Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

following the footsteps of Prabhupad

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2014, evening, Sofia)


(continues from the previous Monday)


So, with faith and devotion we have to follow the orders of the spiritual master. This is very easy until the master asks something according to our taste. “Yes, Gurudev, I also wanted to do the same!” But if he asks something that is not according to our taste? Nevertheless we have to apply the same principle – with faith and devotion to execute.

I mentioned that here Rupa Goswami will give a list of 64 principles; but actually there are only two rules in devotional life. Paragraph number one: the guru is always right. Paragraph number two: in case the guru is not right, automatically the first paragraph applies. If you remember these two principles, you are safe – after examining, accepting and discharging. Don’t accept stupidity! Don’t accept nonsense. After due consideration if you can fully dedicate yourself, then first examine, then obey. Why? Because guru’s vision is quite different from our vision. If an ant and an elephant climb the same mountain, their vision will be different. Their perspective is different also. Therefore if we have this commitment, if we have this admiration for the broad and penetrating vision of our master, then we shall try to follow as much as we can.

Then the fourth principle is to follow in the footsteps of the great acharyas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master. That means, a real master will always glorify his previous masters. He also follows the previous masters, therefore he invites others, the newcomers, to follow in the same way. Why? Because this is a descending process. We might think that we know something in spiritual science. But spiritual progress means that you understand: ‘My masters, my superiors – they know.’ Therefore it is stated in the Vedanta Sutra that first you should become knowledgeable – that is the part of our process when we gain and collect information, experience, etc.; but then you should become like a child – innocent, pure, fully depending, with full trust in Krishna. So until we are in the knowledgeable part of our progress, you should know, you should examine, you should collect all the experience. This is more like the phase of achieving. But later on this is the phase of applying. ‘I have learned, and I try to apply the theory in my practice.’

A descending process is like picking the mangos from the tree. The best mangos, of course, are on the top. This is a very tender fruit, very precious fruit, so you have to take nice care. And the tree is high. So what to do? Therefore many people climb the same tree; one picks the top fruits and hands them down to the next one. In this way the same fruit is transferred down to the earth. In the same way we have to follow the previous teachers, because they hand the principles of devotional service to us.

(to be continued)



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