August 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
(continues from the previous Friday)
“I do not want release from either happiness or suffering; let it be, according to my previous karma. Rather, what I want from this moment on is that I will never try to waste the favor of Krishna by only praying to be able to face any eventuality; but that whatever I shall acquire from now on, however small, even a drop – that must be nectar of the highest order, and the lower delegation can deal with the question of heaven and hell.” [1] 
So, when we suggest that please, follow bhakti-yoga, this is the reason why we say that. This is not a process of absolving your sins, this is not a process to achieve heaven or liberation, but this is the process to satisfy God. This process is about Him, it’s not about you. Yet, if we join, we shall be a part of that picture. Otherwise if you raise your stick, it doesn’t mean anything. But if you raise your stick in the service of Krishna, it’s very remarkable. That is the difference between general human activities and divine engagement.
And something more: “For removing our reactions or delivering us from hell or heaven…” You see, “deliver from heaven”! “…much lower agents are required; they can do that.” So, we have to achieve liberation from heaven also. “But we shall only pray for Krishna’s favor as a positive attainment, and never try to minimize our previous karma, the result of bad activities performed due to misconception. I don’t care about the ‘passport’; I want the ‘visa’. If I get the visa, no passport trouble will be able to disturb me – it is something like that. So to merely do away with maya, misconception, is nothing. But the positive attainment in the domain of Krishna is a very much higher thing. By passing maya we can attain Viraja, Brahmaloka, we can get mukti (liberation), the marginal position. But why should I waste my energy only to acquire a position in the marginal plane? All my attempts must be focused toward the prayer for a position in Goloka, and that will be a gain of the very highest order. I shall pray only for that, and automatically everything else will be accomplished”.
So, this is the fundamental principle of our religion. The background of everything is consciousness, Divine Consciousness. Nothing is independent of His will. And our guides, our teachers will help us to accomplish and realize so that we are able to have that vision. To come to the atman platform, we have to see with the eye of the soul. 
Actually Shrila Shridhar Maharaj didn’t really like that mantra that ‘I worship Tulasi in order to save myself from my sins’. He considered this as a business. ‘I do something for my immediate benefit.’ Service mood should be there – as Tulasi is dear to Krishna, we serve Tulasi because Krishna likes her. 
Once some devotees were in Navadvip and they visited the holy places around. After they returned to the temple of Shrila Shridhar Maharaj, he asked them: “How was your day?” They said: “Oh, we enjoyed the trip so much!” This was not an appropriate remark and then he started to explain: “Enjoy? You try to enjoy the holy place?” and gave a lecture, gave a guidance concerning this topic. 
You see this is the capacity of the great ones. You commit a little mistake, and they can make a big thing out of it! In one sense I think we all have that capacity. Yet, we are not considered great devotees, unfortunately. Because we are offended by really insignificant things in life, while his name is Bhakti Rakshak – the protector of devotion. So, whenever you make a mistake concerning that, then he is ready to fight. This is our hope – that our superiors will always correct our mistakes or misbehavior. And concerning our service we should try to be as pure, as selfless as possible. Nevertheless activities of any type – either material, or spiritual – will bring some results. Certain type of activities will bring certain type of results, other type of activities will bring other results. So, we have to be careful about our words, about our activities, the words and the thoughts also. Because purity depends on love. 
(to be continued)
1. The Golden staircase, Ch. 3 The Purest Prayer, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj

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