Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

How to recognize divinity, spirituality – it is that everybody wins. This is unusual, because in the world usually one party wins, the other loses. How to recognize divinity – that it is unusual! If you see the win-win basis, this is very close to the spiritual world.

Question: Bhakti works on win-win principle. But what happens if somebody falls back – then is this my failure also or how to understand it? How to evaluate the situation if someone is in trouble?

Tirtha Maharaj: There is a story. Two devotees were living together and somehow one devotee left. And the master started to criticize the one who left. And that devotee, who remained with the master, said: “Ah, Gurudev, he was not that bad.” Then guru said: “You cannot criticize, but I can!” Yet the feeling of the other devotee was: “I did not had enough bhakti to keep that person.” This is some little attitude how to handle such a situation.

Sometimes we see the people join, other times we see that they leave. Sometimes it happens. When I first heard that somebody left bhakti, I did not understand at all how is that possible. Finally somebody came and then leaves?! Crazy! Still it happens and we see that sometimes the fate and the karma of people are like this that they start, they come, they try with sincere heart, still they cannot find their peace. Yet we should always examine ourselves if we have done everything for that person or not. Because Krishna has sent devotees to us to serve them, not to kick them! We should examine ourselves and we should check if we have gone to the utmost limit that we can do – if you have bowed down to his lotus feet, grab it and in tears say: “Please, prabhu, you know that this is not the direction, please, come to your senses!” Then you have done everything.

Still, the community as a whole has some prowess. If you share your happiness with others, your success with others then what happens? If we share our success and happiness, that grows and if you share your trouble and failure, then it diminishes. This is the power of a good community. And I feel that your group is strong enough in many respects. I have heard that some temple president is proud that: “We are so strong that seventy percent of the people leave our temple!” And he is proud of that! I think there is something wrong with that calculation. If seventy percent would stay with you, then you can be proud of that.

But until you are occupied with stupid little things: “He had told me like this. He was having a bad eye on me like that…” then I am fully satisfied, I know that you do not have real problem. Because if you will have problems, you will know who will help you. And sometimes Krishna teaches us, gives us real trouble; but then we can keep together strongly.

Just like Shrila Prabhupad when he was distributing the incense to devotees and said: “Break it!”- they did it very easily. Then there was one wrestler in the group of devotees with big body and Prabhupad brought a pack of incense and gave him to break it and it was impossible. So if we are unified, then nothing can break the unity of the group. This is real sadhu-sanga. We have to be unified in opinion, we have to be unified in spirit, we have to be unified in service and commitment.

And this is not only an earthly politics. Just imagine that the whole group is in front of the gates of Goloka Vrindavana. And then you start with discussions: “This way! That way! No, we should enter this door! No, not that door – this rasa! That rasa!”

No. Enter. Be unified.

And I can tell you that this group of the devotees has this power to preserve what you have achieved. Once I heard an opinion about the present devotees: “A big event! Without any trouble, without any shouting, without devotees cursing each other?! It always happens like this here?!” Devotees are not cursing each other. Very unusual remark!

From this we can understand that you have achieved a lot! Maybe the steam is not going out too much, but I think that this is a remarkable achievement – that the group is unified. And you should work a lot to maintain that. Because in difficulties, in extreme situations we need extreme solutions. And if we see the devotees as our spiritual brothers and sisters, that minimum this one lifetime we shall spent together in service. Тhis is our commitment.

The principle is: one for all and all for one.

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