March 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Krishna-Nanda Maharaj

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“Entrance into the above mentioned touchstone of gyana-shunya, pure bhakti, can be obtained by the persevering devotee, who has the necessary energy, fortitude, good association and honesty of purpose. With all these necessary qualifications that touchstone is easily available.”[1]

So, this is what we should develop: energy, power in spiritual practices… What is the source of power for spiritual practices?

Answer: Lotus feet of the spiritual master.

Swami Tirtha: Aha, again your master has to work? The source of power in spiritual practices is tapasya, asceticism, my dear. We also have to do something. If you feel you need more strength in your spiritual life, do some tapasya. This will definitely bring a higher level of energy. Strange, because usually we think we will be more strong if we gain something and not renounce something. But this is the other way round: if you want to be stronger, then follow some very strong practice. Miserable practice, miserable result! Good practice, good result. So, if you need more strength, do some tapasya.

Fortitude, or endurance – it comes from commitment. Sankalpa is something very important. Without commitment, without identifying the goal, you cannot reach it. So, if you declare your goal, you can be much more committed than without declaring your goal.

And then in order to reach the final destination in our spiritual life we need a good association. We need likeminded people, friends and helpers.

And finally maybe the more subtle quality that we must develop – this is the honesty of purpose. We have to be honest, we have to be sincere. And what is sincerity? Sincerity is that you understand your position, you understand your goal, identify it and you act accordingly. You don’t act according to a dream, but you act according to your position. This is honesty of the purpose.

“With all this necessary qualifications the touchstone is easily available.” This is such a nice conclusion of our discussions for this time concerning spiritual metallurgy – how to come from the basic elements to the most powerful touchstone through all the different processes of approach to the Supreme and also in the different relationships with the Divine Couple – like servitude, friendship, parental love and lover’s love.

Question of Mahadev: Where in this gradation of the spiritual metallurgy is the relation of a person and God as between son and a father? Like Jesus.

Swami Tirhta: That’s also included in the parental mood. Usually in this very beautiful tradition, Christianity, one side is stressed more – when we accept God as Father. But the other variety of this relationship is when you feel that you are like a parent of God. This is also represented in Christianity by Mother Mary. Maybe a little more hidden, not so obvious, not so declared, but it’s there. God-father, God-son and the mother. But the quality of the relationship is very similar, because this is like a family affair, like a family feeling.

Basically you are all family members and you know from personal experience how much sacrifice you are ready to do for your families. How much sacrifice you have to make to raise a kid. Or you would be ready to sacrifice your life for the sake of your mother, for the sake of your father, for the sake of your children. It’s a very high level of commitment, a very high level of responsibility, and love simply to say. But how much risk we are ready to take for our spiritual family? Are you ready to sacrifice your life for your brothers and sisters? Without any expectation? How much we are ready to sacrifice for our beloved God? A father, or a son, or a daughter is very much realistic for us. But how much realistic for us is our master? How much realistic for us is our sampradaya? How much realistic for us are our deities?

So, don’t think this family bhava is something very insignificant. It brings out extremely high qualities from the human beings. Unfortunately in this age of quarrels and misunderstanding, sometimes it brings out very bad qualities, but still very intensive. Think of this intensity and go further. Whatever we are ready to give and dedicate to our family members at least that much we should be ready to dedicate to our spiritual family.


 (to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


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