Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia) 

“Question: In his purport to Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.12.33, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote something in connection with the story of Dhruva Maharaj. He said that Dhruva Maharaj was a very powerful devotee and could take his mother back to Godhead, and then he wrote, “If one of my disciples becomes as strong as Dhruva Maharaj, then he can take me back to Godhead.” This statement seems very mysterious.”

Shridhara Maharaja answers: ”Dhruva’s mother was his Guru, his vartma-pradarshaka-guru, his first guide, just as Chintamani was in the case of Bilvamangala Thakura. Through Chintamani, that Krishna-function as Acarya came as vartma-pradarshaka, and in a similar way Dhruva was initially inspired by his mother; his first spiritual instruction was from her. Next he received guidance from Narada, and then by dint of his bhajan he attained the next stage, and then again he went further. But his vartma-pradarshaka-guru was his mother, and yet she was to be apparently left behind. The vartma-pradarshaka-guru is the one who first gets the kanishtha-adhikari bhakta started on the progressive spiritual path. But we have to consider the past lives of Dhruva and his mother. In his past life Dhruva had made more progress, but then in that life it was arranged by the Lord that his mother would get him started in the proper direction, and thereafter he adopted the path of bhajan. Both of them had previous lives of progress in the proper direction, but sometimes a primary teacher may have a student who is an extraordinary scholar”.[1]

Most probably you are familiar with this story of Dhruva Maharaja. He was a young boy, hurt by his father due to some family problems. His father, the king, had two wives and he preferred the other wife, not the mother of Dhruva. And when the father somehow showed his preference, Dhruva was offended. Then Dhruva went crying to the mother: “What to do? How to retaliate this offence?” The mother tried to pacify him, but ultimately the young boy, five years old, decided to go for a meditation in the jungle. And then he started quite a strong practice. Then Narada Muni gave him advice on sadhana – how to perform his meditation. I don’t really remember the details, but first he started his tapasya by eating once a week. Then he came to the next level of drinking once a week. Then he raised the standards by not eating anything for weeks. He was very determined in this more and more progressive tapasya. So much so, that finally by his renunciation Lord Vishnu appeared to him and asked: “What do you want, My dear son?” and he said: “Oh, I was so stupid. I wanted power, but now I have got Your darshan. I am fully satisfied. This is like small pieces of glass, but now I have a divine darshan, so I am fully satisfied.” Then what happened – he went back and fought off everybody: he was killing up and down all the demons just to show his power. So much so that the demigods had to come and pacify him: “Enough! It’s not necessary to go out of proportion!”

But what does this story tell us? First of all, if you feel hurt, don’t take it too serious. Because you might end up killing the demons out of proportion. The second is that we all have different motivation to start our meditation, our spiritual progress. Most of the times this is a kind of material motivation – either we suffer too much, or we want to achieve something. Nevertheless if we follow the instruction given to us with determination, we shall achieve our goal. And this goal might be beyond our expectations. You wanted only to resolve your small little insignificant problem, but you might meet God Supreme.

(to be continued)


[1]The Golden staircase, Ch. 2 Universal mind”, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj


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