Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


The mind of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was always morose because of the continuously manifested feeling of separation from Krishna. The Lord would cry: haha krishna prana-natha vrajendra-nandana! kahan yana kahan pana, murali-vadana! – ‘O My Lord Krishna, My life and soul! O son of Nanda Maharaja, where shall I go? Where shall I attain You? O Supreme Personality who play with Your flute to Your mouth!’ This was His situation day and night. Unable to find peace of mind He passed His nights with great difficulty in the company of Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya.[1]

This was the day and night of Mahaprabhu – lamenting. Do you like lamenting yourself? Usually we don’t. So, even from a very few verses, you can capture the whole mood of proper approach to the Supreme. And it doesn’t mean a feeling of destructive humility; we should not imitate these feelings in a destructive way. Because the Indian way, or the spiritually elevated way is that we are partners to God. We are not, you know, fallen offenders; no, we should come to the platform to help the divine mission to manifest. That means you are co-partners to God. Do you understand the difference? Of course this is not an overdosed false self-esteem. But we should understand how we can join in a very humble and a very positive way the divine desire and help its manifestation. So, this is our method and therefore we stress so much surrendering. Because by dedicating our energy, our willpower, our manpower to the divine goal, that means you join the good campaign. Therefore by chanting and by dedicating ourselves to the mission of Sri Krishna, of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, of our Gurudevas we can help this movement, we can help this process to evolve. Actually it’s going on, and the duty of the active and stupid vaishnavas is not to curb Mahaprabhu’s mission. For some, it is enough to do nothing. It is better that they don’t do anything, than they very actively are hindering the mission of Mahaprabhu. So, sometimes we should say ‘Go!’, other times we should say: ‘Stop!’. Maybe you have some questions?

Paramananda: Actually, what you just discussed extended the scope of my question. It is said by Srila Sridhara Maharaj that “In the highest type of devotion there is never any desire for Krishna and His associates to come to serve and supply us, or that He will show Himself to us”. And initially my question was: which is the proper mood and structure of a prayer if one wants to extend his attempts for real devotion towards this type of connection with the Supreme. And additionally I would like to ask what the practical application of this active principle and the partnership principle on that path is?

Tirtha Maharaj: Of course Srila Sridhara Maharaj is always talking about the highest levels. But if we examine our level, we need a darshan. Be honest! Without feedback we can hardly do anything. If we accept this limitation – that our dedication is not fully selfless, we need some feedback, we want to enjoy spiritually what we see, what we hear, what we receive – on the beginning platform it is not bad, it is not against the dharma. Because it is very nicely described in the Shikshashtakam, where Mahaprabhu first glorifies the holy name, the process: “Ah, the holy name! It is so magic, it is so miraculous, it contains all the energies” – so it is like an introductory dance. And then He comes to prove that the devotee has learned the philosophy: “Trinad api sunichena – Be more humble than a blade of grass”.[2] But then He comes with some ambition: “Make Me a particle of dust at Your lotus feet”[3]. So, after all those flowery words of full dedication: ‘I have no taste and I am so far away…’He says: ‘… but please, give me a position there’. And the fully selfless level is mentioned only in the last verse: “Whatever You do, if You embrace me or You kick me, I am Your unconditional servant”[4]. That is the top level. We should identify our level, and if we are still in the need of some feedback, or darshan, or some enthusiasm, it is not wrong.

For example, it is also written that the vaishnava is praying only for another chance of service, nothing else. All right, but we are so much in need: we need this, we need that, so many things. And I am not talking about basic material things, but if you are in suffering, if you are in trouble, why you should not pray to Krishna: ‘Please, help me!’ If you are honest and realistic, if you are in a trouble, you cannot pray to Krishna: ‘Please, my Lord, give me more troubles’, right? ‘This is so sweet, what You have given to me. Give me more!’ Jesus was also praying: ‘Please, remove this bitter cup from me.’ Sometimes even the great ones have some little, I wouldn’t say troubles, but some special feelings about certain moments. Then what to do with such instructions? How to apply them? Don’t worry, if this is not a daily practice for you, but worship these ideals as a higher goal. And day by day we can come closer to this goal – to fully selfless dedication.

So, I think this a little explanation about the second part of your question. What was the first?

Paramananda: The first part was which is the proper mood when we pray, if you want to apply somehow this goal?

Tirtha Maharaj: ‘My dear Lord, from today on I am Yours!’ And the “partnership” is just another expression, or substitute for “servant”. Because servant, serving, slave – people usually don’t like to hear this. But actually our understanding about servant is that he is so reliable, that he is like a partner. In this way servant or partner – it’s very similar. And partnership means that: “I am ready to dedicate my energies to my partner. Like in a marriage. Both parties bring what they have and they unite. Partnership means that we share our life. And if you dedicate your life to the Supreme Lord, that means there is a chance to make Him your partner – if you have someone who will deliver your application.

[1] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Antya-lila, 12.4-6

[2] Siksastakam, 3

[3] Siksastakam, 5

[4] Siksastakam, 8

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