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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




fire&wave

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2014, evening, Sofia) 

Question of Yadunath: Our spiritual master has love for us and this love is bringing us closer to our real identity. Our vision about him is different. Our love is childish or even like that of a puppy dog. How can we develop our love, how can we make it grow – our real love towards the spiritual master?

Swami Tirtha: Water the seeds. By chanting our mantras we water the seeds of devotion. And if our bhakti-lata grows, automatically it will bring different fruits.

The devotees of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu were so expert, they were so sensitive to feel the mood, to feel the spirit and the emotions of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu so much so that they could always supply the appropriate shlokas from different scriptures. Sometimes to agitate His fire, otherwise to pacify the waves of emotions in His heart. But if we want to apply that example in the service of our spiritual master, we have to understand his mood. We have to come close.

There are very subtle ingredients to enhance or to pacify the mood. For example the gopis carry different substances for the service of Krishna. Sometimes they bring camphor, other times they bring incense or very precious fragrant oils and actually all these different substances help to increase the taste, enhance remembrance, agitate the fire or pacify the waves.

In the same way, we all have some ingredients in our hands. We have to use all these ingredients, all these capacities that we have in life in general for trying to serve the purpose of the master, trying to serve his moods. But if we don’t know how to do it, because we are not so sensitive, we cannot understand what he likes, we have a very simple method that was described by Shrila Rupa Goswami – inquire. Ask: “Swamiji, what do you like? How can I serve you? What do you need?” Yet you know, a really surrendered devotee doesn’t need anything. So with such an open question: “What do you need?” he will say: “I have everything, thank you! I don’t need anything.” So we have to be very careful in our inquiries.

And even sometimes the direct instruction is very difficult to understand. If I may tell one example for that; I think I’ve told you the story many times, but it is so classical that it’s worth repeating. Once Gurudev asked one of his disciples: “Can you bring me a cup of water?” And he started to think: ‘A cup of water? Such a simple thing for my highly elevated master? No, it’s not enough. That is not good enough service. Better I bring another liquid for him. And what is the best liquid? I have learned on the lectures that the best liquid is milk.” So, really it happened. They brought a cup of milk to Gurudev. And you know, you expect your master to be very satisfied with your services. ‘Gurudev, you are so great and I am bringing the greatest liquid for you!’ And what happened? Gurudev was very much upset. “Stupid! What are you bringing me? I only wanted to paint my tilak – why did you bring this milk to me?”

So sometimes even the direct instructions are very difficult to understand. Nevertheless we should inquire. That was the fifth principle – to inquire: ‘How can I develop my devotion?’

 

 



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