Sishya is also a principle. Not a theory, it is a tangible reality.

(to be continued)


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