Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(continues from previous Monday)



The next quality is self-control. “Ah my God, self-control! It’s so difficult! I am not an official bhakta. I am not an ashram bhakta. I am raga-marga[1] and Krishna is there in everybody’s heart, so why should we be so strict? Even Krishna says in “Bhagavad Gita”: “Even a wise man acts according to his nature.” What is the reason to avoid that nature, to suppress that nature? It’s shastric! I don’t want to suppress that nature, I want to enjoy life! Ah, self-control!”

Actually I admire the household devotees. Because what was impossible for them as a brahmachari or a brahmacharini, they are happily doing that when they are fathers and mothers. It happens so naturally! If I ask a brahmachari: “Can you stay awake during the whole night?”, he’ll say: “No! That’s impossible! I have so many services tomorrow. And Mahaprabhu told Sanatan Goswami: “You have to take care of your body, it is not yours”, so I have to take care of my body, I want to sleep.” But when your child is sick, you are naturally ready to give up your sleep. A little coughing from the room of the baby and you are alerted.

Once I was examining: we were sitting on one floor, taking prasadam, and the baby was on the top floor. We were talking, discussing and all of a sudden I saw that the mother is jumping and running. I did not hear anything although I also have an ear. And she said: “Ah! She was crying.” So sensitive for a small little cry. But when as a brahmacharini they are serving in the temple, you have to shoot the cannons and still they cannot go out from their sleeping bags. What is very difficult for you as an independent person, you naturally do when you are in the grihastha-ashram.

So, I think family life is a big tapasya, a big austerity, because you have to learn how to be selfless. You have to serve your kids, you have to serve your partners. A brahmachari can run away at any moment; a husband can’t run away. Right?

Yashoda: He can, but the mother cannot.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes! So this is austerity for both parties. Let’s ask the children whether this is austerity for them also? Then you make your duty very bad. For the children home should be a paradise. And they should be treated like gopis and gopals, minimum.

So that much about austerity. You are the heroes of vaishnava life if you enter the grihastha-ashram. Plus at the end you have to give it up. So, you are very brave, my dear ones!

And meanwhile what is your engagement? To perform sacrifice. It is good in an ashram to perform sacrifice, only weekends. But in a family – every day, twenty four hours per day. We have to perform our sacrifice totally, fully. Because Krishna is not satisfied with some special events, like one Janmashtami per year. He needs your attention permanently. Therefore we can say that grihastha-ashram is a very good training system. And those, who are very good brahmacharis and brahmacharinis, most probably they will be reliable husbands, mothers and fathers. And those who were very nice parents, most probably they will be very nice renunciates.

What was the preference of Bhaktivinod Thakur between the different ashrams? Which one he appreciated most? He was glorifying grihastha-ashram. You should know this! Whenever I am very heavy with you, you have an excuse: “But Bhaktivinod Thakur also glorified the grihastha-ashram.” What was his capacity? Eleven children. So if you will have eleven children, then you can be fully authorized to glorify grihastha-ashram. But one of his sons was Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. And what was his preference? A lifetime brahmachari. Well, I don’t know what his preference was, but he had a lot of brahmachari and sannyas disciples. And of course grihasthas also.


(to be continued next Monday)


[1] Following the path of spontaneity


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