April 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“Dhruva Maharaj was in need of his father’s kingdom and therefore engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord. Then in the end, when he was completely purified, he declined to accept any material benediction from the Lord.”[1] So, by following very strictly and in a very dedicated way the instructions of his spiritual master, finally Lord Vishnu appeared to him. And then he said: “Ah, I was praying for pieces of glass… And finally I have got Your darshan, I could meet You!” Then immediately he realized that material benefits are very insignificant compared to the divine presence.

“Similarly Gajendra was also distressed and prayed to Krishna for protection, after which he became a pure devotee.” So there are many examples of great saints who in their previous position had some kind of material distress, ambition or whatever; they turned to God Supreme and they were fulfilled. “Just like the sages in Naimisharanya – the grand forest of liberation. The sages were inquisitive and were always asking Suta Goswami about Krishna. Thus they achieved the association of a pure devotee and became pure devotees themselves. So that is the way of elevating oneself. In whatever condition one may be, if he is fortunate enough to associate with a pure devotee, then very quickly he is elevated to the second-class or first-class platform.”

So, this is the neophyte platform. It doesn’t matter what is our motivation – whether this is little suffering, whether this is little need – if we somehow are connected and if we live in the association of pure devotees, then it will help us and it will improve our life. Even if we consider that our spiritual progress is a long journey, it starts with the first steps. Why should we hesitate to make the first steps? Let’s commit ourselves to this beautiful process, bhakti. Because even if we are neophytes, newcomers in this line, we are very fortunate, we are blessed. Why? Because Krishna likes the newcomers. It’s not that He does not like the old guys around, but He is happier to receive somebody new.

Just like in a family. We are always very eager to receive a newcomer in a family. The first child – you are very eager to receive. The second – you are also very eager to receive. When the six goswamis all of a sudden appear in your life… then you feel like blessed. So, this is what keeps us engaged in the expectation. Therefore it is said: one child is good, two children are better and three children in a family is a minimum.

In the same way, in our spiritual family all the time we like so much the newcomers. Because they bring a new meaning of life. Whatever I have acquired, whatever I have collected in this lifetime – it’s for them. It makes the whole system useful. Why? Because ultimately, a very simple thing: we have to live for somebody, not for ourselves. We have to live for others. And if we are somehow engaged in this type of spiritual relationships, this is a big fortune, a great blessing for us.

At the same time the beginning of spiritual life is very enthusiastic and very divine – in order to show us the beauty and the prospect of the process. Later on we have to qualify a little more in order to maintain that original mentality. And maybe our motivation at the beginning was something very simple and very common; later on, as we are polished a little bit, we can find more and more refined motivation again and again. This is spiritual progress – that we can receive new and new taste in the cultivation. Therefore we pray, therefore we try to follow our meditations – to purify the consciousness and also to maintain that standard. If our mind is purified, then this is when it is a good friend. If our mind is not pure, then it will give much trouble. But hopefully we can turn our mind also into a devotee and then automatically you can associate with a vaishnava, who will tell you only good advice.

This is our hope – to upgrade ourselves from the neophyte platform. But without a beginning, we cannot come to the practitioner and the accomplished stages. So don’t worry about it! We are not expected to start the process at the end. You can very easily start it at the beginning.

(to be continued) 

[1] Nectar of devotion, Chapter 3


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