Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question of Paramananda: Is it possible at all that somebody can know the teacher?

Swami Tirtha: Maybe it is possible, but it is not necessary. Because what is the master? Spiritual master is a divine function. And if you make a vivisection of your spiritual master, maybe you will find the bones and the flesh, the mistakes and the shortcomings, but hardly you will find the essence. Because the essence is hidden. Therefore if we can touch somehow this divine part of his function, then it will work very nicely over us.

But if it is possible? In one way I have to say “yes” to you. Because if we take the example of the beloved students and very intimate friends of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – these very few that were around Him in the last times, the most intimate circle like Ramananda Raya, Svarupa Damodara and very few others – it is said that they were able to read the mind of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And what is the mind? The mind is the moon. The moon is like symbol of all secrets and all mysticism. The sun is obvious dominating power and the moon is all the hidden secrets. So, what is more important – the obvious or the hidden? The hidden is more important. Therefore if you can read the hidden heart of a person, then you can know him. I don’t now if it is complete or not. We should leave this question open.

But once in 1984, on April 24th Gurudev said that it’s not necessary to understand Shri Guru. So it is not important, it is not necessary. What is important? It’s important to serve him. Because by service we can be connected to the divine reality. Sorry, I made a mistake, it was not ‘84t, it was ‘86t. You see, my memory is… But please, excuse me, it happened in the last millennium. That means we are part of a thousand years long sacrifice, because it started last millennium. So, throughout the ages you can expand your service.

Still I think we all want to read the hearts of our superiors. Right, we want to understand something about the other person. Yet until you try to understand your spiritual master theoretically, you can go on with that search – you will lose your way. Or if you want to understand Krishna by this investigation, He can hide, He is the best in hiding. So, we should know the method how to come really close. And it takes a little positive cultivation to come to that intimacy of connection. So when we apply the proper method of understanding our masters and our God, then they can show us something. Therefore we have this beautiful prayer to the spiritual master: om agyana timirandhasya gyanangyana shalakaya chakshur unmilitam yena tasmai shri gurave namaha – “I was born in darkness of ignorance, but fortunately my savior came with the torchlight of knowledge and he opened up my eyes.” So, they can give some hints.

Some will give not only hints but very convincing proofs that they are highly accomplished and they are the best. My humble suggestion is: try to avoid from a far distance such people who propagate themselves. It is not our business to judge anybody, but better we try to search perfection in another way. And one very good example was Shrila Prabhupad and Shrila Shridhara Maharaj also – both of them were very good examples in that respect. Once a young man met Shrila Prabhupad – this is recorded in “Perfect question, perfect answers” – and he said: “Ah Prabhupad, you must be the best devotee! You are so great, you are so senior.” And Prabhupad said: “Me? No! You are the best devotee!” Then our young friend started: “No, no, no! It’s impossible! This is you!” And this is not a trick, this is real humility.

Other times… you know, sometimes it’s difficult to share your realizations. Shridhara Maharaj did not make any propaganda. They say he made a hint only once. After a discussion on the terrace of his temple – it was a very intimate circle, very few devotees around, the atmosphere was very divine – so when he finished his talk, he got up and started to enter his room. And all of a sudden from the door he turned and he said: “If you knew where I enter…” and then he went in. How can we understand!? We should try to follow.

Question of Yamuna: Maharaj, I was meditating who is really perfect, and for me this is the one who is able to say “no” to God. Because our scriptures and masters are speaking about two groups of gopis – one of them is the group of Radharani, the other of Chandravali –  and the two moods of these groups, which seem opposing – one is considering “Krishna, You are mine” and the other – “Krishna, I am Yours.” But on Kurukshetra we see that neither of these groups accepted the offer of Krishna “Come, my dears, with Me to Mathura!” So, each of them defend their own rasa and mood and said: “No, thank You.” Can you please comment on this perfection?

Swami Tirtha: Yes, I can. If the gopis say “no” to Krishna, that is a perfection; if we say “no” to guru, that is not perfection. Don’t mix. First we have to learn how to say “yes” to Krishna. “No” comes later. Because simply to disagree – it’s not a divine sign. First we have to enter that realm of vibration, enter that mood. The material opposition brings disharmony, while the spiritual opposition brings more harmony. Opposition enhances the beauty. ‘How?! Opposition to enhance the beauty?! What’s that?’ On a certain platform. If this is gross, if this is brutal, it will not happen. Mistake is a mistake, it’s not a divine lila. Especially if we want to cover our stupidity by quoting the gopis – that they also say “no” to Krishna.

So, positive cultivation is suggested. But even the negative opposition will enhance the beauty. Because in the ocean of disharmony one little island of paradise is even more precious. So if there are so many opposing elements, the positive cultivation of our process becomes even more precious. So much of material suffering will help us understand how precious our process really is. So, even material opposition will enhance the beauty. It will help us to see what is what.



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