Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Friday)

The third point on the list of unfavorable practices is: “Don’t accept too many disciples.” What does it mean? Just imagine yourself running to join the mission and all of a sudden, in front of your nose, they shut the door: “Sorry, you came too late! No more mercy.” Ah, that’s a horrible picture, right? Still, this is a security system for the masters, for the gurus. And it definitely immediately comes after real sat-sang. Because if somebody is on the platform of real association he can come anytime. If somebody is on the illusory platform, better he stays outside. What do you bring to the mission? Your troubles, your illusions, your material ambitions, your conditioned being? Or your willingness to serve, your dedication, your power of existence. If nonsense people come, better they don’t come. Therefore it is recommended to the masters: “don’t accept too many disciples”. Why? Because unity of the spirit is very important. And what was the practice in the times of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? One master and a few disciples, practically living together, cultivating the devotional service in a very intimate and very intensive way. So, this is like a protective guidance for the masters: “Don’t accept too many!” But you know, we are living in Kali Yuga, and Kali Yuga is like a carnival, everything is upside down. So, Rupa Goswami has forgotton to put another point on his list: “Don’t collect too many Rolls-Royces”. Because there was one world famous big-big guru who collected Rolls-Royces – not only disciples he collected but the cars also. He collected 64, so he had a taste.

But anyway, collecting – sometimes, living in the material world, we think that by collecting assets it will be better for us. If you have money, everybody will accept your words as truth, right? It doesn’t matter if it is complete nonsense. So, we live in a very awkward age, everything is upside down. But sadhus, all right, they don’t collect material assets, yet sometimes they collect disciples. And then the competition is manifested on another platform – who has more disciples, whose temple is higher? Or who is more rasic – this is the ultimate competition. This is a mistake; this is a human mistake, so it should be avoided.

So, when you will be great acharyas, gurus and swamis and many people will follow you – or small number, it doesn’t matter – and some other newcomers want to investigate your profile, so they ask: “Can you tell me how many disciples you have?” What is your answer?

Paramananda: “I don’t have disciples, I only have masters.”

Swami Tirtha:  That is a good answer. With this answer you can frustrate the stupid guys. Because sometimes people want to understand your quality according to some material standards. One disciple is enough, but I mean a disciple. Not the blockheads or the lazy guys around. So, it’s not the numbers, it’s the quality. One is enough. But in another sense a vaishnava should collect. And actually, as we agreed that ultimately everything is a question of taste, you should be the best collector, the keenest collector. Why? Because this collection of yours is your flower offering to your God. We cannot bring stale flowers to the altar. But Krishna is also a good collector. Of course we cannot imitate His collection. Because His collection is beyond imagination.

Then the forth rule is: “Don’t study, quote and explain too many scriptures”.

Prema: This we follow.

Swami Tirtha: But why it is said? Because people usually are very proud of their knowledge. So, if you collect many pieces of shocking or impressing information from different shastras and you use it as source of pride, it’s just distasteful. Because actually we are searching for the one thing by having which we have achieved everything. So, information is not enough; transformation is necessary.  If we come to the essential points of a philosophy – that is written in the books, but more precisely that is written in the hearts of the pure saints.



(to be continued)


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