Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Paramananda: I have two questions. They are philosophical; if it’s not appropriate, I will not ask.

Swami Tirtha: Go ahead! 

Paramananda: If you could mention something more about tattva-guru – the guru who is revealing the philosophical line that we are following. 

Swami Tirtha: What is your other question? 

Paramananda: About the sambahdha, abhidheya and prayojana gurus also.

Swami Tirtha: Well, as I told you, by serving our own individual spiritual master we serve samasta guru. Otherwise it’s called guru varga or the assembly of gurus. So, by one drop you can have the whole container of water. And in the same way that reservoir can come to you through one drop. 

Actually our masters don’t live in philosophy. They don’t live in debates and in logic. They live in rasa, they live in living and loving connection to the Supreme. For them this is not a theory. But for the sake of defending the glory and the prestige of our line, sometimes they are ready to enter into debates and logical argumentation. We should remember the case of Rupa Goswami when world champion “argumentator” entered Vrindavana and he knocked on the bhajana kutir of Rupa Goswami: “Hey, I want to challenge you!” Rupa Goswami saw who the person is and said: “Very good, you don’t have to challenge me! You won. Put me on your list, you defeated me!” But when Jiva Goswami heard that, he could not tolerate it: “What? My master is defeated by someone! No, it’s impossible!” And said: “You can challenge me!” What do you think happened? They changed the title who is the world champion. Then Jiva Goswami was criticized for that. How come? Such a good achievement! Somebody could finally defend the glory of the highest master of the times. How can we criticize that? The criticism came because in one sense he overruled his master. Therefore I say this is a very refined school. We have to qualify ourselves to understand it properly. Because in any fighting school of God, people will take the example: “Yes! We want to defend!” But here we are informed that if the master agrees, why should we bother that much. Yet, just between you and me: you can do it.

So, by serving one, you can serve all and by receiving the mercy of one, you can receive the mercy of all. 

And the sambahdha, abhidheya and prayojana – I think we discussed it a lot of occasions. But just to repeat in a very condensed form. In Vrindavana there are many, many temples, but let’s say there is a dozen most important temples. And there are three most, most important temples. One is Madhana-Mohan, the second is Govindaji and the third one is Gopinath. Krishna distributes His different powers according to these three main deities. Madhana-Mohan is when He captures the attention, invites you. Govindaji is when He responds to you, and Gopinath is who takes care of the gopis. And the three main acharyas who are serving these deities of Krishna also represent the three different types of gurus. Sanatana Goswami is the servant of Madhana-Mohana, and as Madhana-Mohana, this feature of Krishna, is attracting the attention. Therefore Sanatana Goswami is the shelter of dikshagurus, just to capture the attention. So, all those who want to find their spiritual master, they are suggested to pray to Sanatana Goswami and to Madhana-Mohana. The second aspect of Krishna in this respect is Govindaji, the responsive God. This is something very important. Govinda’s servant was Rupa Goswami, and Rupa Goswami is the archetype of the shikshagurus or the educating and knowledgeable spiritual masters. Therefore he is the shelter of the shiksha-gurus. And finally the third aspect of Krishna – Gopinath, the lover of the gopis. His servant was Ragunatha das Goswami. He represents the shelter of rasic guru, we can say. 

And actually the three steps of spiritual progress that are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam are according to this gradation. Because Bhagavatam speaks about sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana – the connection, the practice and the goal. The connection refers to Sanatan Goswami and Madhana-Mohana. ‘We belong to God, we belong to Krishna’ – it is this we should understand. Then the next step – the progressive path ‘What to do if I belong to God?’ – this is explained by Rupa Goswami, how to perform your services. This is abhidheya – the process itself. And the goal – prayojana – is represented by Gopinath. We get information about this higher goal from Ragunatha das Goswami for example in such a book that’s called “Vilapa Kusumanjali” or “The bouquet of lamentation”. 

(to be continued)


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