April 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2012, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

So, finally we arrive to Prahlada. “The Lord of the demons Hiranyakashipu had four very powerful sons – Prahlada, Anuhlada, Sanhlada and Hlada. Among these four Prahlada was the greatest. He always offered affection and respect to the devotees and he possessed all the good qualities of a brahmin. He was honest, good in character, truthful and self-controlled. Just like Paramatma, he was the dearest friend of all living entities. He always respected his superiors by offering service and obeisances, considering himself to be their servant. To the helpless he was kind and loving like a father and to those who were older than him he offered affection and respect like a brother. He always offered the same respect he had for the Lord to his diksha and shiksha gurus, as well as to his god-brothers. Although he was very learned, wealthy, handsome, expert and great in all respects, he was also free from pride. Although Prahlada had taken birth in the family of asuras, his nature was not like that. He was steady and fearless in the face of danger and did not attach any importance to worldly affairs. He was not in the least attracted to selfish activities, always controlled his senses and life force and possessed perfectly steady intelligence and great sense of discrimination. He was always happy and satisfied. All learned people praised him. In assemblies where there were discourses about saintly people even his enemies would cite his character as an example of a great personality. His glories were beyond description – he was a pure devotee of God.”[1]

So, here you see some very nice qualities. We should aspire for these. Our practice should be full of desires, attachments and envy. Do you agree? No, you don’t agree? You never agree with me?

Comments: Attachments – depends to whom. Why envy?

Swami Tirtha: Desires – what should be our desires? We should desire such qualities as Prahlada had. Ambitions – our ambition should be to become a pure devotee of the Lord. And we should desperately envy the chances for service. But of course these should be spiritual desires, ambitions and envies. And attachments – we should be attached. To our service, to the lotus feet of our spiritual master. Now you agree? Thank you! You know, your attention was very low. ‘Prahlada is so nice, Prahlada is so good…’ Sometimes the lecturers have to challenge their audience: “Be envious!” And everybody is: “What?!? I’ve never heard that on lectures so far.” Or “Our process is full of attachment.” “What?!? May be he is a heretic? He doesn’t know the siddhanta nor Vedanta?!?”

But this description of the qualities of Prahlada – this should be our ambition. I tell you the secret in one sentence what is the ideal devotee like. ‘When you are present, nobody recognizes you; when you are missing, everybody misses you.’ This is the ideal devotee. What is your level? When you come to the temple, you want recognition. And when you are away from the temple, yes, everybody remembers you: ‘Ah, fortunately he has gone.’ Therefore we should develop very refined qualities in our spiritual life, very refined qualities.


(to be continued)

[1] The reading continues from B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The holy life of Prahlada


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