Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question: What is Krishna’s opinion about the underestimation of ourselves?

Tirtha Maharaj: We should be constructive in our humility. If our humility is destructive: “Ah, I am zero, I am less than zero. I know nothing,” what can you offer then? We should be a little bit realistic: “O my Lord, You have given me this task and ability also. I would like to offer it back to You to the best of my abilities. I know what is my part of that business: to do it right. Success depends on You!” This is the constructive humility.

And actually to underestimate our own capacities would be very difficult, because they are very low. We have understood what Krishna says, that “I am the ability in man.” So, if we underestimate ourselves, that means we underestimate Krishna, which is an offence. How can you say: “You cannot do this!” Because if you say: “I cannot do this,” you say: “You cannot do this.”

The best example is coming from the times of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when He told Nityananda: “You go to Bengal and preach.” Preaching is a difficult task. What to speak of go to a different country and preach there?! Very difficult! Without blessings it is not working. Without the divine consent it will not work. Nityananda also realized that and He said: “I am unable to do that! I have no strength, no knowledge, no nothing! But I have something. I have devotion to You. And by this I will be able to do that. Because I am willing to surrender to Your desire, therefore You will be able to perform the task through me.”

This is the special quality of devotional service, of bhakti. Through this selfless surrender you get unlimited power. In this way we do not underestimate Krishna.

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