Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“I am the ability in man.”[1]I like this expression very much! Other times Krishna says: “My devotee is clever, he can work properly, he can work competently.” Why? Because “I am the ability in man.” Everybody has some abilities. Use your abilities in the divine service. Because actually it is not yours, it is given to you. Use these for the best purpose.

“I am the ability in man” – this is a beautiful expression of the connection between God and jiva. Like father like son. He is active, we are active; He is able, we are also able. He is loving, we… I do not know, you decide. But because of this divine connection, this divine similarity between Him and us, we can come closer to Him. By the divine features and characters, a human can approach God. Therefore we should not waste this divine energy.

So, if only you remember this beautiful verse: “O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the vedic mantras, I am the sound in ether and the ability in man,” then it is impossible to forget Krishna. Whenever you think: “Ah, I have run out my energy”, just think, Krishna says: “I am the ability in man. “And then your whole function is just turned to emergency energy and you can go on with your services.

Sometimes it is very difficult, I tell you. Shall I give you a story about this? You know, in Nandafalva the standard of worship is quite high. There are five food offerings and five pujas every day. Krishna is just like a baby, crying all the time: “Give me this, give me that!” You should run like a mother and a father to satisfy His desires, devote your full time to Him. If you are one day pujari in Nandavalva, you will feel ecstasy: „ Ah, it is so beautiful that I can devote all my time to Krishna!” But after two weeks? After two years?  How difficult it becomes to do the same thing all the time! Once there was a mataji as a main pujari. She was doing incredible service! But once we were singing the evening arati and a little bit behind the curtain she was offering the puja. And in the middle of the evening arati she just stepped out from behind the curtain and she said: “I cannot do this anymore! I cannot! It’s beyond my abilities!” Everybody was a little bit amazed in the temple. Then the husband of this very beautiful devotee lady told her mildly: “Ah yes, you can do this!” And after just few minutes of convincing herself, she went back and finished the arati.

Sometimes we have to win over ourselves. It is very easy to be a good devotee when it is easy! But when Krishna gives you the time of testing you, then we should show how much ready we are for service. I appreciate this story very much, because somehow it was divine and human at the same time. This was a beautiful moment of a person overcoming herself. Do not forget about this when you will face some difficulties. If there is somebody behind you to tell you: “You can do this!” then it will be very easy.

How can we summarize the ultimate message for humans? Life is difficult, but help is close. Remember this: life is difficult, but help is close. With few words about the essence – this is real eloquence.

Question of Bhakti Shakti: I would like to ask why is it happening like this that for example when we do a certain service for few weeks or few months it is very interesting, enthusiastic and so on. Why is it happening like this that doing it two years or more, like in the example, it is becoming harder?

Tirtha Maharaj: This is a serious question. Usually the western conditioning is too much active. We are born in karma kshetra – land of activity. Indians are born in dharma kshetra; that land is for religion. It is not for karma. Therefore Indians are not good in karma. Indian organization is a disaster! This is not for them! They are for mantras and rituals and dharma – they are very good in this. But to organize something, to buy a ticket for the train – it is so complicated in India! Just forget it! So, that is dharma kshetra, and in dharma result comes from repetition. Krishna says that if you are very much fixed in your service and permanent in your practices, the result will come. Or in the “Vedanta-sutra” it is also mentioned that by permanent repetition of the mantras revelation of Godhead will come. This is very much according to the nature of those born in dharma kshetra, because their rajas is a little bit more down. And our rajas is very high! We are born in karma kshetra, therefore we have to adjust and take it into consideration. And we should be very active in our devotional service, to engage this capacity of being very active in divine service. Because Krishna says: “I am the ability in man.”

But you mentioned, when the service becomes a routine and becomes difficult and you lose this original taste of ecstasy. Once Gurudev visited Shrila Shridhara Maharaj and he put a very similar question to him. He started to try to explain: “O Gurumaharaj, what can be done if devotional practice or the Mahamantram becomes routine and you lose the taste and you know, you do it as a duty.  Shridhara Maharaj could not understand what he is talking about. He could not understand! He said: “Routine?! What is that?” It was beyond his understanding.

[1] “Bhagavad-gita”7.8

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