Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Until we are full of expectations, we shall meet frustration. So, if you want to live a very happy and contented life, make this your life motto: “No expectation – no frustration.”

We have many expectations, and usually to others. For example: “My wife should be obedient, good cook, bringing me the ironed shirts every morning, then also healthy, wealthy and wise” – you have a long list of expectations. Then you open up your eyes in the morning and you see she is not like that. But this is not a unique situation, not specific for the husbands, because the ladies also have a long list of expectations. “First of all my husband should be like an Adonis. Then wealthy like Kuvera.” But don’t mix, because maybe Adonis is not so wealthy, but Kuvera is very ugly. So, be specific on your list.

Or – we have expectations to our children. It’s a minimum that he becomes a genius. But if he could become heroic and also a good manager and a big, world-famous guitarist – long list of expectations. Even if you are six-eight years old, your parents play a game with your future, they design your future, you don’t have a moment free. Six hours in the school, then running to swim, then to the gym, then to the violin studies, which is horrible torture for most of the kids… So, “If I have to work ten hour per day to maintain the child, he should also work eight hours per day! And at the weekend he has to be very happy with my company!” Give a break to them, please! Long list of expectations, and when they don’t meet your expectations, you are frustrated.

So, your wife did not fulfill your expectations, your family didn’t fulfill your expectations, so you decide: “I have to renounce all these relative and material things. Nobody could meet my expectations. So, maybe I am so much spiritually elevated, that I have to teach others a good lesson.” Then in a very humble way you will start to pray to God to send you some audience – some people who are humble enough to receive your message. And then you will preach: “Be more tolerant than a blade of grass, than a tree!” Then you start to have expectations for people to meet those standards. And then you become a world-famous guru-acharya and satguruji and everything. And now you will have your list of expectations towards the disciples. “Well, first of all they should recognize their own position, but also my position.” And then you start to have these fancy ideas that disciples will listen to you and they will fulfill your instructions and that they will appreciate your experiment. But don’t be surprised if you will be frustrated. And even if you are a world teacher, don’t forget your life motto: “No expectation – no frustration.” And you will have a very happy and contented life.

Yamuna: Maharaj, since you look happy and contented, does it mean that you don’t have expectations to us?

Tirtha Maharaj: Not so much anymore. You know, life is a training process, so in the beginning you might have some conceptions, but Krishna will help us to come to our senses.

But besides joking, is it possible to have no expectations? It’s very difficult. And actually the expectation of any superior is a blessing. Nowadays it’s a fashion to revolt against expectations of others. “I want to be myself! So far I wanted to meet the expectations of others and I forgot to live my own life.” And if you try to adjust your life according to the expectations of stupid guys around, no doubt I agree with this feedback, with this opinion. But if we are so blessed to have the expectations of, especially, a spiritual superior, then it’s a very great chance in our life. Why? Because your spiritual master does not calculate your past, but he’s got a vision of your future. Your past is a history, it’s done. For you your future is a mystery you don’t know. But somebody knows, somebody has a vision. And if we could fulfill that expectation, then our life will become really successful and sublime.

So, search for spiritual expectations! Then you can grow! If there are no expectations, you cannot grow. So we should pray for high expectations towards us. If our master expects us to become first-class vaishnavas, maybe this is not reality right now, but this is our bright future. So, let’s search for high expectations! Then it will provide a very powerful spiritual impetus to grow.

Manjari: Gurudev, is it expectation that brings about frustration and anger? In “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata” we read that this sadhu or that sadhu got frustrated and cursed with very heavy curse even God himself! I read that Rama was cursed by a sadhu in a certain situation. Does this mean that the sadhus had expectations or there is some other reason that they get angry so often and curse…?

Tirtha Maharaj: Get angry so often?! Maybe we are full of expectations towards the rishis, that they should not curse. Because actually we have a long list for the sadhus also. My Gurudev should be like this, very gentle, very tolerant, more humble than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, so I can break all his twigs and branches and collect all the fruits from him and he should tolerate that. He should always understand me and my great realizations and troubles, focus all his attention on me and my life… Although I am an insignificant servant, but he is so great that he can have these qualities to pay his attention.” What to speak of little cursing here and there?! So, just imagine, if our spiritual master is like a rishi type, appearing once in your lifetime, but then cursing you down. So, I told you, beware with your prayers! If you pray for the classical type of guru, you will have big trouble. Rishi-muni is coming here and high voltage is coming. Yet if you have non-classical guru, then you will have even bigger trouble. Because then who will correct your mistakes? And also curse – this is like a very unexpected practice from saints. But in these divine plays curses do have a part to play. For example when our beloved Mahaprabhu was cursed, He took it as a blessing.

That event happened that somebody wanted to enter His circles. He was knocking on the door and telling: “Hey, I am drinking only milk, let me in.” This is a very renounced type of diet – to live only on milk. In the beginning this is natural, later you want to give it up and have some solid food. But when you go back to milk this is like a great renunciation. So this yogi said: “I am subsisting on milk only, please let me in.” Then Mahaprabhu said: “No, no, this is not the qualification to enter here.” And this bramin cursed Him: “Then I curse You that none of Your material ambitions would be fulfilled!” Then Mahaprabhu started to jump and dance, fully in ecstasy: “I am blessed!”

So it depends on you also – whether you take a curse as a curse or a blessing. But the story is true the other way round: sometimes you are happy to be blessed with something, but then you understand: “Ah, my God, this was a curse!” So always search for the true, the inner variant. Sometimes blessings come in disguise – in the disguise of curse.

Sometimes it is like to help the things happen. If the story is a little boring, then a curse will give some more energy to it. And then it starts to become even more complicated, because you will understand that this curse was only a reaction of a previous bad activity – so this is like a network, a never-ending story. But if you trace back the story to the original source, then we shall find Krishna-Govinda. And when you want to find the solution or the chance how to break the curse, then we shall come to the maha-mantra. So practically this story starts with Krishna-Govinda and ends with Hare Krishna.


(to be continued)

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