Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, October 2013, Ludashto, Vyasapuja)

(continues from Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s Vyasapuja lecture, 6th of February 1936) 

“Some further instructions from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “Don’t be a cheater-guru only in order to exercise your wrath and bad intentions on others. And don’t use this guru-business in order to plunge into the depth of the material existence. Rather you should become an honest servant of Mine – if you can – because then I will bless you with My power. Then you don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

“I’m not afraid – says Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati – because my Gurudev was who quoted these verses and he heard these verses from his master. And this is the reason why my blessed Gurudev, accepted such a fallen personality as myself as a disciple. He told me: “This is my given order: become a guru and liberate this world.” Therefore only those criticize who have never heard the words of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quoted before. By such people, uninformed of the ideas of Mahaprabhu, a spiritual master will be greatly mistaken, when he teaches his disciples on the topics of the Bhagavata Purana, Eleventh Canto. But what can an acharya do when he has to explain the shloka: acharyam mam vijaniyan? “Never disrespect the acharya and you should never ever try to compare yourself with him.

Guru is as good as God.”[1] These are the words of Krishna. By these words He wants to serve the benefit of the human beings. Should the acharya leave his seat, when he has to explain these words? This duty was delivered by his master to him and if he doesn’t take the responsibility of explaining these words, then he is condemned, because this is offensive to the holy names to disrespect the spiritual master. Therefore he has to follow this guidance, although many will tell him that he is an egoist, taking the position of guru.

When the spiritual master delivers the guru-gayatri mantra to the disciple, should he not tell that this is for the worship of the spiritual master? “The guru should be never compromised, because all the demigods are present in him.”[2] When instructing a disciple from the Bhagavatam about these topics, should he stop speaking?

The secret mystery of reality will open only for those who serve the spiritual master with such a sincere dedication as they serve the Supreme Lord Krishna. Shouldn’t the guru tell these words to the disciple? Guru-puja, the worship of a respectable spiritual master, is very important. Guru should be served as if we served  Krishna.

On the plane of liberation there is no shortcoming, but the simple-minded people cannot understand this very basic truth.”

I suggest that you read all the remaining part of this lecture, because it’s very useful.

The best part of the spiritual life is when ashraya-tattva and vishaya-tattva exchange each other. But how to explain that? When Mahaprabhu says that you should all become gurus, all means all – everybody is invited for this service. In many cases I see the spiritual master in you. I see the guru in you. And there is one thing I’m definitely sure concerning myself – that you are serving your spiritual masters at a much higher grade and much better quality than I could ever do that for Gurudev. This is when ashraya and vishaya-tattva exchange each other. The disciple should be the shelter of service and the master should be the object of service – but this is the opposite. This is like a real mystery; I like that very much. And this is the only reason why I join you on these celebrations. Because this is a function of celebrating the principle of the teacher, and if the immediate cause of this celebration is a birthday of a fallen person, then – what can we do – it’s secondary.

Just to return back to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur – at the end he says: “I know that many times I gave troubles to you, but there is only one reason why I did this – in order that you remember Krishna.” So, I know that I’m also a very difficult to tolerate guy and many times I give trouble to you. But I also want to use this excuse – the only reason I try to push sometimes is that you take full shelter of Krishna. And what is my desire? It’s a very strong bond, a very strong unity. The world is like a chaos. We should be aware of this and be prepared not to become like the world.

Our philosophy is quite complicated. Unlimited knowledge and unlimited teachings are there. But all these teachings can be reduced to three main points. One is that you are not only bodies, but you are spirit souls; the second is that you belong to God; and the third is this loving connection that is established between you and Him. These are the basic principles and if they become like a living fact in our life, not only theory – then this is a successful life.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27


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