Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

Question: I want to ask whether the pure person is aware of his purity or on the contrary – he thinks that he is fallen.

Swami Tirtha: In the “Vedanta Sutra” it is said that “If you want to become perfect, first you have to become knowledgeable and then you have to become like a child”. So, a fully realized person should come to that platform – he is knowledgeable, yet that is in the background. But he acts freely like a child, innocently. And children, I think, they never want to prove themselves. Of course they want to achieve your attention, but they give themselves. They have no second thought: “Give me immediately! Not tomorrow, not later, now! I want your embrace now!” So, they give themselves – no roles, no second hidden thoughts and motivations. Therefore we have to pay attention to the saints who are on that platform. We shouldn’t call them childish, but we should fully appreciate their levels of realization and their approach to the Supreme.

We could give thousands of examples, but let me quote only one and this example will speak instead of the thousands. This person is called Ragunath das Goswami, who is not only a fakir, who is not only a heroic actor and poet, a divine troubadour, but he is also very knowledgeable, and also a perfect devotee. This should be our hero – uniting all the different characters of a person who is searching for purification, for perfection. But don’t imitate his practice. Worship it as some unachievable high ideal. Once he said: “Well, by searching for this absolute perfection somehow we could pass the time so far. But now it’s over, enough of that! Eternal perfection – who is interested anymore? Who can wait anymore? Without Radharani’s mercy I cannot tolerate for a moment!” Just imagine somebody saying: “Oh, we passed our time somehow in the search for the absolute perfection, but now that’s over, I have a better engagement, where I cannot wait a moment. Without the mercy of the Goddess of devotion I cannot tolerate for a moment!”

So, the real great ones generally – maybe they are aware of their position, but they are not interested in having any position. Because a child doesn’t want to prove him or herself. A real accomplished saint should give himself or herself in such a pure, condensed, innocent manner.

But this is their business how they manage their life. Our business is to manage our life. Most of us are before achieving this innocent child platform. And practically we are before achieving the knowledgeable platform as well. So, both achievements are pending. Therefore to repeat the formula is not enough. ‘We know that the great ones don’t declare about themselves that they are great. So, then I will also not declare about myself that I am great. But then people will think that I am great. So, sooner or later I will also believe that I am great.’ But then you understand the trick of maya here. Until we are concerned with this – that means not very high achievement.

At the same time we have to be realistic, we have to know our capacities, our achievements. Just like a Padishah once wanted to have a “yes” person in his court. There were many candidates: “Yes, this is a good, fixed job! Maybe I can take it.” So, when a guy entered, the Padishah said: “Oh, you look like a strong candidate!” and the man said: “Yes, yes, I am a strong candidate.” Then the Padishah said: “But maybe not, I doubt that you are good enough.” And then the man said: “No, no, I am a good candidate!” “Out!” Hundreds came with the same mentality – they wanted to prove themselves, forgetting about the job that they are searching for – to say: “yes”. So, finally the last man came. And again the Padishah said: “Oh, you look like a fit candidate!” And he said: ”Yes, I am fit candidate”. Then the Padishah said: ”No, I doubt that you can do it.” Then the man said: “Yes, I also doubt that I can do it.” And then the Padishah said: ”No, no, maybe still you have a chance to do that properly.” And the man said: ”Yes, yes, I have a chance.”

You see, until we prove ourselves we are off the line. Therefore sometimes the masters ask when you want to prove yourself very much, or when you disagree on some points: “Do you always say: “No” to me?” What is your answer?

Answer: Yes.

Swami Tirtha: Maybe, or: “I don’t know Gurudev! Hare Krishna!” If you say “Yes” or if you say: “No” – whether you do it or not, it’s wrong. So, sometimes it’s better to keep silent in front of our spiritual master instead of giving all our opinions.

(to be continued)


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