Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question: My question is with two sub-points. First, Gurudev said in the process of testing and trials, the process of gradual destruction of false ego, something is required also from oneself like a contribution. What exactly is expected from you while your false ego is getting crashed?

Tirtha Maharaj: Practically, two different things. One is a passive willingness: “I am ready to accept the instructions of my master”, and the other is an active participation – “I am doing my service under his guidance”. Right, one is passive – like “I receive what is given to me”, and the other is an active contribution. So, if we perform our japa, our services, our practical seva, if you study the scriptures, and you associate, if you serve others, it will help this false egotism to diminish. Like this.

And one more thing. We agreed that “disciple” means, that he is under a discipline. A sign of a disciple or the student is that he lets himself to be told. He is ready to accept instructions – but not from any source, there are so many who want to teach you. For example, the one-eyed guru in your home – the television. Every evening you pay so much attention, you spend hours by worshiping him. So, many want to instruct you, but a real disciple means that “I submit myself to the divine guidance.” This is a very important point. Yes, and the other question?

Question: Maybe the second one is a little childish and of very material thinking, but because you mentioned that usually during these trials you fail, is it possible after so many failures, that your spiritual master finally says: “This guy is worth nothing, no way! I give up!”

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, that is the failure of the master. If somebody proves to be a useless guy that means you couldn’t inspire him or her in a proper manner. For example, you are in a marriage, everything begins so nice – romantic! He is bringing flowers and you are accepting the diamond ring – this is so romantic in the beginning. After 20 years you start to become a home dragon, and he starts to become a drunkard. Is it his mistake? Think twice, if a person in your company after 20 years becomes a drunkard, it is not only his mistake. It is very easy to judge: drunkard! But how much you have helped him? In the same way, if a disciple comes, a devotee comes and we cannot serve him or her nicely, this is a failure of the group, this is the failure of the master. No, sorry, this is my failure, not the master’s. The master is never mistaken. It’s only my mistake.

So, never give up. It is easy with the easy ones, but it is glorious with the difficult guys.

Yamuna: So, we can make our guru glorious.

Tirtha Maharaj: Why not? Yes, other questions?

Question: Did I understand correctly that these failures are natural part of the process?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, yes! Thank you! Because I wanted to add that Shrila Prabhubad’s opinion about failure is that ”Failure is the pillar of success”.

Giridhari: So, it’s worth to fail?

Tirtha Maharaj: If you don’t die, yes. Why we can say that they are a natural part? Because we cannot commit ourselves that we shall not make any mistakes. It’s unrealistic to take such a vow. But we can say that: “I will try my best to reach my spiritual goal, the highest goal”. This is sincerity. And if we make such a vow, then we shall receive all the help and all the mercy from the authorities. So, this is our transaction. Somebody says: “I will try my best” and the guru also says: “I will also try my best”. Then it will work properly.

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