Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition, I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.”[1]

This is one very famous verse form “Shrimad Bhagavad-gita”. It is called shishya-shloka, the shishya verse where Arjuna, as a disciple, acceptsKrishna, God, as teacher, as instructor. This is a turning point of the story, because before their relationship was different – more simple, more friendly. But now Arjuna admits all the shortcomings that he has got. This is a time of humility. And it is very much necessary for a student to learn. Without practical humility it is impossible to learn.

We are all searching for secrets and higher knowledge. If we want to achieve, then let us practice the first requirement and it is humble surrender. Although this topic, humility, is not very popular these days, because now all the education that is coming to us is: do it yourself, you are great, etc. You have heard these stories hundreds of times. So better we turn our attention to the right source of information, where they will not cheat me. Because all this advertisement will ultimately cheat you. Everything from the world tries to say that “You belong here. Just do what I tell you and you will be satisfied, you will be happy.” We have tried, we have given our hearts, we have sold our souls – satisfaction does not come. So find such a way, where they teach you really how to become yourself. Because if we can come to the real spiritual platform naturally we shall be humble. For ourselves, as spirit souls, we are not the center of the universe. Sorry, maybe this is a very difficult message, but we are not the center. As soon as we recognize our limitations – that we are so tiny, tiny sparks of this divine picture – then naturally we shall take a humble position. But do not forget, the servant of the king is living in the palace. So to take a humble position in a big kingdom means you have got a good residence. In the same way to accept a simple service in the greatkingdomofGod,Krishna, that means you will be part of His court.

Therefore Arjuna as a fighter is ready to give up his prestigious position. He is a prince. He is the best archer in the world. And really he is! He is qualified in so many ways. Still he is ready to give up this prestigious position, his self-esteem even, and what does he say?! “I am confused; I do not know what is best for me.” And what about you? You come, young men, your nose poked into the air… You think that you know something! Be ready to give up the self-esteem. But only in front of a real authority. Arjuna was talking to God Himself. It is easy to give up the false prestige in front of God. Still we should practice this example, because it helps us very much. A real authority can help us in identifying ourselves.

And finally Arjuna says: “I am your disciple, I am your surrendered servant.” And these are not only words. He really means it. What does it mean to become a surrendered soul? That means that you give up your selfish privacy. What does it mean to become an obedient servant? That means whenever your master is calling you, you are ready. You do not say: “Yes, but…” This is not the surrendered servant. This is a servant, but without the good qualities. “Yes, Gurudev, but…” No, surrendered servant means ready anytime. And you know, in order to face ourselves sometimes the great ones are testing us. Because we might think: “Yes, I am a surrendered servant of my master – until he does not ask anything from me. I can perform everything that he does not ask from me. Gurudev, you are so great, you do not have to tell anything to me.”


(to be continued)

[1]  “Bhagavad-gita” 2.7

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