Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Guru is…what? Now we shall finish the sentence one by one. I will listen to your versions, how you accomplish the sentence. Guru is…?

Damodar: Everything.

Tirtha Maharaj: Everything? How everything?

Damodar: If it was a test and we should answer with one word, this is the word – everything.

Tirtha Maharaj: I understand. I accept. Neli?

Neli: The more I consider this the more I understand I do not know.

Tirtha Maharaj: Good. That is a good sign. Because we should not try to understand the spiritual master, it is close to impossible. It is better to serve and follow. Yashoda?

Yashoda: Guru is our personal savior.

Tirtha Maharaj: Where did you get it?

Yashoda: That is why I was silenced in the beginning, because in my mind there are only ready phrases. It was not from the heart.

Tirtha Maharaj: Manohari, your version?

Manohari: Guru is guide, guardian and gardener.

Tirtha Maharaj: Plus boatman, right? So, all the heavy job is on the guru! Cultivate the garden and chop the wood…

Very good! Shrila Shridhara Maharaj accomplishes this sentence like: “Guru is the person who knows pure love of Godhead.”

And continues: “If it would be in another way, then guru-parampara would be only a line of generations. Then the caste bramins and gowamis concept would be proper, because they pass the mantra from father to son in caste consciousness – this is their parampara. But that mantra is dead. We want a living mantra, living devotional connection – that is what we search. Where I find it – that is my spiritual master.”[1]

There is a very simple ending of this sentence: “Guru is… you, Gurudev!” A little romantic answer. But here devotees are trained in a more like tattva way – everybody is coming with definitions and philosophy and this and that. But actually who was the person that transformed our hearts, who made the first impression to make at least one little step towards Krishna – this is our personal savior, this is our example, this is our ideal. Therefore we follow him.

Therefore if you meet any disciple, the guru will be very important for him or her. If you meet any disciple belonging to any guru, you will see how important the guru is for them. Why? Because the miracle starts to happen if we get this divine touch. By this divine touch, by this personal inspiration our hearts will be enlivened. Therefore we have to respect this commitment very much – in everyone’s heart. This is sacred, this is worshipable. And even if you have a different opinion about that spiritual master, even then you have to respect that, because that is a divine function.

Imagine, one of your brothers and sisters pushes the ON button and starts to preach and represent Krishna so nice that hundreds and thousands start to follow him or her. Everybody is offering prayers and is glorifying: “Maharaj, give me a drop of your mercy! Let me offer my eternal services at your lotus feet!” And you listen to this and you remember: “This guy always overeat from halava – is this the big saint?! He was sleeping in the next sleeping bag. I know all the mistakes of him.” Still what you have to say? “Yes!” Because guru principle is worshipable. And you should be proud that some consider your brother and sister as a spiritual authority. This is our victory, this is our dignity! This is not a one man show.

And the miracles happen in the hearts of the disciples.  This is directly under divine control. The guru is only an instrument in that sense – instrument of elevation of the disciple. We can say that all the guru-parampara, all the gurus and Krishna are working on and for the disciple.

If somebody is recognized as spiritual authority by others, we should be proud, because this is our common asset.

[1] from “Shri Guru and his grace” by Shrila Shridhara Maharaj

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