Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question of Yamuna: I have heard that the four points on which we can base our decision on what to do and what not to do are guru, shastra, sadhu and paramatma.  But I also heard from you: guru, shastra, sadhu and hridoy – the heart. How to understand this – whether it is paramatma or hridoy? Should we hear the voice of God in the heart or should we listen to our own heart?

Tirtha Maharaj: Good question. Usually they say only three: guru, shastra, sadhu. That means: the spiritual master, as our main authority; the scriptures, as the central revelation; and sadhu, or the company of the saints as the practical example. And then Shrila Shridhara Maharaj adds that you should also consult your heart – this is hridoy. From this we can understand that the three sources of information – this is the theory. And what makes this theory into practice – this is our heart’s conviction.

But the question is very good, whether if we have some inspiration or inner voice, whether this is the divine guidance, or my taste, or maybe some fake voice…? We can say that if the heart is pure enough, if you go through the purification process you can fully trust this inner conviction, this inner guidance. It is always there, but we are prone to misunderstand it. Therefore we have to purify ourselves, our consciousness. Usually this inner guidance works in the beginning of spiritual life very strongly, because in the beginning everybody is a pure heart, everybody comes with absolutely pure intention. Right? You join a mission, you join a temple, you join a process, you join the devotees – whatever – “Yes! This is my process! We chant Hare Krishna! We go back home, back to Godhead!” And when we are so pure in this intention, therefore the inner guidance is coming so obviously: “Yes, come, do this, follow this process, join, commit yourself!” Little later on we understand that this is simple, but not easy. Then we start to learn how complicated is the process, how complicated is the philosophy, how we cannot trust the mind, and then we fully forget about the inner guidance. Right, it happens, many times it happens?! You feel like: “Ah, I do not know anything! I cannot trust myself. I do not know whether this is only the mind or this is really me…!” But do not stop here. If you purify yourself more, then you will again hear.

Ultimately this inner heart connection – this is the way how divinity can touch you. We are praying for Krishna, we are inviting Krishna to our life, but when He enters, you are surprised. No, we should not be surprised if some inner guidance is coming. Be ready to accept that.

Of course, then again the other three sources of information are very useful and you can control, you can check whether what you have got is real or not. But be sure, if Krishna is there in everybody’s heart, the sincere prayer is heard. Stupidity is also heard. So beware!

Question of Kripadham: What is in the heart of a pure devotee?

Tirtha Maharaj: What is there? Ah… What makes a heart into a devotee heart? That is a sweet question! Because actually we can judge a person according to the ideal. And for some their ideals are residing in their brain. Sometimes this side, other times that side… you know it better. But for the vaishnavas their ideals are residing in the heart. Because they have already accomplished the twin-heart meditation process – tuning. So, the ideals of a devotee we search in the inner recesses, in the inner depth of their hearts. And what makes a devotee into devotee – this is the inner earning for Krishna. So many features and signs and characters are attractive in a bhakta. Sometimes the knowledge, sometimes the abilities – so many things! But if we search, we shall find these very fine, very delicate qualities in the heart. And it is said that ultimately we shall find Krishna there also – in the hearts of pure devotees. Therefore we appreciate the pure saints so much – because they prepare a residence for God in their hearts.

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