Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 25th of November 2006, Sofia)

Faith is a natural dimension for human beings. Without faith we cannot really identify a human being. We have discussed already what is faith. There are different opinions about this topic. There is the classical definition that faith is the firm conviction that by serving Krishna every other purpose is served. This sounds a little theoretical. This is a definition by tattva, tattva means by principle. First we should learn this definition – that by serving God, all other purposes are served in life. If we agree on this point, it has some consequences. On the average platform we think that by serving ourselves, all the purposes are fulfilled. That is the hidden move of human beings to pose themselves as God. Because according to this definition this kind of thinking concerns God.
Actually we started our discussion on an intermediate platform, because for most of the people faith means that I believe something that I do not know. Right, I do not know, therefore I believe. The materialist will say: “I believe if I see.” And a spiritual person will say: “I will see if I believe.” Using only the same words in different sequence and the meaning is totally different.
For us faith is not a shaky conviction. Not something that I do not know, therefore I just simply believe. No – minimum it should be the firm conviction, that by serving God, all other purposes in life are served. But beyond this theoretical definition, there is a rasika explanation also. That is the ever-fresh desire to be connected to that source from where divine happiness is taken. O, it is an unexpected definition of faith! Divine happiness is coming from that source?! To be connected?! And this is an ever-fresh inspiration to be connected to that source?!
This should be our faith – a living thing. This is real faith, this is real conversion – when your faith starts to be alive. It is not enough to have the theoretical idea that yes, there is God, but to have the doubt: did He exist?! There is God, but did He exist?! Not like this! This must be an alive experience. Beyond the theoretical conviction this experience of God is important. But how to take divine experience? How to achieve that? Well, expose yourself to the divine mercy. Do not hide, be brave!
First we have to learn the elementary phase of this science. Then we have to be practitioners; and sooner or later we have to come to the master’s degree. Master’s degree not in the sense that “now my faith is accomplished, finished.” But in the sense that “I can apply that into my practical life.”
If faith makes a human being a real human being, then we should cultivate faith. How do we cultivate our faith? First we are full of doubts: “Why should I believe? This is totally against the conditionings that I have in my life. I was reading slowly for thirty years; they want to teach me fast reading?! Why should I believe that? I have my conditioning. I am attached to my conditioning. Why should I give it up? Why should I believe that this method works?” If there is a little trust that you give to the process, then you start checking it. And do nоt forget, the conditioning of illusion is strong! She is very strong, she performs her duty very fine. All the world tries to teach us, that we belong here, this is our home. Then faithful people will start to explain that „Well, maybe you are here, but this is not your real home. Find your home, way home, back home, back to Godhead.”
Actually, we can say, that religion is to turn a house into a home. Do you feel the difference? Here we are stranded. Stranded means when the fish is out of water on a dry bank. We should find our natural element, our home comfort. So first we should give a little trust to the process – to test it –  against all the bad and limited conditionings that we have in our life. Everything tells us: “Try to enjoy!” Then somebody comes and tells us: “Try to serve!” That is opposite message! That is shocking message! “Be humbler than a blade of grass. Be more tolerant than a tree. Be ready to respect anybody without expecting any respect for yourself. In this way you will be able to always chant the holy name.”*  It sounds very impractical. But that is a proof, that there is something hidden there. If the distance between the average standard of life and the preaching is small, do nоt believe that. But if you hear something that is unbelievable, that is impossible to accomplish – go for it! As our teachers say, „If you go on hunting, hunt for a rhinoceros.” Do nоt go hunting for little rabbits. You are equipped with a big machine gun, with special glasses, making you able to watch during the night, special Rambo knife is there with you – and then you shoot the target and hit a little rabbit?! That is ridiculous, my dears! No, hunt for a rhinoceros.
Do nоt put a very low target in your life. Because one aspect of human nature is to have faith. The other aspect of human nature is to have failure. So if you set a low target, you will miss that. Set a high target! May be something you will achieve.
Just like when guru comes and gives you devotional service. One service. Then you have the chance to use all your talents to find the excuses and you will be able to explain to him and to yourself that “Gurudev, this specific service is impossible to do.” But if the guru is clever enough, then he gives you ten different, or hundreddifferent tasks. He knows very well that you will not accomplish hundred. But even if you accomplish half – that is fifty achievements. If you have only one service and you do not perform that – it is a hundred percent failure. But if you have hundred engagements and you perform only half – that is fifty percent achievement! Therefore gurus work on this principle. They are very liberal to engage the disciples. They give many heavy duties. At least some we should perform.
This is faith, when the impossible starts to become natural for us. Now you are laughing! This is true, my dears! This is true! Have you ever believed that you will have the chance to chant the holy names of God?! Do you give a chance for miracles to happen in your life? Or you are conditioned so strongly, that you resist the miracles?! We should be ready, we should give a chance for miracle to embrace us.
Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says that the faith is the strongest power of a human being, by which you can bridge incredible gaps. Think about your power! You are very powerful! By your faith from matter you can come to spirit. From yourself you can come to the Universal Self. From your brain you can come to your heart. Small distance – long way.

*„Shikshashtaka”, 3

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