Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

This is a new year ahead of us, plus eternity. What should be our program for this year? To carry on the heavy luggage? Or to put down your burdens…

Usually at the turn of the years, people make some balance about the tempo of the dance rhythm: what was happening, what they expected; what was their goal and what are their achievements.

It is not enough simply to wait for the miracle to happen to us, we also have to act. The chance to grow and the chance to develop ourselves are very inspiring for all of us. But what is this progress? Is it in some achievements that you can measure? In items or numbers, or something like this? We all know that the real development, the real progress is something else. I feel that real progress is when you come closer to God, for example. Or when something that was inaccessible for you before all of a sudden becomes your practice. When the impossible becomes possible – this is real progress. When we repeat, we do the same thing and all of a sudden it becomes ecstasy. And when we see the devotees around us more and more like devotees. When we are able to perceive this divine beauty around. When we understand that the practical dedication is the real answer to all the questions. Or when we understand that collecting the twigs for the fire gives us a lesson about eternity. When you remove a piece of stone and you see the complete whole. When you look around and you see those with whom you will live this lifetime in dedication. Real progress is when Krishna cannot hide anymore from your vision. And this does not concern simply the official formulas: the temple, the deities, the worship, “Bhagavatam” or your japa; but when it is extended and expanded to all the moments of your life.

Desire is natural, this is a natural expression of our existence, of our soul. Desire is very natural, but what we should desire for? Prestige, adoration, distinction? Private fulfillment, material satisfaction or worldly frustration? Money, women, fame? Simplicity, purity, humility? Faith, hope, love? Happiness, happiness, happiness…? What we should desire for? Wherever we start from, we come to love. This is the ultimate word in all respects. And if we can practice divine love, all other spiritual practices are considered insignificant. It is a great art; and this art is humanly beautiful and divinely wonderful. Enough for one lifetime.

Still, how to measure the progress? We agreed, not in the obvious things. Children are born, our services become more and more expanded, devotees join the group – and we can continue. But the greatest proof of progress is the breakdown of blocks. When the barriers are removed. I can see on the faces of the devotees that the misunderstanding is gone. Inner difficulties are removed. And if we have a deeper vision and if we treat each other in a more vaishnava way, more spiritual way – that is real progress. I should tell you a secret. Many times we have seen or heard that devotees were coming together, discussing, making some resolution, etc. And they can go on fighting and complaining and things like this after resolutions. But very, very few times, practically at no times, I have ever seen in my short little time of devotional service that devotees are coming together to improve their services; that they make a “competition”, so to say, who will chant the holy names in a more penetrating, dedicating and more divine way. Therefore I should quote from a letter: “Let me share a secret. I am also trying, and with some success, to chant more rounds and for the first time I really feel happiness, inner satisfaction and that higher taste, impossible to express by words.” What can we say?! Jay Radhe… I consider this real progress. If someone comes closer to this higher taste, do we need any other proofs? Do we need any other achievements? If you are satisfied, do you need anything else? I think not. Then we are completely fulfilled.

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