Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2018 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Shyama Tulasi: Could you make a clear distinction between the two attitudes? One is when you serve for the benefit of those whom you serve and the other is when you are like a mother who is caring for the children, but in such a way that she is preventing them from doing anything. One is for them and the other is instead of them.

Swami Tirtha: To overcare?

Shyama Tulasi: To overcare. Yes.

Swami Tirtha: It’s very simple. If you are driven by instincts, then you do this second type. If you are driven by wisdom, you do the other type – for their benefit. And sometimes this is cruel. If we examine the examples of nature, like the animal kingdom, we shall find different types of parental affection or servitude. For some time the mother dog accepts the little puppies, but when they start to bite too much, she will kick them out. You might say: cruel. But it will make them very strong, and able to stand on their own feet, and to find foodstuff for themselves – not only taking the blood and the milk of the mother. Overcaring, I think, is very instinctive – it’s when you want to dominate. And this is the best way to corrupt. If you overcare for your children, this is the best way to corrupt them. They will always depend on you in a wrong manner. But if you are wise, you will not only provide the freedom, but kick them out sometimes.

Comment: With love.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, for their benefit – to make them stronger, to make them face some realities of life. Therefore, it is said: “For you and with you I am ready to do anything; but instead of you I am not ready to do anything.”

Question of Chakori: Is it possible to overcare for, to overserve Krishna?

Swami Tirtha: To overserve Krishna? ‘Today I have over-japaed myself, over-japa.’ Well, it is possible. So, we have to be careful not to be an annoying servant of the Supreme. You should know your limits. You should know when your presence is accepted and when your presence is a burden. Although you are the best to be saved, still give a break to Krishna sometimes.

This we shall understand from the further explanations of Rupa Goswami, because there are different grades of devotees – not only in servitude, but in other rasas as well. And everybody should act according to this gradation, according to their position and not more – not overcare, not overjump. Because it’s a system, it’s a structure and everybody has to fulfil his or her commitment, duty. Otherwise it’s a mess. Because for example, if those devotees who are supposed to make garlands for Krishna start to overcare for their service and bring two tons of flowers – all right, He can bear the burden, but maybe it’s a little heavy for Him. Or if they start to exchange their services and in the end nobody knows what to do – then it’s a disaster. Of course, spiritual life is always floating, it’s always improving and there are small… well, I wouldn’t say distortions, but changes, and actions and reactions are there. So, it’s a living thing. Nevertheless, according to Rupa Goswami’s descriptions, these different groups of servitors are always under the care of some superiors. This is the way to provide the harmony and the unity of the different services.

(to be continued)


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