Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

The realizations that the devotees have by practicing devotional service is yet another secret. Therefore this is not public, you should not advertise your realizations. But in the appropriate circle, under guidance, under divine protection, we can open up the secrets to very few – just to check if they are proper or not. The perfection of religion is to have a proper understanding of our limited self and of divinity.

Question: What is the quality of the keeper of the secrets and the researcher of the secrets?

Tirtha Maharaj: The keeper of the secret must be a wise man, who is not giving troubles to others. Although he himself knows very well what should be done, he is patient enough. There are two types of keepers of secrets: one is the sweet type and the other is the bitter type. The bitter type is gyani: he knows the secrets, but he is a miser, he is not ready to distribute it. He says: “I am safe, I do not mind anything else!” The sweet keeper of the secrets says: “I do not know anything! I do not understand anything here! But I know them – they can help, they are doing, I am just their servant.” Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaj describes that generally vaishnavas are the Haribol Sampradaya. If a question of philosophy comes, devotees will say: “Haribol! Let us take some prasadam!”

So, the Haribol Sampradaya is the sweet keeper of the secrets, it is not the bitter one. But anyway, it does not mean that they are stupid. It is not a problem if you are stupid at the beginning. But if you remain like that, it does not give too much honor to your guru.

The researcher also should be qualified. Of course there are many qualifications, but I do not want to go into too much detail for the keeper of the secrets. And the researcher must also be qualified – he must have the hankering, desire – but high type, killing type of desire, yearning. This is called lobha in Sanskrit; if we have this yearning, then of course we shall meet other standards also, we shall follow the rules. But we can summarize the quality of the searcher in one word:”yes”. Or if you want to say two words: “yes, Gurudev”. You have to keep the search alive.

Dani: How to keep it alive?

Tirtha Maharaj: By not reaching it.

How to keep it alive? Associate with the real searchers. Associate with those, who really want to have it, want to achieve that. Therefore it is suggested that we should associate with saints, associate with devotees, but especially with those, who do not want to stay here, who want to go back home, back to Godhead.

But there are different levels of association. A disciple can live very close to the guru, but it does not mean that he is really close. While others might live very far away, still they are fully dedicated. And if the connection is intensive and personal enough, then the master will give us a space to live, give us time to experience, give us divine patience to go through different levels of our personal progress. Because if you are a short time servant, then the master will try to keep you very close. If you are a long term servant: “All right, you can come back at any time.” And if you say: “Gurudev, next lifetime we will meet again,” he will give you full freedom to do whatever you like. Because there is nothing higher that a disciple can offer his guru than “I will come again.” So, if you offer this dedication to your spiritual master, just very carefully watch what is his reaction. If he says: “Ah, my God! Again!” Then you can withdraw you offer.

They say that there is a limit that we can reach by our own efforts; but beyond the limit we can go only by a special force and that force is mercy. This is the quantum leap of devotional service. If you get the energy in the proper moment, in the correct way, in the correct doze, then you jump to a higher level. But this is real metaphysics.

Yamuna: When one is wondering whether to do something or not, there are four points to search for his stability: guru, shastra, sadhu and paramatma.

Tirtha Maharaj: Hridoy, heart.

Yamuna: My question is for those rare cases when guru says one thing and the heart says another thing. I know that principally advice is to follow …

Tirtha Maharaj: Guru.

Yamuna:.. but can a disciple plead to his guru not to take as an offence that this time he will follow the heart, especially if such situations happened to his guru as well?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, the guru’s life is his business. And what he was going through is his business. We should not imitate, we should follow. There is a long story and now it is too late; I do not want to start that story, describing this situation very precisely, when even the demigods were coming and telling to the disciple: “Ah, you just do it, your Gurudev was doing the same in this case.” And finally he says: “No. He told me not to do that.”

But recently some devotees asked me: “What can we do if the guru is too heavy?” So much so, that some devotees were leaving the process because he was so heavily chastising. And somebody said: “Ah, but I know an occasion when Guru was really quarreling with the disciple and then the disciple said: “Gurudev, do not be so heavy!” and then the guru said: “Ah, sorry, I was a little heavy.” This is also a question of intimacy. In the shastras it is said: to get a chastisement from above is not easy. With an outsider you are very polite: “Yes, Prabhu! Ah, Mataji, welcome…” – you are polite. But with a family member you say: “Hey, what is this nonsense that you are doing? Stupid city boy!” Inside the family you can quarrel freely.

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