Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Question of Krishna Priya: In some aspect when you are in a material relation – although it cannot be separated like that because the things are mixed – when you have some feelings which, let’s say, have some rajasic nature, but this type of feelings also appear with the devotees. Does it mean that somehow these feelings get transformed and become acceptable on the other platform? And should they be tolerated or should they be avoided?

Tirtha Maharaj: If somebody exercises even material qualities towards you, you should tolerate. But you don’t give material qualities or behaviour to others – so that they can also take their lesson in tolerating you. It is a little difficult, no doubt. Yet what Mahaprabhu says in “Shikshashtakam”? “Be more humble than a blade of grass. Be tolerant like a tree”; if we calculate how many millions of times this verse was quoted in the history of vaishnavism in the West and in the East and how in very few cases it was practiced, then this balance is a little dissatisfying. So let’s work to make this balance better. Don’t speak about humility but do it!

But Krishna is a master in changing the qualities. One of His names is Mayin and Mayin means magician. And a magician can turn material into spiritual. And He can turn iron into gold. These are big miracles, right? Even He can turn a nonbeliever, an atheist, into a faithful person. We could say that this is the greatest miracle that happens, correct? But there is even one higher miracle – when a sadhana-bhakta turns to be a raga-bhakta. This is the greatest miracle. And maybe now you don’t understand and you don’t feel the importance of this, you don’t see what the great thing is: bhakta – bhakta. But this is a huge difference.

So a very high standard is given by Mahaprabhu. And we should try to practice.

Krishna Priya: Is it possible that these feelings are somehow describing one’s relation with the divinity? For example the jealousy.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah, many times. Many times. How many husbands start to be jealous of their wives if Krishna appears on the scene! Did I give it correct? Yeah, wife is attracted to the God, yes. The other way round: if the husband starts to be attracted to Radharani – it is also a big problem. These are like emotional instincts we can say. Therefore they are very close to the soul – and not to the mind, to the soul – because it hurts your feeling ego, your emotional self. Other times I have seen that children become jealous of God for their parents: that they practice too much. But in most cases it happens that when you start your spiritual career, especially if you are a young man, then your parents and friends will be in a fright: “What is happening to my dear son?! Before he was so nice, going out every weekend, coming back drunk and running after ladies – it is so normal. And now he is running to the ashram, cleaning the floor, which he has never done in my home. My son cleaning the floor for somebody else! And he is not drinking anymore. No ladies around. How I will become a grandma?!” And many other problems they will have. But we should give some little solace to them. One such solution was when one of our brahmacharis went home and without being asked he started to wash the dishes. His mother was mesmerized. It is so simple to convince others that we are following a good process. And this is not an intellectual explanation: “My mother, please now listen to me. This process is the best, I will explain you how.” It will never work in such a way. Because practical realization is much, much more beyond the intellectual conviction. So this we have to show to others, because in this way we can serve people, in this way we can serve God, in this way we can serve our own spiritual progress.

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