September 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

fisherman's net

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2016 evening, Sofia)


To practice spiritual life alone is nice; to have one more partner is better; but to have many partners – this is best. We don’t simply trust in coincidences, but we want to see the divine arrangement every moment, in every act, in every single case that happens to us. Whether happy and easy or difficult and bitter – we should maintain the same vision.

We have learned from our teachers, the holy acharyas, some points about the pure devotional service. Three words are mentioned here: ‘pure’, ‘devotional’ and ‘service’. Actually these three words start at the end – with ‘service’. Right, pure devotional service starts with service. And what is the meaning of service? We agreed that this is equal to love, affection. Love means you serve others. So, if you serve others that means you love them. This equation goes one way and the other also. Yet nowadays ‘service’ sounds a little awkward. Except when others start to serve us – then we like it. But that we should offer some service to others? We don’t like that. Nevertheless day by day we have to serve others – whether our boss or our dog, we serve so many other living beings. Still in most of the cases this is paid service. This is not devotional service.

Reality of life means that we are connected. This is like a net – you pull one string and all the net is moving. And how do you call these holes between the strings of the net?

Answer: The eyes of the net.

Swami Tirtha: Ah! So nice! The mind is like a net, like a fisherman’s net. Our mind is like this – the apertures of this net are very narrow, very small. So all the insignificant things and impressions that come to us, get stuck in our mental net. If we enlarge the eyes of our net, so to say, then the small insignificant things will fall through it. Spiritual elevation means that you enlarge your holes, so that the insignificant things just pass by. But the big things, the important things – they will be preserved, they will stay with you. This is spiritual progress – let the insignificant things go. As it is said: ‘Let go!’ but if we add a ‘d’ at the end, then it becomes ‘Let God!’, let God make the miracles.

So if you pull one string of the net, the whole structure moves, you can reach the whole structure. In the same way, if something inflicts our mind, we are allover disturbed. But the same principle applies in devotional relationships also. Or in a family circle. If we are connected, then we share. The success of my brother or partner is my success. And my failure is his failure. This is ‘my’ contribution. You see, if we belong together, if we share this life experience that means that we are connected. The service mood connects people. The paid service also connects people, though in a bitter way. But the special type of service, devotional service, connects us in a different way – when our relationship is not motivated by a selfish gain, but there is only one competition: we compete how to serve each-other better.

So, the basic relationship is service, service mood; the classified or the elevated platform is devotional service; and the supreme platform is pure devotional service.

(to be continued)



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