March 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.01.2016 morning, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

So, who is an eligible candidate for devotional service? Who by some good fortune has the chance to associate with mahatmas, who is still conditioned by material ambitions and sense enjoyment, who is not ready to go under different penances – so this is us. And therefore it is so nice that we have a hope. This is just the beginning, this is not the end of the story. Hopefully we can more and more qualify ourselves in this gradation of spiritual growth. So that others should consider you as mahatmas. You can consider yourself a neophyte, no problem. But others should consider you a great example. And as Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says: “We are disciples and we shall ever be like that.”

Question of Krishna Priya: But how can we be an example if we are full of shortcomings?

Swami Tirtha: We can be bad examples also – what not to follow. Isn’t it? But you know our process is very divine, very transcendental. In the old times it happened that the devotees were sitting together and there was one young man entering the room. And the preacher giving the lecture said: “Now from this guy will never become a devotee!” Just imagine yourself entering the room and somebody claims: “You have no place here.” It’s a very strange welcoming message, right? And what happened? He became a first-class devotee.

So, irrespective of the long list of our shortcomings, if we follow the process properly, nicely, very soon we can qualify ourselves. Maybe we don’t develop all the qualities of a vaishnava, but at least some. It is possible.

And don’t forget about this first, second and third classification. Because really we can say devotees are of three types: good, better and best.



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