December 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Question of Paramananda: You mentioned that in the beginning when we meet the bhakti process, we have one type of motivation, and during the practice our motivation is changing and getting more refined. Could you please share something more about this?

Swami Tirtha: Yes. Generally first we seek our happiness, our fulfillment. ‘Where is my salvation? Where is my fulfillment? Where is my liberation or spiritual happiness?’ Later on, if our progress is proper, we want to search and find the satisfaction and contentment of others. And on this second platform the institution of the guru is very important. Because then we can live for his satisfaction. This is very simple, we don’t have to overcomplicate this. If we live for the satisfaction of a pure devotee, then our progress is provided.

Then the next question comes: how to satisfy a pure devotee? If we become very dedicated devotees also. How can a son satisfy the father?

Answer: By fulfilling his will.

Swami Tirtha: If  he is a selfish father, you can satisfy him by this. But a selfless father is happy if the son finds his own ways and becomes a nice gentleman – as a minimum! The father of Shrila Prabhupad, for example, had two expectations of his son. What was that?

Paramananda: To be a servant of Radha.

Damodar: To become a pure devotee.

Tejasvini: To be a good mridanga player.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, these two expectations he had: “My son should become a perfect player of mridanga. And he should become a pure devotee of Radhika.” Well, my dear fathers sitting here, what are your expectations of your sons and daughters?

This is the way to satisfy a father, and also this is the way to satisfy a spiritual master – if we ourselves not only fulfill his dreams, but we reach something spiritual. His father didn’t say that: “Well, I’m very happy if you serve me nicely.” He said: “I’m very happy if you serve Them nicely.” In the same way, if we serve our spiritual master, the best way to serve our guru is to serve the Divine Couple properly.

This is the refinement of motivation. First we work for ourselves, for our own contentment, liberation and satisfaction; later on we work for the guru and the vaishnava principle; and ultimately we can dedicate our efforts to the satisfaction of the Divine Couple. So, it’s not enough to learn the principles of bhakti; we have to apply them, to put them into practice, to realize them.

(to be continued)


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