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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 28 of May 2006, Sofia)
Until we don’t know, we have to ask. If you know – also ask, for may be you are wrong. Sometimes we are very confident to do something that is completely wrong. The beautiful example is when one gopal was giving massage to Krishna. He is starting the massage on the left foot.
He is doing it half an hour, one hour. Krishna is having a nap. And the boy thinks: “I’ve been massaging Krishna’s left foot for an hour now, enough of that! I will go to the right foot.” Because he is very convinced that this is the best way. So he gives up touching the left sole of Krishna and goes to the right. And Krishna is immediately awaken: “No, go back to the left foot.”
So sometimes we are very determined and we know very well what to do. Still check. Actually everything in the spiritual life should be done under guidance. So in our line it’s not like that: you go to a shop in Loi Bazar, you buy a deity and you start the worship. No! It should come under the care and guidance of the spiritual master. And so many other things. Because in Vrindavan, and in India, any place you can find as many deities as you want. But this is not a collection of statues. So under the care and the guidance of the spiritual master we should do our services.
Because we are many people, devotees are many different personalities, different ideas. So there must be somebody who focuses the whole thing. If everybody is running after his or her whims, there will be chaos. Instead of chaos we need cosmos, order. And that is provided by this attitude that we always consult and always ask the blessings for any kind of activities that we want to perform.
An obedient disciple now understood that he has to ask blessings for EVERY step. So he knocks on the door of the spiritual master: “May I wash my teeth? Give me your blessings.” And guru fires him: “Get out of here, rascal! Don’t disturb my sadhana! Stupid guy, you don’t know nothing!” So – Gurudev said not to ask him – next conclusion. So you start your own activities. And when you had destroyed the ashram, next time guru comes and asks: “What did you do, my son?” “Well, we were running down all this stuff and we make people not to come here and make them feel bad and like this, but… you know I didn’t want to disturb you.” “Stupid guy, you never ask what to do!”
So, don’t be too much obsessed with your opinion. Once for example Shrila Prabhupad was traveling with some devotees. And you know, usually in the presence of the spiritual master devotees are more like reserved, trying to show a very good face – very humble, all the good qualities they show. So this devotee was chanting in very soft way. Prabhupad said: “Loud!” So he started: “Krishna Krishna…” Prabhupad said: “I told you, chant LOUD!” So after some time our friend started to shout loud. Then Prabhupad said: “Hey, why are you disturbing me with your noise?” So even sometimes if we follow the advice of the spiritual master, we might make some mistakes. You start to chant soft – he says “loud”; you start chanting loud – ha says “stop that!”
Why is this happening? The spiritual master is stupid? He doesn’t know whether soft or loud is better? He knows very well. But YOU don’t know what to do, how to do it nice. So therefore he tries his best with the different types of patients.
Therefore first of all we have to understand our capacities and our limits. So we have to inquire and understand the basic principles of the community and also the philosophy. And when we know these basics, then we should apply them. But any time you want to perform something extra, then you apply for blessings. So not whimsical, but under the care, under the blessings.
Until you don’t trust fully, you want to understand why. But when we have full trust, we can be also sure that whatever is coming to me by God or by Master this is for my benefit. And even if I don’t understand right now, later on it will be cleared for me.
But this accepting everything that is coming from above is very dangerous. Because what happens if they cheat me? What happens if I am a fanatic, blind follower and I will make some mistake? But I think a real master would never be satisfied to have zombies around him. Of course we can inquire, no problem. Because if we need some more clarification, we should ask for that. But if I have full trust, then I can say “yes” even in such a case when I don’t understand at all. But because previously it has been proved all the time that whatever is coming from above was really for my benefit – by this trust I can say “yes” to the next step also.
But in that sense that we should give our attention, that we should give all our faculties that we have, I fully agree that inquiry, and understanding, and analysis should be also offered in the services. Don’t forget, when Shrila Shridhara Maharaj approached Gaudya Math and his future master and the institution, he said: “O, what they are talking about is totally beyond the capacity of my understanding, of my intelligence. So I will use ALL my intelligence to approach that truth.” So I think this is the proper use of intelligence – not questioning the authority, but using it for approach. Please, remember this point! It’s very important.


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