Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“The first year after Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted the renounced order of life, all the devotees, headed by Śrī Advaita Prabhu, went to see the Lord at Jagannātha Purī. After attending the Ratha-yātrā ceremony at Jagannātha Purī, all the devotees remained there for four months, greatly enjoying the company of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by performing kīrtana [chanting and dancing].”[1]

So, here the devotees dedicated half of their time directly to the association of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Just calculate your lifetime: how much years you have spent in illusion, serving illusion, yourself maximum, and how much you have spent in dedication toKrishna. If you start devotional practice on time, let’s say, after twenty years you will achieve this fifty-fifty solution, right, under good conditions. So, even this half-half is very difficult to really put into practice, what to speak of full dedication, full surrender!?

Yet studying the scriptures and also studying the daily practices of the bramins, for example, I also came to some very interesting conclusions. They start their day about 3 o’clock in the morning and all the ritual bath and prayers and meditation and offerings and yagyas and everything takes about 5-6 hours in the morning. So, it is 8 o’clock in the morning, right? Then they read some little chapters from the shastras, it takes another one – one and a half hour. Then they take the morning prasadam – another half an hour. And then, at about 10 o’clock, they attend the jobs. But at 11 they already have to prepare themselves for the noon time duties, so for the job there is only one hour left. And in noon time you have your rituals again – few hours; then you take your lunch and take a little rest. And then it is already evening time. So you have to chant again your prayers, and then it is said that after 9 half an hour they dedicate to the family duties. So I started to calculate: for jobs, earning money – one hour; for family affairs – half an hour. Wow, that’s great! Quite a tough daily regime. And what are our daily activities? Hardly we can dedicate one and a half hour toKrishna’s service. Times are changing unfortunately.

But of course, don’t forget that the householders at classical times had four main types of income. One was collecting fallen grains of rice on the field – this was the first order of grihasthas. The second was to collect on the market place. The third was to drink only the foam from the mouth of the calf. And the fourth order was to depend fully onKrishna’s grace. So if you have such a job – collecting on a market place – you can finish that in one hour, no problem. But if you have your jobs and businesses and kindergarten – then it takes more time for this.

Nevertheless, don’t be satisfied with this fifty-fifty solution. We cannot really measure dedication by money or by time, but we can measure it by feelings, by willingness to sacrifice ourselves. Still, the activities will reflect the inner mentality. So we should go for full dedication and step by step trying to approach, come closer to that ideal.

[1] “Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 1.46-47

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