December 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continued from the previous Monday)

Question of Kripadham: Do we have to be conscious about the pure devotional service or we are not conscious of it? What is the feeling when we are close to the pure devotional service? And if you could please give some example of pure devotional service?

Swami Tirtha: If we are conscious of pure devotional service or everything is unconscious for us? Actually these are two levels of spiritual realization. One is the so to say official regulated devotional service, like a sadhana – that we engage all bodily activities and mental activities consciously and purposely in the service. This is good, this is very good. And the other side is the spontaneous flow. When it is not necessarily a well-thought structure that: ‘Now, today I will offer this and this type of service, because this will bring that kind of fruit’ and etc. But it is like a flow.

I think we discussed the flow of oil. The oil flows in a different manner than the water. Water is you know jumping all the time. But when you pour oil, it’s very smooth, it’s very much uninterrupted. In this way we have to offer our uninterrupted attraction, spontaneous attraction to the lotus feet – as the oil flows. Our attraction should flow towards the divine service in the same manner – pure, very condensed and very smoothly, uninterruptedly just emanating there. If you ask the oil: “Whether you are conscious how you pour yourself or not”, he will say: “No, I don’t know how I do it.” The oil will say: “I have no idea, this is my nature, I flow like this. Naturally it comes, I cannot do otherwise.” In the same way we have to come to the natural spontaneous flow – uninterrupted, when we cannot really explain. Until we can come up with some explanations, it’s a lost case. We are still on the mental platform. But when we have no explanation… Can you explain love between human beings? You can come up with an explanation, but everybody will be bored. If you want to explain ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to people, they will not listen to you. Because we don’t need explanations of that! We need the experience. And the divine experience is like a free flow of the oil of devotion.

But don’t be depressed if you don’t feel like the oil, if still you have to control yourself sometimes and to engage yourself in devotional service. Sometimes you are jumping like water here and there, splashing. But the oil will simply flow. Be patient, your time will come. Whether consciously or spontaneously, we should offer ourselves, we should offer this very sacred energy – our life – in the divine service. Then we don’t commit the mistake of sinful activities – to use a higher type of energy for a lower purpose. Life is given to human beings in order to serve the Supreme. So whether conscious or unconscious, spontaneous – let’s do it!

What was the second part of the question? How do we feel if we are coming closer to the pure devotional service? Well, thank you; but you should ask someone who is closer to pure devotional service.

Kripadham: In my simple understanding, Gurudev, I think I ask someone who is close.

Swami Tirtha: Once in the classical puranic times there was a case. There was a very eager disciple. And he approached his spiritual master after years of cultivation. He said: “Ah, my dear master! I have one request to you. Can you please instruct me what divine love is?” Such a special moment! Right, we think that this is a proper question. But what happened? The guru was very much upset: “Why do you ask me? I know nothing about that topic.” Even more sacred moment! Because it is said in the shastras: those who declare that they know, they don’t know; and those who declare they don’t know – they know. But sometimes it happens that those who declare they don’t know, they really don’t know; and those who declare they know – they really know. Enigmatic! I tell you, this is too complicated. So what can we do? Can we understand it by logic or some intellect? Impossible! And as you were not satisfied with a God of justice, I think in the same way you are not satisfied with a God of intellect. But we need a God of mercy and miracles. This is what we need. And Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says that “Krishna’s path is full of miracles. So, be prepared for miracles!” Such an invitation!

You know, when a master starts to feed a disciple with his own spoon – that’s a show of this free flow of oily, tender, loving attention. How can we explain that? How can we analyze the feelings? Better we should feel. Life and spiritual life is not a theory. It’s a mystery – to perceive it, to live it, not to speak about it! To live it. It is possible. Or at least, it is not impossible.


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