Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“Good! This is not for us! I am not a sannyasi, so I do not have to be fearless, I do not have to purify my existence and knowledge is too complicated for me! Haribol!” All right, if you think that you can escape, then let us take the next set. If this is delivered to the sannyasis, let us see what is given to the grihasthas. “Charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice.” Is that a better set? “It is so strict, just like for the sannyasis! Plus, I have some extra trouble with my family – to maintain, to earn money, to raise the kids… Ah, I am so troubled! I thought that if I escape sannyas it would be easier, but then I am on the hook!”

What does it mean charity? Well, once Tripurari Maharaj gave definition of donation. He said: “If you give some amount of money, when you feel “sst”- this is the good limit.” When it is a little difficult. But is it simply concerning money? No. You cannot think that by little donation you can buy Krishna, or guru, or vaishnava, or mercy. Anyway money is given to you by Him. This is just like the air – a divine energy. So far air is free, there is no tax on air, on breathing. I hope nobody is listening, because I do not want to give ideas to the tax office. Donation is just like dedicating yourself. Because our money is our second self, we love it so much, we like to embrace it, we like to calculate it, we cherish it so much – just like ourselves. Right? So if you give your second self to Krishna, you will train yourself to give your first self also. But usually this is a touchy question – money. Because you might think: “Well, I am a pure, no – I am a poor vaishnava, the other is more wealthy, so I am happy that he can give. These donations are not for me, I cannot!” But Bhaktivinod Thakur was very strict: “If you do not have money, give your time. If you do not have anything, give a little ashes!” So, this is not the amount, this is not the quantity – something we should give. Because in this way we shall train ourselves that we should serve Krishna somehow, we should serve the divine purpose somehow. But again I shall say that we should not be satisfied if we can donate a little amount for the mission and then we tick: “All right, it is done, my service is done.” No, it is not enough.

Then self-control. “Yet I have taken wife not to control myself, but to enjoy life! I am not a sannyasi, please! That’s more complicated!” And then – sacrifice. “I am working hard, day and night, and I have to make sacrifices?! That’s too much! Krishna, you demand too much!” From this we can understand that there is a big difference between grihamedhi and grihastha. Grihamedhi means enjoyer and grihastha means he is well established – stha, who is standing, good standing in the family order. Family life is not a license to be lazy or to escape the difficulties; it is more responsibility there. Because then you are not responsible only for yourself, but also for your family.

“All right! This grihastha order is very difficult, very complicated. Let’s see what is there for the brahmacharis.” The sannyasis and the grihasthas have taken all the difficult services; now what is left for the brahmacharis? “Study of the Vedas, austerity, simplicity.” “Ah my God! Again this is not the happy life! Learning all the time these complicated Vedas in this Sanskrit language that just breaks my tongue! Then this tapasya! Cold water! Sleeping on the floor! Eating only when the guru says: “Eat!” My God, take care of the brahmacharis! And to be simple. But life is so complicated! And I have such a complicated mind! Maybe this brahmacharya is also not for me…”

It is obvious that there is no easy life, no escape from difficulties, from trials, from chances for service, from responsibility. In whatever position we are, it does not really matter, because actually we are trying to reach the same goal.

We should try to manifest and to realize these qualities in our lives. If we are brahmacharis, then we should be real ones, not only brahmacharis in the name. If we are family members, we should take it very seriously. Or if somebody is a sannyasi, he should be very honest and very chaste. The problems start when there is a mixing of the orders: when the sannyasis start to live an easy and wealthy life, just like grihasthas; and when the grihasthas are expected to live like ascetics. So, we should not mix the orders, but whatever place we take in the society – in divine or material gradations – we should be very honest, very simple, very natural and very strong in our position. Then it would be easier to manifest the further qualities like ahimsa, telling the truth, est. – there are so many.

If we analyze ourselves whether we have a little part or the majority of these qualities, then we can understand our position. This is not a question of rasa, this is a question of tattva. So if we analyze ourselves according to these standards, then we do not overestimate ourselves. Once I met a person, who was meeting the devotees and thinking about Krishna for three years, but not as an initiated devotee, just like a friend. And he said: “I’ve been practicing for three years! What else can I dedicate toKrishna!?” Then my heart stopped and I thought: “Maybe there is something left…”


(to be continued)

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