Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Friday)


So, the first point is to accept a bona fide spiritual master. The second point is “Ask for initiation from him“. First accept and then officially express your willingness to join – to accept initiation. What is the initiation? What is the diksha?

Paramananda: This is the direct blessing of guru and the mercy of the whole parampara in the form of the Holy Name.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, other opinions?

Krishna Premi: As you said, we are not capable to manage with our own energy and we need a higher connection to the source.

Dragi: I have a question about the point number one. You said that accepting a master it means determining your future; does it mean that you let the teacher determine your future? And is there a one word answer to this question?

Swami Tirtha: Yes, yes. There is an answer, and the answer is yes. Actually your question is very much connected to the second point, because diksha, or initiation means that you let yourself be instructed. Diksha is the process by which the superiors transfer the divine knowledge to you and in this way they will change or improve your character. This is the official beginning of the change of your character. So, there is an exchange, it’s a transaction. Initiation means that you get the blessings, but also you have to give something. It’s not only a one way road, you also have to contribute, you also have to give something. What do we have to give in order to receive these divine blessings?

Krishna Premi: Devotion. Life and love.

Swami Tirtha: Yes! In the beginning we might think that maybe we should go according to the official standards. In the ancient times students had to approach the spiritual master with firewood in hand. But just imagine, you meet your spiritual master with some firewood in your hand, especially if the ashram has central heating – it is very practical, right? But actually if your master lives in Ludasto and you come with some firewood, maybe he will be very happy. Yet what does the firewood symbolize? That you are ready to serve. This is what you bring. ‘I bring my service mood, my humble state of mind.’ This is what we give, and what we receive are the blessings in many different ways, in different forms.

Of course to ask for initiation it doesn’t mean that you receive it. Our Gurudev was very liberal concerning the initiation. He had only one requirement, not so many. His requirement was that you have to offer you life, one lifetime in the service of Krishna – this was the only requirement. So, he was very liberal. He said: “Oh, this is for everyone, who is ready to offer his, or her life“.

But ultimately you are right – these two things, prana and prema, we have to offer. Our life as dedicated service and our love, our emotional energy we have to submit to our spiritual masters.

The third point is “Serve your spiritual master“. So, the list doesn’t say: “Ask for initiation and when you receive it, then serve”. No, ask and the next step – serve! If you are accepted, if you are not accepted – serve! Do you know that beautiful story about how Narottama Dasa Thakura received his initiation from Lokanath Das Gosvami? So, this should be our conviction. To establish this connection, of course accepting the master happens in our heart, but anything else depends on him, according to his vision. If he gives, if he doesn’t give, if he postpones, if he puts us on the waiting list, if he chases us away using his danda – it depends on him. And we should serve, because by service we can express our gratitude, by service we can express our commitment. Service is not something theoretical, but service is when you join some practical things, or you share his practices. If my master meditates, I also join his meditation, if he chants the Holy Names, I also chant the Holy Names, if he cleanses the temple, I also cleanse the temple, etc. So, join the services, serve!


(to be continued)

Leave a Reply