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Extra English Issues issues

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, evening, Ludashto)
 
Question: Due to what reasons one can find the company of the devotees and how he or she can enter? What is the explanation?
Swami Tirtha: Bhakti in general is very basic and very elevated at the same time. Why I say basic? Because this is the ultimate language, this is practically the only language around the Supreme. There is no other way or communication than divine love in the supreme divine circles. Therefore this is very natural and very basic. And why I say that this is very unique and special at the same time? Because here in the worldly life this is the most misused  word. 
Those who practice this divine process of loving attachment to the Supreme are called the bhaktas. There are unlimited ways of spiritual practices. Some people say there are atheism, agnosticism and religion. But I say there is only religion. Why? Because those who, like atheists, want to deny the existence of God, first they have to positively acknowledge what they later on want to deny. In this way atheism is also a kind of faith – faith in the non-existence of God. 
But beyond all these different classifications, these different spiritual and religious processes, there is one very unique, very special relationship. And this is called bhakti, bhakti-yoga if you want. Bhakti is this devotional loving attachment to the Supreme Lord, while yoga means ‘connection’; so this connection is based on emotional attachment. And very few people follow this path. Therefore we have to pay attention to this path. Because it’s the selected few who follow. 
So how can we enter the circle of devotees? It’s very simple – you just enter! This circle is open. Therefore we might say that this is not a circle; if it is open, it’s not a circle, because a circle is always closed. But this circle is a special circle – it’s open. This is a circle of close one. And the reason why we meet devotees and the path of bhakti is our good luck. Those who are lucky they meet, those who are not lucky they don’t meet. Those who are even more unlucky, even if they meet, they don’t join. What can we do?! We can only pray for them. Why? Because they miss only one thing – ecstasy. 
Some devotees have taken the trouble, they were ready to preach, to meet other people, instead of simply enjoying their internal bhajan. Actually we are sitting here due to these devotees’ sacrifice. Objectively observing we can say that we meet the devotional practice, bhakti, due to that sacrifice; somebody else makes the sacrifice. 
So there are already two answers to your question: one is the blind luck and the other was other people’s sacrifice. Nevertheless if we examine the question theoretically, we can say that due to some pious activities before – it’s called sukriti – you can meet devotees. 
I had a very serious problem, like a topic to think it over: how atheism is spreading? Why? What is the reason for atheism to spread? How is it that people don’t understand this beautiful, real, religious attachment and the divine reality – how they don’t understand? And I was not satisfied by simply claiming that this is Kali Yuga, this is not the epoch of faith. What to speak of any so called scientific explanation why religion is not necessary. Science also tries to explain, but it’s absolutely irrelevant. The opinion of science says that matter in an unknown way permanently is being manifested from nothing – this is the scientific explanation of the existence. Why is it scientific? It’s a kind of faith, you cannot prove that. In this way there is no relevant explanation why irreligion is spreading. And then I met the answer of Shrila Shridhara Maharaj, who claims that irreligion is spreading because people do not have enough sukriti. They have a very degraded life and therefore their understanding is not developed enough to catch on the higher truth. So if we live a very degraded life, we shall lose our faith. Then how to meet a real divine process? Live a very pious, very qualitative life. 
Here is another kind of explanation how we can meet devotees or bhakti. But if we have met, let’s do something about it. We can say that bhakti, or divine love, is the ultimate function of the soul. We don’t have any other engagement than this. Yet we engage ourselves in so many different activities.  
 
(to be continued)


beauty

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Question of Yashoda: What does perfect sadhana and the perfection of sadhana mean? 
Swami Tirtha: Let’s start with the sadhana of perfection, because this is the basis. The sadhana of perfection is a painful path. Because to reach perfection we have to get rid of all anarthas – all those attachments that we cherish. Anartha means ‘no value’. Siddha-artha means ‘the value of perfection’; anartha means ‘no value’. Anartha-nivritti means to get rid, to purify yourself of all anarthas – this is painful. 
Just remember all the demons – they were practicing the sadhana of perfection, right? Hiranyakashipu’s body was eaten by the ants! Can you imagine yourself to perform such a sadhana – that your body is eaten up by the ants? It’s a little painful.
Baladev: A little.
Swami Tirtha: Nevertheless, he was able to circulate his vital force in his skeleton. Quite a mystic power, ha? Do you want some mystic powers? I don’t think that this skeleton-prana is our goal, our siddha-artha. So we can say that even the sadhana of perfection might be misused in a demoniac way. 
Therefore let’s observe it from the opposite direction, the reversed order – what is the perfection of sadhana? The goal of sadhana, sadhana-artha, is to convert you into a sadhu, to make you a sadhu. And who is a sadhu according to Krishna? “Those who after many-many lifetimes realize that I am all, I am everything – vasudeva sarvam iti.” [1]
So we have to find the best method of sadhana, which will very quickly bring us to the other shore of the material ocean. “I quickly rescue them from the ocean of the material existence.”[2] And after Mahaprabhu practically all different schools agree on this point that the best method of perfection is chanting the holy names. Sometimes they recommend other practices like homa – make a fire sacrifice every day in your home; or go on a pilgrimage; or whatever. But everybody agrees that the most direct method is to sit down and chant. So this is a universal dharma-principle for this age especially. 
And finally here the perfection of sadhana is not painful. The sadhana of perfection is painful, but the perfection of sadhana is blissful. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. 
Question of Lokanath: How to chant properly, in a pure manner?
Swami Tirtha: We are so fortunate to belong to a tradition. Because Gurudev was asked the same question. And he gave a very shocking answer. He didn’t say: “Sit longer” or “Do it like this, chant in one shot all your 16 rounds”. He didn’t give any such technical advice. But he said: “Well, serve those who chant purely.” In this way you will receive that quality, receive that blessing in your life. By service you will get pure chanting. What a beautiful idea! Of course it doesn’t mean that you neglect your chanting. ‘Ah, it’s Gurudev’s business to give me the unconditional flow of divine nectar, so I don’t have to do anything here.’ You have to do your job. Prepare the soil of the garden of your hearts, so that when Mahaprabhu comes, He can scatter the good seeds on the field. Therefore our way to perfection is service mood. 
 
1. Bhagavad Gita 7.19
2. Bhagavad Gita 12.6-7

 



May

17

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Siddhartha, siddha-sankalpa, siddhi-da, siddhi-sadhana.[1]
Siddha-sankalpa – the second name. Sankalpa is a commitment, is dedicating yourself, is a decision. When you decide: ‘Yes! I am for siddha, I am for perfection! Whatever I do, I do it for perfection.’ And don’t forget, our perfection is this molten heart. So, even if we have to chastise ourselves, we do it for the softening of the heart.
Without sankalpa there is no progress and no results. Therefore in all rituals you will find a sankalpa: this ritual is for the service of Vishnu; or this fire sacrifice is for the peace of the world. And we all individually have to find, identify and strengthen this sankalpa in our life, in our spiritual practice. Sankalpa will give you the strength. No doubt we need a lot of efforts and a lot of perseverance in our spiritual practices and as soon as we declare a sankalpa, it will provide a special power. Therefore you have to be very careful about your sankalpa.
Once I made a mistake. At the samadhi mandir[2] of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur I was praying for the chance of preaching. Later on I understood the mistake: I forgot to ask for power, strength. There was so much engagement that I hardly could accomplish. Today I would pray for strength. But don’t commit the same mistake again: you pray for power, yet you forget to ask for service.
So sankalpa, your dedication, is a very important thing. And once you have given it, you cannot take it back. It’s not nice. Siddha-sankalpa.
Siddhi-da, the next name: siddhi is the perfection itself and da is one who provides. So, even if you commit yourself to perfection, even if you follow all the goals of perfection, perfection will be provided by Him, not by our own efforts. So fortunate we are! If it depends on our efforts, what kind of perfection could we achieve? A half-perfection or an invalid perfection? Or what? Technical perfection in this age is practically impossible. But what kind of perfection is very much possible? That one which is provided by divinity. It’s given to you – as a gift!
But the last name compromises my words. Because it looks like that in order to achieve the unconditional, merciful siddhi provision we should follow a siddhi-sadhana, a sadhana for perfection. Or let’s follow another sadhana – the perfection of sadhana. Not a sadhana for perfection, but the perfection of sadhana. If you follow sadhana, then you will become a siddha, a sadhu, a perfected person. In the past and in the future there is only one class of human beings – siddha, perfected ones. Or hamsas – pure like the swans. And swans like clean water. Especially when this is a lake; then this lake is called after them. Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky must have been in deep meditation at that time. So, the saints, the swan-like saintly persons, come together on the banks of a virtual lake. For what reason? In order to practically serve divinity and the ashram. Why? Because they derive a special taste from this.
So, Siddhartha, Siddha-sankalpa, Siddhi-da, Siddhi-sadhana – the goal of perfection, the decision for perfection, the gift of perfection and the perfection of sadhana – this is our way.
 
(to be continued)
 
1.  Vishnu Sahasra Nama, vs.27
2.  Name for a temple, shrine or memorial commemorating the dead.

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)

(continues from the previous Monday)

I would like to think over some names mentioned in the list of Vishnu Sahasra Nama. In the 27-th verse there it is said: siddhartha, siddha-sankalpa, siddhi-da, siddhi-sadhana. Siddhartha Abhay Charan Prabhu?

Abhay Charan: Siddha means ‘perfect’ – it’s a special grammatical form, past participle – it shows by the grammatical structure that it’s accomplished in perfection. Artha, the second part, has many different meanings, but one important meaning is ‘value’. Yet it also means ‘goal’. So, if these two parts are united, we see a very superior goal. Perfection as a goal or perfection accomplished as a value.

Swami Tirtha: Siddhartha is a prince, a very well-known prince all over the Earth. Very popular these days. He is in our list. So all those who are enchanted by prince Siddhartha, actually they follow our path.

But if we analyze it upside down or in a reverse order, which is a very significant method, then we can say that this is the perfection of any goals or the accomplishment of all values – siddha-artha. And then this name provokes us to face ourselves – where is our accomplishment, where is our perfection and what is our goal?

So Siddhartha, this name should always remind us of our goal for perfection. And what is the perfection of devotional life?

Answer: To become a pure devotee.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. With what quality of heart you can achieve that?

Answer: Purity and full commitment.

Swami Tirtha: Anything more? Can you achieve that with a heart of stone? In devotional life perfection means a certain quality of your heart. It’s not that you haven’t had a heart attack yet. It doesn’t mean that all the chambers and pumps are working properly there. But we need a different quality. And the quality of the heart of a pure devotee has only two types. One is a little hard – hard like butter. Butter is not very hard, but still it has got a shape, it has got a form. But you know, if you add some more ingredients to the butter – what is your suggestion, what should we mix in this butter?

Answer: Honey.

Swami Tirtha: Ah! Let’s add some drops of honey! When you mix butter with honey, it becomes like a cream – so soft! So, this is one quality of devotional heart, and this is the more hard type – the butter mixed with honey. And what is the other type of vaishnava heart? It’s liquid nectar.

So, if we jump to the 54th verse, there you will see somapo’mrtapah. Somapah means ‘to drink soma’. Amrtapah means ‘to drink amrta’. Amrta is the liquid nectar and soma is the liquid nectar; so if your heart becomes like… rubedo, liquid nectar, then our Lord is ready to accept a few drops from your heart.

So far about romanticism. Come down, back to Earth.

Question: Is the soft heart a gift from God?

Swami Tirtha: I said this much about romanticism. “Work now, samadhi later”[1]. But I think Gurudev can also do something here. This is the gift from the vaishnavas. Because we belong to a lineage. And those who have a melted heart, they can help us to melt our heart. Why? Because their power is stronger than our resistance. This is our hope. Our parampara is stronger than ourselves.

(to be continued)

1. A quote from Shrila Prabhupad



едно врабче кацна на огледалото на колата

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
The name is very important. If something has got a name, then we know what is what. If something doesn’t have a name, it’s unknown and unknowable to us. So we can say, a name is a transparent media of communication. And we do identify with our names. Just imagine yourself if your name is all of a sudden lost. You feel like your identity is lost. Therefore the name is a means of relationship and a means of knowledge, wisdom, and also a means of life. Especially from transcendental and spiritual point of view. Therefore all the different religious practices glorify the names of God.
We are fortunate, because we have a thousand names long list of Lord Vishnu’s names. And I’m sure that you have met some very well-known names in this list. You see that some of our dear brothers have the same names as included in the list of the Lord’s names. Not due to the reason that we want to quote the Mahabharata, but rather that we want to remember the Supreme Lord. 
And this is very powerful when your fellow brothers have some divine name, when they are named after some divine principle or God Supreme. Why? Just imagine yourself driving your car and almost creating an accident. Usually, especially ladies, what do they do? They exclaim your name: “Ah, Baladev!” That means they absorb their mind in meditation over Baladev. Maybe they are thinking of Baladev das who is creating a trouble on the highway, but they are connected to Baladev Prabhu, the Supreme. And when in special moments of life you remember the Supreme, it’s very beneficial. Then all of a sudden the divine providence is there, nicely arranging everything. So, I pray that the holy names protect us!
 
(to be continued)

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 19.08.2015, evening, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
There are so many aspirants for Krishna’s lotus feet. Do you like Vrindavana? Unison. In Vrindavana also there are many aspirants for Krishna’s lotus feet. Because if you catch the feet of a person, can that person move or run away? Cannot! If you catch the feet, you catch the person. The different groups in Vrindavana all aspire for the company of Krishna. This is a marketplace of rasas, different rasas. Yet some merchandise is not available there – there is no passive rasa. But all the other main rasas are there. And from all these multiple varieties of rasas, let’s pick two groups. Which one to pick? Yashodka, what do you say?
Yashoda: Gopis and gopas.
Swami Tirtha: Gopis and gopas – wow, you are very clever. All these devotional groups aspire for Krishna. And according to their mood, according to their divine feelings they call Krishna by the names. The gopis are in favor of secrets. Therefore they are calling to Krishna by first calling to Radha: “Radha Krishna!” Albedo! And then they enter into mystery: “Radhe Shyam!” Shyam is the Dark Lord. Nigredo! And this very melodious, very high voiced female meditation is answered by the gopas according to their manner. They are searching for their playmate: “Hey Govinda, hey Gopal!” So, what do the gopis say? “Radha Krishna, Radhe Shyam” and the gopas answer: “Hey Govinda, hey Gopal!” Two groups. Poor God! He has to multiply Himself! Everybody wants Him. 
Yet everybody is frustrated. They are calling for their beloved God, but no trace of Him! After some time they become perplexed – so much so, that the gopis loose their scarfs. While they are searching for their beloved Krishna, they lose some garments here and there – some lady belongings. The gopas in the same way lose their sticks, flutes, this and that, because they don’t find their Krishna. From one forest – out; into another forest – in; everybody is running after one-another in a mad search after their beloved Krishna. All of a sudden the gopas find the scarfs and in their deep meditation they think: “Ah, if we act like the gopis, maybe we can invite Krishna more!” Meanwhile the gopis also find some flutes, some sticks, some ropes here and there, and they also meditate: “Ah, maybe our Lord is with the gopas and maybe if we act like the gopas, He will come to us!” So everybody is absorbed in a transformation meditation. Rubedo – all the colors are changed. “Radha Krishna Radhe Shyam, hey Govinda hey Gopal!” 
No trace of Krishna. But in the next kunja[1] they meet. “Radha Krishna Radhe Shyam, hey Govinda hey Gopal!”
Nourish and preserve this intense search in your hearts. Because it hasn’t been a long time since we departed from divine harmony. And it doesn’t take a long path to return there. 
 
1. Kunja – forest grove


Apr

12

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 19.08.2015, evening, Ludashto)
 
Paramvijayate shri krishna sankirtanam – “Let the congregational chanting of the holy names be victorious all over!”[1] As we discussed, our process originates from divinity, aims at divinity and meanwhile provides a divine practice. If we go back in time, we shall find a unified reality. The different parts and elements of that reality tell us about the same story. There was one God. There was one process. There was one way. There was one mantra. There was only one type of practitioner. And there was only one scripture. If we go forward into the future, into the non-existent future, again we shall find one God, one scripture, one method, one path, one religion, one mantra. And what is our goal now, at the present moment? To reflect back on the past? Or to imagine the future? No, let’s unite that in this special, divine-given moment. 
So that there is one God. Which type of God. God of punishment? God of rule and law? Or God of mercy, God of love? What is your preference? There is only one God. Ultimately His nature is anandamayi – made of divine bliss. From this divine bliss everything comes. 
There is only one scripture. Uh, that’s complicated! Which scripture? There is an ocean of scriptures. Which one to pick? Pick the Gita? Not bad. Pick the Bhagavatam? Ah, better! Choose the Chaitanya Charitamritam? Ah, all the devotees are happy! Or jump into the nectarean ocean of divine mellows or rasas – Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu? No, everybody faints even on the shore of that ocean. But there is only one scripture and that is written in the hearts of pure devotees. So, my humble suggestion is this scripture. 
There is only one process. Self-torture? Or heavy asceticism? Or what else? There are so many methods! But there’s only one method – paramvijayate shri krishna sankirtanam, the congregational chanting of the holy names. 
And there is only one mantra. Only one mantra?! There are seventy million mantras of creation for this universe! Which one to pick from this unlimited number of mantras? 
Yashoda: Radhe-Govinda!
Swami Tirtha: All right, officially let’s choose the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. But if you want to enter with plunge into the ocean of nectarean rasa, then you can find some more. 
And there is only one religion. Many people think that there are many different religions, but there is only one super-religion – that one which will supremely satisfy your heart, and this is that special method by which you can satisfy the Supreme Lord. Therefore we need an uninterrupted and unconditional service mood. So the only condition in spiritual life is that there are no conditions. The only condition is unconditional surrender.
 
1. Shikshashtakam 1

 



b1

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 19.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Question: If we mention belonging to a sacred tradition – this is so nice and important. But what about the joining? Because we observe the ceremony, we see that the person receives a collar and starts some spiritual practice, but what really happens inside? Just like when a mother delivers, something happens. Before she was only a woman and now she starts to be a mother. Even the biology and the hormonal system starts to help this process to grow. So what’s the secret here, what’s the mystery?
Swami Tirtha: There is no mystery, it’s only biochemistry. But what happens in spiritual chemistry? It’s called alchemy. Al-gebra, al-chemy – we start to learn the spiritual hermetic sciences. Diksha is a process of transformation. And if we take alchemy, there are at least a dozen different processes of alchemy – like burning, calcination[1], putrefication[2], unification and finally to reach the quinta essentia. So, burning, rotting, whitening – and finally coming to the fifth essence. But if we break down all these many different processes of alchemy into only three, they are: albedo, nigredo and rubedo. The ultimate processes of spiritual alchemy are only three, three colors. Nigredo is to make something black. Albedo means to make something white. And rubedo means to make something red or golden. So the color code of spiritual alchemy is only three colors – black, white and golden. Shall I explain anything more? I think you understand. The dark Lord, the white Goddess and the golden unity of both. 
So this alchemy starts at the process of initiation. Because there is a magician, there is an alchemist in this process. He is burning all the fires and in his pots all the black-white substances are stewing. Sometimes explosions are there. ‘Too much! – he says – “Too much heat I gave! Slowly, Slowly!’ Other times nothing happens, so he has to heat the fire a little more. I think you know who this figure is. But there is a magic stone, the touchstone, which will turn the lead and iron into gold. And this special touchstone, lapis nostrum, our stone, is called the holy name. And our stone is very-very special. Our stone, if it touches the heart, will definitely start this pure bio- or al-chemistry. So, no mystery! Pure alchemy or “biochemy”. 
But one little thing to add. Here we worship a piece of sacred stone[3], representing fully Krishna. What is the ideal of this Govardhan? This is protection. The different processes, the different worships will provide different fruits. And if we worship the divine protection, it will provide you divine protection. Therefore please, embrace this touchstone. 
 
1.  The breaking down of a substance by fierce heating and burning usually in an open crucible.
2.  The rotting of a substance, often under a prolonged gentle moist heat. Usually the matter becomes black.
3.  Giriraj


2011_NYR_02425_0452_000(a_painting_of_krishna_lifting_mount_govardhan_north_india_pahari_regio)

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 19.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Belonging to a sacred tradition also means some commitment. Before I was a freelance fallen soul, but now I am a fallen soul on a tie. And I tell you, it’s very beneficial and very good to be on a tie. Because if a dog has a collar, if a dog has a tie – for that dog you know that it belongs to someone. So, if we belong to a tradition, we have to represent this tradition. 
Then another question arises: how to help this tradition, how to serve this tradition, how to maintain this tradition? There are so many ways to help a tradition to survive and to flourish. First of all there are individual practices. If you chant the holy names, the chanting of the holy name as a tradition is maintained. For a long time you might think that you start the practice: ‘I start my chanting.’ But I feel this is the other way round. The chanting, the tradition needs practitioners; therefore it invites practitioners, it embraces new and new practitioners. That also proves that it is not started from the human side, but the invitation comes from the divine side: ‘Please, join this practice!’ So there should always be some permanent consciousness about this – that we are part of something superhuman. 
And there is the community, or the social side of this tradition. For example organizing events, maintaining temples, preaching, publications, etc, etc. So you see, it’s a very integral part of something extraordinary, important and divine. And this is the common denominator in all spiritual groups and in all spiritual practices – that it should reflect the divine and it should bring the human to the divine platform. 
So, belonging to a sacred tradition means that you have a background. And also you have a prospective goal. Therefore by proper cultivation we should help this school to grow, this tradition to flourish. Don’t forget about the elderly gopas when Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill – they also used their sticks: ‘Like that it’s not so heavy, Krishna is a small boy, we can also hold our sticks.’ We are like these old gopas, we also hold our little sticks. The mission – Mahaprabhu’s mission, Krishna’s mission – is going on, but nevertheless we hold our little sticks. 
Let me quote only one sentence from Shrila Shridhara Maharaj. He says that this process of bhakti is a journey from the land of distrust and frustration to the land of beauty and love. So from distrust we want to reach the realm of divine love. Therefore we believe in the Source, the Maintainer and the Ultimate Shelter of the universe. We believe in the eternity of the soul and its belonging to the Supreme. We believe in the sanctity of life and its supreme mission. We believe in the victory of the light over the darkness. And also we believe in the chance of purification and perfection. Trust.
 
(to be continued)


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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 19.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Swami Tirtha: What consequences are there if we belong to a sacred tradition? This is my question, so please, help!
Answer: We follow an authentic spiritual guide from this tradition.
Swami Tirtha: Good. Is this a right or an obligation? 
Yashoda: It’s a privilege. 
Swami Tirtha: All right, let’s stop here for a while. If you say following a bona fide master is a privilege, I agree – it’s a chance, it’s a privilege, it’s a glorious position. But it’s not easy. And you might think that all those who today are very close to the master and enjoy the attention and the embrace of the master are in a very unique and charming position. Everybody is smiling. But have you seen the path how they reached that position? Now everybody is smiling; there were times when at least one of the parties was crying. So if you see the smiles, please have an apprehension, have a suspicion: there must have been something else also. As it is said, without the roots there are no fruits. We can also say, without the tears there are no smiles. And this is the price we have to be ready to pay. 
Other consequences of following a sacred tradition? 
Haribhakti: Following such a tradition there is a moment when we realize the goal of our life, the meaning of our life. 
Swami Tirtha: Very nice. And it happens many times. First when you meet the devotees you think: ‘Ah, now I have realized the goal of my life!’ Then after some rime you come to a little higher understanding of your identity, of your spiritual role and then you say again: ‘Ah, now I have realized something, I have understood the mission of my life. Before I didn’t know, but now I know.’ And it goes on, and on, and on. Why? Because this is a progressive evolution of consciousness. Not only on the individual platform – that we understand about ourselves little more and more – but also we can come closer to more fine, more delicate ideas, principles and practices in divine life. 
This is very nicely shown or proven by the story of the son, when the father sent him to a master to study the Shrimad Bhagavatam. After one year the boy returned and the father asked: “My dear son, have you studied, have you learned?” And the son said: “Yes! Yes, my father, I have learned everything!” Then the father said: 
You don’t understand anything! Go back to the master, study!” Next year the boy came again and the father asked: “Now my dear son, have you studied?” Then the boy said: “Well, my dear father, last year I didn’t know, but now I know everything.” Then the father said: “Back! You don’t know anything, go back to your master!” After one more year the boy came again and the father asked: “Now my dear son, have you studied everything about the Bhagavatam?” And finally the son said: “Well, my dear father, I understood that I don’t understand anything about it.” And then the father said: “Yes, my dear son!” 
So, if we realize the goal of our life – very nice, go ahead! We shall return to this question after one year, second year, third year. 
 
(to be continued)