Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Question of Damodar: When we were speaking of nonviolence you said that it is violence not to convey the spiritual information if you have it. Why it is considered violence?

Tirtha Maharaj: Did I tell like this? The positive definition of ahimsa is to help the spiritual progress of others.

Damodar: But visc-versa, if you don’t help…

Tirtha Maharaj: That’s a kind of violence, because you let the others suffer. And the question is why?

Damodar: Why it is considered violence?

Tirtha Maharaj: Because this is violence. Nonviolence means decrease or diminish the suffering. If you let people suffer that is a kind of violence. At least if you have foodstuff and you don’t distribute, you are responsible. If you have knowledge, but you don’t distribute, you are responsible. Right, do you feel the importance of this? But you know, spiritual knowledge is just like butter – the less you have it the more you spread it.

Kripadham: My question is in connection with the question of Damodar. You said that when we want to help the other person this is nonviolence. But when I am preaching sometimes it happens that I am thinking that I am helping the person, but that person is agitated somehow or upset. Is this considered violence?

Tirtha Maharaj: No, this is considered lack of control of the tongue. Because it is said: “anudvega-karaḿ vākyaḿ”[1]– you should tell the truth but in a nice way and not to agitate others. Therefore I say: always have a very thin veil. And you should remove this veil only when the person will not be agitated. Because truth hurts. Truth is heavy. But Mahaprabhu’s message is sweet: “Come, join the chanting! Dance with Me!”

Kripadham: What should be the mood in our preaching so that we don’t commit violence?

Tirtha Maharaj: Love is violent. Because it is very powerful and irresistible. But we have only one instrument and this is divine love. Now we have heard that this is very violent and this is very irresistible. And you know, Arjuna and Krishna were on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. That was a fight! Mahaprabhu came not on the battlefield. And He is not killing demons. But He is stopping the demoniac mentality. And what is His weapon? His weapon is the holy name. What is His other weapon? His other weapon is the maha-prasadam. So these are practically very important factors in spiritual practice. If we follow Mahaprabhu and if we use these weapons, this is not violence. If you want to convince others, sometimes this might be violent. But if you want to show the truth, show the beauty of the divine truth – this is not violent.

Kripadham: Does it mean that in our preaching we should glorify and not trying to convince people in some truth that we believe in?

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah, for you this is enough if you sing. Just emanate your power. First of all we have to convince ourselves, right? And then, if we are convinced, people will follow. So really I can say: just shine! It’s enough.

Yamuna: What an instruction: just shine!

Tirtha Maharaj: But until you reach that level, you have to work very hard.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.15

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