Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

GveVARz (1)

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.01.2014 evening, Sofia)
(continues from the previous Monday)
The eighth principle given here is: “One should not give unnecessary trouble to any living entity.”[1] So, ahimsa is important. It is called ‘the greatest dharma’ – ahimsa. And this is not only to avoid violence, because again that is a negative description. But real ahimsa means to help the spiritual progress of others. Do you know when the international day of ahimsa is? 
Answer: Every day.
Swami Tirtha: Ah, it would be very nice to be like that. But this is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, October 2nd. So, the United Nations finally in unison accepted this day as the international celebration of ahimsa. 
Once in South India we found a Buddhist temple. Very nice temple, very nice care; they received us very nicely, immediately we got some publications and we were invited to the Sunday lecture. It was very nice! Some thirteen monks were sitting on the stage in the front; the leader of the ashram was like a 40-50 year old respectable gentleman, the most senior was like 80, the youngest was like 8. So, from the smallest to the greatest they were sitting in front of the audience. They had their meditation, inviting everyone for silent meditation – it was very nice. Then the abbot started his lecture. And you could feel that he knows all his people. There was one western person also in the audience, obviously part of the group. The leader just scanned the audience and he saw us there: two newcomers, westerners. Immediately he started in a very gentle, but very instructive way to talk about ahimsa – to give a practical message. And I was very happy to receive the attention, because this was something very gentle. I’m sure that all the members have heard hundreds and thousands of times about ahimsa. But our friend thought: ‘Ah, here are some tourists coming from the West. Let’s help them, serve them by some ideas: don’t be aggressive with others.’
And I tell you, it is not easy to live without violence. Usually we don’t kill our fellow human beings – usually. Yet we torture others many times – by acts, by words, by thoughts, by neglect. If we do something, it might be very hurting. But if you miss doing something, that may be even more painful. It’s the same with our Krishna. If you do something stupid, that might be painful for Him. But if you miss to do something nice, maybe that is even more painful. Therefore negligence should be avoided in service. 
So, we shouldn’t give unnecessary trouble to any living being – does that mean you can give necessary trouble to others? There is a very nice example from Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He said on one very famous Vyasapuja celebration, when devotees came together to celebrate his birthday: “I know that I had given so much trouble to you. Please, forgive me! Because the only reason I was ready to give you this trouble is to help you to remember our Lord.” So even if the great teachers sometimes have to commit some violence in order to help us or save us from a bigger danger, then we can see that to live without violence is very-very difficult. And simply by avoidance we cannot accomplish that. But by serving the spiritual benefit of others it is possible that you can diminish this bad influence. Do you agree? So again, by positive cultivation we can achieve better results than simply by avoiding. Therefore we should try to give something to Krishna, try to satisfy Him; not simply to avoid something that is bad or limited. 
(to be continued)
1.  Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 6 

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