Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Question of Krishna Priya: My question is related to the definition of devotional service: ‘I act under instruction and I try to do the best’. I want to ask why it happens like this that you try to do your best for a considerable time and still the result is not only not good, but you are one step ahead of falling down?

Swami Tirtha: What is the first signal of curing a disease? Fever is higher than before. What happens if you expose yourself to the sunshine? On the front you will be blinded and on the back you will meet your shadow. So what is your expectation? Full happiness, perfect consciousness, realized liberation – in one shot? Or what? You say “considerable time”. Did you consider your past lifetimes wasted in stupidity?

You are progressing fast! Devotional service is very fast, I tell you. And you can see the power of that process when you stop it. When you stop it, immediately you return to your starting point. So why should we stop? Don’t be so stupid.

Gurudev said: in this process there are only two versions of progress – slow and steady; and quick and steady. So you can choose! Steady is always there. And even one step can save us. Don’t worry.

Question of Hari Lila: I have a related question. It is good when our service is directed to the people around us, to be practical. You said that when we serve, either there is no reaction or there is some feedback that is flattering our ego. But it happens that the reaction is negative; although you try to serve with all your best intentions, still the people around are not satisfied. Is this also a trap for the ego? Or it shows that we don’t serve good enough? Or this is our shadow behind?

Swami Tirtha: Well, sometimes it’s difficult to judge whether we are in a good direction or not. Sometimes there is good feedback, other times there is negative feedback. And definitely we have to pay attention to the negative feedback or even the criticism that we receive.

Of course we have to be attentive. Because there is quantitative or qualitative criticism. What does it mean? If everybody is satisfied with you, only one person has some remarks, it’s quantitatively not very significant. But if everybody is satisfied with you, but your spiritual master is not satisfied with you – only one, but qualitatively – that’s enough. So either qualitative or quantitative criticism comes to us – we have to pay attention. If everybody says: “Wait a minute, this is wrong what you are doing,” then pay attention. Or if only one person, but very important person in your life will say: “Hey, what are you doing?!” – pay attention.

So we need to find the proper reference. Anyway:

vasudeve bhagavati

bhakti-yogah prayojitah

janayaty ashu vairagyam

gyanam ca yad ahaitukam[1]

“Automatically the result of devotional service will be freedom from entanglement and divine knowledge.” So, go on with the practices and you will reach more, you will understand more.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.7

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