Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Mad-guna-shruti-matrena mayi sarva-guhashaye mano-gatir avicchinna yatha-gangambhaso ’mbudhau – “Just as the celestial waters of the Ganges flow unobstructed into the ocean, so when My devotees simply hear of Me, their minds come to Me. I reside in the hearts of all.”

Lakshanam bhakti-yogasya nirgunasya hy udahritam ahaituky avyavahita ya bhaktih purushottame – “These are the characteristics of transcendental loving service to Purusottama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead: it is causeless, and it cannot be obstructed in any way.”[1]

These quotations from Shrimad Bhagavatam help us to understand a little better this selfless dedication. It’s very easy for the rivers to run to the ocean. Sometimes it is more difficult for us to run to Krishna. And although the rivers also conquer many obstacles, still they reach their goal, their destination. Usually people think that water is flowing downwards. But have you seen it happening in another way? Sometimes the waters climb the hills and they cut a new way for themselves. In the same way sometimes we also have to face the obstacles in our spiritual life, but never be depressed, never give up! Because Krishna is just hiding there and waiting for you to come closer. So, in our bhakti there should be permanent activity, permanent flow and it should be unobstructed also.

Question of Dragi: What is the way to love Krishna? By chanting is it proper?

Swami Tirtha: It’s very much proper. There are so many different ways to express our love to Krishna. Chanting is one of the best ways. Why? Because there is not so much material benefit there. You will not be paid for chanting, it’s a waste of time – you cannot engage in nonsense material activities, right? So you have to be very selfless to practice that. And really this is like a personal discussion, like a personal talk to Krishna. We should never forget that this is a glorification of the meeting of the Divine Couple. On the personal, subjective platform, every mantra, every good chanting is like a victory over illusion. And on the other side this is a help for Radha and Shyama to meet. We admire Their meeting and Their characters through our chanting. So, we can be very disinterested in our chanting, very selfless.

But there are other ways also to express our love. There are some practical services – offering our food, bringing flowers to the temple, telling the good news to others – all are motivated by this loving service. Shravanam kirtanam vishno-smaranam pada-sevanam archanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam[2] – there are nine ways of devotional service: hearing, listening, glorification and remembrance and many others. So we have unlimited chances to express our love for Krishna. But you should go on chanting, because your chanting is pure. Other questions?

Question: As you said that simplicity is close to divinity, what does it mean to be simple-hearted?

Swami Tirtha: Simple-hearted means no sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam and tat-paratvena nirmalam – so no second designation and no contamination of speculation or material activities. Sometimes our acharyas show a fighting spirit or debating spirit in order to protect the siddhanta or to fight for Krishna. But this is not their real life. Their real life is like loving servants with melted hearts. And can you fight with a melting heart? I doubt. So, we should apply the same; maybe on the superficial platform we are engaged in different activities, but in the deepest core of your heart you should be a loving servant of the Supreme.

Baktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur said: “Religion means simplicity.” Because philosophy or too much knowledge is like a very complicated system. And the philosophy of most of the people in three words – what is that? ‘I, me, mine’. And they are very proud of their philosophy. So, be simple. Forget about yourself, dedicate your life. Of course we should be careful about where we dedicate our life. Because if you surrender to stupidity, you have to reap the harvest. But anyway, surrender is very powerful. This is a way to transcend yourself.

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 19.171-172 and Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.11-12

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24

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