Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question: I want to ask what is your opinion about the living guru? Do you think that we need to have a living teacher, who can instruct us all the time on the path, who can lead us, because it is said that without a teacher you cannot go anywhere. And how can you find the real teacher?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, I also have a question. How to find the real disciple?

Comment: As far as I know the teacher is finding the disciple.

Tirtha Maharaj: Aha, all the job is on his shoulder! But this is a very important question that you touch. Yes, in all traditions it is very much stressed that without a master you cannot achieve perfection. It is also said: if the disciple is ready the guru will come. And how to recognize our master? How you will recognize your love, your beloved one. You will feel it! You cannot explain it, but with all your conviction you will feel: this person is for me! And love or marriage is for one lifetime; guru is for eternity. So you will feel it much more. Until you do not feel that, do not jump. If others tell you: “You should do like this, you should do like that, come, join, do this!” do not believe them. But when you will feel this inner urge, then you have to inquire.

There are three ways to approach the master. Because the master is a representative of the truth, so the three ways are search, inquiry and service.

Guru is such a light that can enlighten others. The connection between shishya, the disciple, and the master is very intimate. There are some qualifications that we can check. The guru should belong to a tradition; he should live according to the revealed scriptures – to follow some rules and regulations; also he must know some theoretical knowledge and practical application. But there is one quality that we can very easily feel – that the guru is able to dispel the doubts of the disciple. If you will find all these qualities, plus your heart will tell you: “Yes, go there!” do not hesitate to do it. God is there in your heart. If you commit yourself to Him, He will guide you from the inside to find guidance on the outside.

Question of Premananda: I would like to ask two questions, using some metaphor to put them. You were speaking about elevating the consciousness. If we take the example of the flying balloon they heat the substance inside, it becomes finer and elevates. If the heat is dedication, we know that dedication is the force that drives upwards, my first question is who is keeping this fire? And similar principle in this physical example, that depends on difference in pressure, is found in submarines also. But there the submarines use it to dive deep. So what this equating of pressure would be like? Trying to bring these higher ideals in our everyday life?

Tirtha Maharaj: The heat comes from self-control. Tapaha is the word for self-control. And the other meaning of tapaha is “heat”. So if we follow the principles of spiritual life, we can generate power, the strength to practice. And the ballast to dive deep – this is the rasic teaching of our master, the instructions of our spiritual master. Because if we follow the instructions of our masters, we can dive deep in this ocean of divine bliss – to put it very simply and very shortly. 

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