Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




While we started to sing this song[1] some reflections came to my mind. This song was cultivated only by some devotees for hundreds of years. But now, after these few hundred years passed we sit here and we chant the same bhajan. How did it come to you? How did it come to us? It was written, but this treasure was lying hidden. And of course not only the song, but the beauty of Krishna-bhakti also was hidden from the rest of the world. So many practiced it in India, but outside of India nobody knew about Vrindavana, or Radhe-Shyam, or rasa dance – nobody knew! But all of a sudden this secret opened up to the western world also! How? By the contribution of a great saint. Because without Shrila Prabhupada we would not sit here. And without the master of Shrila Prabhupada. And without the master of him. And without all the other vaishnavas who were maintaining, preparing, thinking and waiting so that the wave of divine love could inundate the whole world. And of course all the other servants of Shrila Prabhupad and all the vaishnavas who try to follow, cultivate, implement, teach and practice. And in that picture, in that system you are also included.

So, sometimes very precious things lie hidden who knows for how long time! When all of a sudden they just open up – to have free access to the most important, the most precious wealth. Are you satisfied with what you have got? Because by the mercy of our acharyas we have got something very nice, very beautiful!

If you receive a wealth, that means you are indebted. Somebody has served you. And many have served all of us – by writing, preserving, maintaining, singing – for example this bhajan, coming from hundreds of years before. And now we are also here, right? So, we also have to preserve and serve this treasure, so that after few hundred years others could also join. Because love of Godhead is not limited to one geographical location. This is the general treasure, the general inheritance of human beings. But if someone comes and tells you: “Hey, you are blessed, you are wealthy, you’ve got a chance to practice Krishna-bhakti!”, then we should be very grateful. In one sense we have forgotten of our wealth. To be in maya, to be under the control of illusion means that you don’t know about your wealth. We are born for what, for suffering? No! We are born for divine love. And now you’ve got a chance to do that.

So, Shrila Prabhupad was a very special person, bringing this nectar to us and providing a chance to so many in the western world to have a glimpse into the divine pastimes. Of course he was not acting on his own. It was not his power or his determination. He was chosen for this specific service by the Supreme. And as he was a very surrendered soul, he could do this. What did he write in his poem when he arrived in Boston? “My name is Bhakti Vedanta. It should mean that I have some bhakti and I have some vedanta, conclusion – but I have neither. No devotion and no knowledge I have. I have only one thing – my commitment to the words of my master. And I am a puppet in Your hands, ah my Lord! So please, make me dance, make me dance, make me dance as You like…” because the puppets don’t have private life, they depend on their master. So, this also is included in this culture. How you will be able to conquer the whole world? By surrender. By commitment and dedication.

Question of Kripadham: Whether singing and glorifying these songs works because it’s worship towards our forefathers who have created and given this?

Swami Tirtha: Not only for that reason it works. But they help you to be connected. Usually a proper instrument looks very insignificant. For example, a cup – you don’t consider all the features of a cup. And the better the cup the less significance it preserves for itself. It’s so natural that the cup can contain the water and you can drink from the cup that you don’t even think that the cup exists, because it’s so smoothly fitting into the purpose.

In the same way, what is the purpose of a song? To glorify the Divine Couple like an objective; and like a subjective part – to help you in your meditation. ‘I am not important here.’ I mean the writer, the composer – he is not important. Why? He is so smoothly hiding himself in the process that he does not want to show himself. Because what is the happiness of an acharya? When the student is connected to God. So this is the highest purpose that we all have to serve. Therefore our prayer is: “Please, help me to become an obedient servant, obedient tool in your hand!” Because then you are unseen.

Therefore we don’t propagate ourselves, we propagate the philosophy.


(to be continued)

[1] Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna Jaya Vrindavan by Krishna Das


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