June 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Recently we were visiting the temple of Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. Which is very famous place as Radha-Raman is worshiped there. Radha-Raman is a self-manifest deity. It’s a long story, but to put is short: Gopal Bhatta Gosvami was worshiping shalagram-shila. These are very special stones, coming from Nepal, from some special river, different marks are there and they are considered divine representations of the Supreme Lord. And he was worshiping that; there are some special rules and regulations how to worship. This Gopal Bhatta Gosvami was a member of the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavana. Very braminical and very highly elevated person. His all brothers were worshiping already Radha-Krishna – nicely shaped forms, beautiful forms of the Divine Couple. And he said: “O! I am so low! I am worshiping only this braminical standard for shalagram-shila!” Don’t forget that the worship of shalagram-shila is a very high worship! So he considered this a very low class of worship compared to the divine ecstasy of the others. And he was doing the service, but still he was praying in the heart: “O my God, just come to me, appear to me somehow! How can I tolerate separation from you?!” And his prayer was so strong and so sincere that from the shalagram-shila that beautiful form of Krishna manifested. So Radha-Raman is a self-manifest deity. And even the spot where He manifested is kept as a sacred place of pilgrimage.

And, you know, for Krishna everything is possible of course, from little piece of stone He could manifest a big deity form. But at this time He was not doing that. This time He has manifested in a small form. So Radha-Raman is big like this, very small. And if you stand 20 meters from the altar, practically you see nothing. Especially the Indian old devotees are with half-blind eyes. And small deities… what can they do?! Therefore in this Radha-Raman temple there is one old vaishnava – I see him from time to time – he has a monocle and he is checking out: o, Radha-Raman is there! Like the pirates before! And the sharing is so much there in their hearts that when he finishes to check that Radha-Raman is still there, he just hands it over to the next one to look at. This is very sweet, very sweet as they worship Radha-Raman there. And this tradition there is so strong, that they go on with this worship from 500 years uninterruptedly. In such intensity, that in the kitchen of the temple the same fire is burning that was lit by Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. Just imagine! To keep the fire alive for 500 years! This is quite a dedication.

So this is very special temple, all the devotees paid their respects to Radha-Raman and we were just coming out of it. Then on the exit an old man was entering. And immediately I was impressed by his presence. I thought that he was a pilgrim also. All the devotees who were coming with me were just amazed by meeting Radha-Raman, so nobody understood what’s going on. But then I immediately asked the blessings and the permission of this old man with beautiful robes, beautiful beard and beautiful look and said: “Oh, is it possible to make a picture of you?” Because he was a classical face. These faces are not running here and there on the boulevards of Sofia. Immediately he said: “Yes, of course.” And he was waiting for a moment. So we had to get all the different equipment to make a good photo. And meanwhile – why I started this whole story about this Radha-Raman – meanwhile he gave some teaching. He said: “Don’t forget that except Krishna everything is illusion. Except Krishna’s worship everything is illusion.” And then he added: “You know, I am the senior owner of this temple.”

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