June 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



bridge the gap

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“Question:And when Shrila Narottama das Thakura says, chakhu-dana dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei – He who has given me the gift of transcendental vision is my lord, birth after birth”[1]then what about that?

Shrila Shridhar Maharaj says: “Whenever there is any difference in the spiritual advice we may receive from different directions, we are to see the common thread. However, the absolute position will warrant a higher consideration than the relative one. Both the absolute and relative considerations must continue, because without that, no progress is possible. Absolute and relative – both considerations must go side by side. But the absolute has the primary position, and the relative, the temporary, shall be evaluated according to what is suitable to the particular time, place, person, and purpose. So in this, the longest journey of our lives, and for our greatest interest, we are given the truth, the connection of the Absolute, always – and there is unity.

Even in the case of an ordinary Guru of lower type, the shastra has also maintained that link: paroksha-vada vedo ‘yam[2]. If a certain standard of self-discipline such as no meat or fish-eating, etc. is demanded of those who are very much conditioned by lower propensities, then they won’t come into the fold.” So, that means if too high standard is demanded from those who are unable to perform, then they will not join. “But the policy is that they must come, so some allowances are given. For a particular type of disciple there will be a corresponding Guru and a similar shastra, but it is with the hope that they will take up the path of progress.” Please pay attention, this is very important. “The shastras are so generous in going to the lowest section, and the corresponding Guru will also be there. Similar Guru, similar shastra, and similar sadhu – all are extended to the lowest plane to elevate the conditioned souls by a gradual process.”[3]

Do you see the depth of this vision? That proves that this divine function of guru is with the most insignificant and the lowest possible platform of human beings in the hope of progress. Of course who would join – as it is said – ‘аn ordinary guru of the lowest type’? You wouldn’t join such a person. You want to join the best possible maha-bhagavat highest personality because ‘we are the best’, right. So, if there is a horse available, why should you ride the ass? ‘Secondary guru of the lowest type? I don’t want that. I want the best! Give me guru deluxe! Because I am disciple deluxe. I deserve the best.’ But actually even such guys will get a spiritual master. Why? Because the function must be there.

If we analyze what is the way out from the deepest trap – the elevated philosophy stays outside, but mercy will go down, mercy will be extended. And don’t think that you, that we are in any elevated position. Because considered from the orthodox Indian view we are fallen. Our acharyas, our line is very subtle, very delicate. So, beware when you meet some Indian masters or Indian devotees, and they glorify you: “Oh, you are a great scholar!” or: “Oh, your intellect is so sharp!” they actually say: “You are very unqualified.” You might take it as a compliment, but actually this is a complaint. Because that means you are on the mental platform. Not on the emotional platform, not on the divine platform. So, beware: if you hear such glorifications, think what mistake you have done!

Yet, we all have got a chance. Because Mahaprabhu came not for the qualified guys. He came for the unqualified guys. Maybe not for the disqualified, but for the unqualified, definitely. So, this divine function, this divine principle of mercy bridges the gap between our present conditioned stage and the chance to start a progressive path of perfection. The holy name is all merciful and the guru principle and the shastra principle will come to any possible platform just to inform people about the proper direction.

And the shastra has got in its mind that in this gradual process some provision must be given, otherwise a great many will give it up. That universal mind is there, and that sort of

consciousness is in the minds of the rishis who have prepared those shastras, and in the corresponding Gurus as well. The sadhus and shastras are going to the extremity of the sinful area, because otherwise there would be no chance for anyone to rise from that level. But generally the disciples, the sadhakas, will take up spiritual practices from their own plane – their own level of realization or inner evolution – they’ll go up from there, and along the way also they will find the appropriate Guru and shastra”.

The supreme Lord who is merciful is ready to go after the fallen souls. And actually this is our hope. Don’t worry about you condition; we should start our spiritual journey.


(to be continued)



[1] Sri Prema Bhakti Candrika 1.3

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.3.44

[3] The Golden staircase, Ch. 2 Universal mind ,Absolute backing, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj


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