Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

How to find ourselves? This is not an easy question. You try to analyze, that I am not the body, I am not this, not that – yet how you will find your identity? We were discussing recently with the devotees and we came to the conclusion that you can find yourself if you identify yourself with something. Do you understand what I mean? On the material platform we usually say: “I am this and that. I am representative of this company, I am a family man, I am the father of my children, I am this and this.” We identify ourselves with something – with a role, with a name, with a position. By this identification, we feel safe – yes, I am this – and then we are satisfied. But these roles are changing too fast. From the sweet sixteen quickly you become an old sixty. These roles are changing: from the sweet boy you become a very ugly old man. Or first from an uneducated young man you become respected elder; and then become an uneducated and stupid old guy again – forgetting everything. So these identities are changing. Therefore on the spiritual platform we also have to identify ourselves with something – some roles, some positions.
In devotional life for example we identify ourselves with our gurus: “I am a disciple of my Gurudev.” Then you feel safe: “Yes, this is my identity.” This is one role, one position, so to say: “Yes, I belong to him, I belong to this line. I am a vaishnava. I belong to vaishnava faith. I am a Krishna bhakta.” But sometimes this is too general, therefore we need a more private family: “Here are my sisters and brothers, and here is my master.” But the more elevated will identify themselves with the services that they have. Therefore we say: “Daso’ ham, I am your servant, I am a servant.” “I am the main pujari of Mahaprabhu in Sofia.” Or “I am the sankirtan devotee of this group.” Or “I am distributing the prasadam every evening.” In this way we can identify ourselves with the services that we have. And if we avoid the trap of egotism and prestige, then we are very fortunate. Because you can identify yourself: “I am the great pujari of this God.” So we have to be careful about this. Still we can identify with our service.
But then what is the difference: bodily identification or devotional service identification? It can also change. So many things can change, no doubt. May be next year you are not only worshiper of Mahaprabhu, but Radha-Krishna also. Who knows?! Things might change. But our connection, our deepest ultimate identification: “My Lord, I am Your eternal servant” – that should not change. “My dear Lord, from today on I am Yours”- that should not change.
Question of Yashoda: What is the search of a dedicated soul? What exactly does this mean? Because I myself feel that I have found my place, my master, my brothers and sisters, my service. And I feel that I am not searching anymore.
Tirtha Maharaj: But you have searched enough. So, that’s it! It is not enough to search, we also have to find something. Because searching is that you did not find yet. “I am a searcher.” Better we become “I am a finder.”
But times will come when you have to question your identity, present identification. When your guru passes away, you have to redefine your identity. Or  when you have to leave. Again you have to redefine yourself. So there are different phases, there are different situations, when it is necessary to evaluate again what is going on. Or I make a major mistake – then I have to define myself again, so to say. Or I come to a higher level of realization, a kind of enlightenment. These are different ways to improve our vision. But what you say, this is very nice, this is the fulfillment of the search: yes, I have found my place. And this is what I am talking about – we have to search until we find this nourishing environment – where you feel the attention, the care, the chance for progress, where you feel at home. Home comfort. While you are travelling, it is good to have a hotel to rest. But you cannot compare it to your home. And immediately when you find your home, you forget about all the stupid hotels that you have taken so far. We take shelter in so many things meanwhile – while we are searching for ourselves. But let’s forget about it. Because the ultimate shelter is God, no doubt.
Still, a surrendered soul should also search – search for opportunity for deepening the connection with Krishna, making it more sweet, more penetrating. So the process is unlimited, never-ending, therefore we have a permanent chance to improve. And as Krishna’s and Radhika’s qualities are unlimited, you can always inquire about it. There is no end of devotional service, no end of the search how They are.

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