Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.01.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

 As I told you friendship is an illusion, a sweet illusion, and it makes you a little blind. How to improve this very good feeling of friendship? Try to select your friends properly. And who is the best friend? Best friend is the sadhu. Because what makes the sadhu a sadhu? It’s the sat, it’s the truth. Full commitment to the divine truth will make a person a sadhu. Therefore it is so difficult to associate with such a person. He is too much truthful, burning; and I’m not so much committed and therefore this difference brings a little aversion. Nevertheless we should choose the useful, the beneficial, not the pleasant. Because a sadhu, a spiritual friend will consider our ultimate spiritual benefit.

So, let’s make one step further to examine the friendship in divine context. In the Gita[1] it is said that in order to understand secrets, you need a very intimate, strong relationship. I think this is very much true. You cannot open up your secrets to an outsider or to an unknown person. Then in another place[2] Krishna mentions that a friend is like a well-wisher, as it was said. And not only a well-wisher, but a well-doer. When Arjuna asks: “Please, describe me Your glories!” – Krishna says: “I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the most dear friend.”[3] So, “I am the most dear friend”! Then we can work over this! If Krishna expresses that “I’m your friend”, take this invitation. You also become a friend of the Lord – to make it both directions.

And what will be the result if you have Krishna as your dearmost friend? He will expel all the suffering from your heart. Because in the material relationships, in these who knows how many lifetimes – how many partners we have had? How many friends came and gone? Unlimited! It’s just like a river. But who is constantly there – throughout all these different lifetimes, throughout all these millions of relationships? Please, consider this – who is there with you. Think about it.

Friendship is also an active relationship, right? We do something together. Like the gopas in Vrindavana. They run together with Krishna, they eat with Him, they steal the pepper from His sandwich. All right – chapatti. And the dearmost engagement of the gopas for me is when they see a well and they shout into the well – I like that most! Just to hear the resonance. It’s so charming! So, friendship is – we do something together. To have a life companion in that sense – it’s divine!

Also, if we agree on these points, we should express our friendship with some gestures. Therefore Rupa Goswami gives a very detailed information about the relationship of devotees – how to approach, how to touch somebody by the shoulder. He gives direction on this friendly relationship between devotees. He says: there are six ways of devotional friendly exchange between devotees: giving gifts and receiving gifts; offering prasad and receiving prasad; and also to open up your intimate feelings and realization, and to receive such a sharing. These six activities help to cultivate a friendship. Open up your thoughts, don’t let your friends starve by your side and also try to help with what is necessary. And again here is the mutual relationship – you give and receive. And sometimes it’s easier to give than to receive. To receive in a devotional friendship is also an art.


(to be continued)


[1] Bhagavad Gita 9.1

[2] Bhagavad Gita 5.29

[3] Bhagavad Gita 9.18

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