Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


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

(continues from the previous Friday) 

In the story of Dhruva it is mentioned that the mother as a guide was like a spiritual master. So, you mothers, please be the spiritual guides for your sons and daughters. Be so strong, determined and realized in your spiritual life, in your faith, that you can transmit something to the next generation. Don’t think that: “Oh, some sannyasi will do the job! I cook the prasadam, but he will take care of my son spiritually.” You have to be gurus! Generally ladies are very ambitious. What to speak of the Bulgarian ladies! They are highly ambitious! So, here is a program for you. Be a spiritual guide! There is no higher ambition. There is! Yet for the newcomers this is the highest achievement – to be a spiritual leader. But please, don’t start with your husbands! Start with your children. Don’t consider your husbands as children.

Still, what is the higher ambition? What is higher than to become a guru? To become a servant. So, if you are really ambitious, you should become a servant of your family. Consider them to be vaishnavas, representatives of some divine power, given to you by God and try to serve them. Because the real guru position is service, and the real servant position is guru. This is what we want to study – how to become an obedient servant of the Lord.

So, the first instruction was given to Dhruva by the mother. Vartma-pradarshaka-guru is the first guide who introduces us into the spiritual practice. Sometimes it is our diksha-guru, sometimes it is not. Diksha-guru is the person who initiates us either to the harinam, or the nama-mantra. And then the shisksha-guru is also there – who gives guidance by teaching, by educating us in our spiritual progress. Our shiksha-guru should always help our commitment to our diksha-guru to grow. Shiksha-gurus – you might have many, diksha-guru is better to have one.

And then we might think that this is the end of the list of the gurus, right? Vartma-pradarshaka – introducing, diksha and shiksha. Enough of the gurus. But unfortunately… but fortunately there are some more gurus. What other types of guru do you have?

Answer: Chaitya-guru.

Swami Tirtha: Chaitya-guru, very good – we shouldn’t forget about that. Because many times it is stated that we should consult the three authorities: guru, shastra, sadhu – the spiritual master, the scriptures and the saints. Yet, there is a fourth factor and this is our inner conviction, chaitya-guru. If your inner being also agrees, then you should do – if it is according to the three other factors. Sometimes this is not emphasized enough, especially in devotional circles. Devotees usually know only the three factors. And in other circles most of the people know only the fourth factor. ‘I have got the divine guidance to do according to my desires!’ So, try to unite both – your sincere inner desire for guidance and your reliable sources outside.

Question: You mentioned guru, shastra and sadhu and my question is if they are mentioned in this order by importance?

Swami Tirtha: By importance, of course, not by chance. Why? Because shastra is the center, both the guru and the sadhu should refer to shastra. Without the reference to shastra no guru is guru, without the reference to shastra no sadhu is sadhu. So, this is the sequence: guru, shastra, sadhu.

(to be continued)



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