Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



There are some people, whose daily bread is criticism. They come here to criticize the others; they go there to criticize us; they go to a third place to criticize both, etc., etc. – unlimited! You should not enter into such talk. It does not help. It does not help you, because it will immediately break down your consciousness and it does not help the other person, because if you give a listening ear, in this way you support his criticism, his critical approach. You should cut: “Sorry, this is not my business. I’m not interested in this, please, let’s speak about Krishna, let’s speak about the service.” It is not according to the gentleman’s standard to speak bad about somebody, who is not present. And if you give some bad opinion, bad fame, bad names to others, this is not the problem of the person you are talking about, this is your problem. If you say about a third person: “He is like that!” may be it is not his problem, it is your problem.

One devotee told me: “When you show with a forefinger, look at the fingers of your hand. One finger is showing the shortcomings of the person you point, but three fingers are showing your shortcomings.”

We should have this mentality; then there is no basis for criticism. But sometimes we have to protest. For example there was one story when Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s master was criticized and he started to fast. He said: “How can I tolerate that somebody is criticizing my master?!” And of course all his disciples also started to fast. Because somebody said in Vrindavan: “We are born bramins, and you are simple vaishnavas. Bramin is higher than a vaishnava.” You might think that this is not so serious case, but he said: “No, no! I will go on fasting. Somebody is criticizing my master – I have to fast, do something about it!” And finally some mediators, some friends convinced the person to apologize. And Bhaktisiddhanta gave up the fast. And then he explained: “If I was a renounced sadhu, a babaji, escaping from the noise of the world, I just won’t take even a note of such remarks, I don’t mind! But as I am an acharya, I’m a guru, I’m responsible for my students, I have to serve the dignity of my line – therefore I had to protest.” You see? So in some special cases, we can apply some steps, some measures.

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