Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Let’s discuss a little bit the vaishnava ego. Although I don’t like this topic, because to mention the mistakes and the shortcomings of human beings is a very easy topic. Everybody will feel targeted. This is very easy – to make people develop this inner guilt consciousness. And for centuries different religions were using this instrument to control people: how to make them feel guilty – to mention burning hell and boiling oils and different tortures here and there, just to make you peaceful and pay the taxes. Fortunately we have come to a much higher grade of spiritual practice, but it does have some requirements. If you practice this on the same platform as people generally practice their religion – because people usually want to enjoy the benefits and are very hesitant to offer anything in exchange – then there is no difference between the so called vaishnava practice and the general spiritual practice. This is a business and that is a business.

It was very obvious in one of our trips to India. We were visiting many different places, temples, monasteries and pilgrimage centers of different religions. Finally we came to Vrindavana. And there I understood what was the difference between the other places and this place. Because in all other places the story was starting and ending with “me”. The priest tells you: “Come here, give your donations, make this little puja, light the incense, tie this ribbon on the tree, tell your name and you are blessed. You can go; what you want it is given.” So what you want – God will fulfill. But when you enter Vrindavana, you have to change this mood: what God wants you have to fulfill. This is the difference between the general religion – “Please, God, serve me!” – and devotional service. Our version is: “God, how can I serve You?”

So this is the starting point of vaishnava practice. And then, on that platform we can consider higher topics.

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