Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Once there was a devotee, giving a lecture and he said that there are only two types of people in the world. “One is the devotee”… and in the audience everybody was waiting: and the other is the demon and karmi. But then he said: “And the other is a future devotee.” And after the lecture people came out: “Ah, it was so nice! Only two kinds of people – devotees and future devotees.” We should have this vision.

At the same time I know that it is very easy to have a beautiful and perfect connection with the devotees in Canada. But with this guy sleeping in the next sleeping bag this is impossible! But Leo Tolstoy says that the biggest problem nowadays is theoretical love of people. They are not ready to tolerate the other next to them, close to them. From this we can understand what kind of devotional level we have achieved. Can I appreciate the people next to me? Do I see all the beautiful qualities of the vaishnavas around me? Or I see: “Hey, this one does not know the shlokas. The second one eats too much. The third one is sleeping too much. They are all in maya. Except me, I am the best devotee here!”

If you are united, nothing can hurt you. From the outside nothing can break the company of the devotees. But if disharmony will enter the door of the temple, very easily will finish with everything. You know, it is very easy to break down something, more difficult to start something, but the most difficult is to maintain something. Because that is goodness. To break something down this is ignorance, to start something this is passion, and to maintain – this is sattva. And don’t be satisfied with sattva! We need shuddha-sattva, pure goodness.

Keep together. Devotional life and devotional company is just like a puzzle. You have a nice picture, big picture, but you have small elements. They fit together nicely, especially in the correct place. If everybody is on his or her appropriate place, the whole picture will be beautiful. Maybe I have some shortcoming, but the other person can fulfill that shortcoming, complete. Therefore we should be united.

And just to prove the importance of unity: once Shrila Prabhupad asked the devotees to bring incense for him. You know, the incense is sold in 250 grams’ big packages. He handled one stick to each devotee and said: “Break it!” Of course everybody could easily break one piece. Then he gave this package, there were 200 pieces inside, and said: “Break it!” He had one disciple, he was a heavy weight wrestler before, big like this – even he could not break. So if you keep together nicely, united, nothing can hurt you. If you are alone, maya comes and easily breaks.

Therefore, please, appreciate the devotees around you. Keep the material mentality out from the ashram. Always have in front of your eyes your highest goal. Then you will overcome all the difficulties. Our level of achievement is manifested in the art of association.

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