Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


For the westerners it is more difficult to show emotions. Shall I tell you two stories about it? Where did they happen? Guess!

Answer: Hungary?

Swami Tirtha: Tears in Hungary?! Come on! No way, only if the football team is beaten up. Other guess? It’s not so difficult.

Comment: India?

Swami Tirtha: Yes! But practically, it was not in India, because that was in Vrindavan. Vrindavan is not India. And Jaya knows this. Jaya says: “I like to live in Vrindavan, I like to live in Sofia, but I don’t like to live in India.” That proves that Vrindavan is not India. This is not a physical location, this is something else.

So, once we have visited the temple of Sanatan Gosvami – you remember, we had to climb the stairs. This is practically a half abandoned temple, only few visitors are going there on a daily routine. But still in that time there was some function. A young Bengali boy performed arati and nobody was there, only him. We were looking from the back, just watching how he is doing. You know – lighting incense, offering ghi lamp – and while doing this he was crying. He was doing his puja with teardrops. And we were just standing there: “Wow, this is a real offering!” How many times you have done your pujas and your aratis? I don’t have to ask my second question.

The other occasion was… oh, that was very unique! Last year when we arrived with the group to Vrindavan, you know when you have some desire and you feel invitation to some places, you want to run. Just like in Radha-Govindaji temple in Jaipur. When we arrived there ten minutes to five in the morning, just before the arati, you could see the closer you came to the temple, people were running faster and faster. Because it’s got such a magnetic power, the closer you come, it sucks you in.

In the same way, when we arrived I also felt some magnetic power, and quickly I asked some of the devotees: “Do you want to come with me?” And what did they said? “Yes!” We were half sneaking out and escaping from the temple of Sadhu Maharaja. Of course for some this was the first experience in Vrindavan. So, you know, up and down, streets, corners here and there, temples everywhere, devotees everywhere, cows everywhere. First we went to Gopeshvara Mahadev. It was very exotic – many bells hanging around and everything is wet under your feet, because people are bringing water to wash Shiva. The incense is burning and old babas are waiting outside, and there are old ladies selling garlands. It’s very exotic, especially if for the first time you see it – it’s just mind-blowing.

And then we went over the corner to the Vamshi-vata tree. What is Vamsi-vata tree? This is where Krishna is playing His flute to invite the jivas to join His dance. So, we entered, and you know this was a very nice beautiful courtyard, different little altars in the corners and in the center also. So we were walking around, trying to absorb this feeling that was emanating from the place. This is a place of invitations, so Krishna is calling for us also. And there was another group of pilgrims there – five-six people, maybe eight. They had a leader, a lady was leading them and she was telling that this is this, that is that, and meanwhile walking around, stopping at the altar, singing a little together. They were showing great interest and deep emotions in front of this middle altar where there was a very nice picture of maha-rasa, the rasa-dance of Krishna and the gopis. Then when they finished, they were really very emotional. The eldest man came to us and said: “We are worshippers of Lord Chaitanya and we came from this and this place in Bengal”. But they were a little reserved, just greeting us from a little distance. And what could I say? I could say only one thing: bhaja gauranga kaha gauranga laha gaurangera nama re – and then the miracle started! They started to join this chanting and their hearts were just melted on the spot. Then they started to immediately embrace all of us, jumping and embracing, and crying, and touching our feet, and smearing the foot dust all over their bodies. Everybody had to embrace everybody and they were fully absorbed in ecstasy. It was incredible! You know some of our very strong and very serious devotes were there, and they were little perplexed: “What is going on?” After that they had gone and we were just mesmerized there. After such an experience you are not really here. We were trying to find our way and everybody was speechless. But until we reached back home to the temple, we composed ourselves a little bit. And then we concluded that by Mahaprabhu’s mercy you receive not only a glimpse, but you received a heartfelt welcome, a real warm welcome.

It is not necessary to imitate tears while you do your puja, it is not necessary to prolong saying goodbye, but if we carry in our hearts, in the deepest core of our consciousness this mood of welcoming others because we belong to the same divine family of God Supreme, this we should do. So, either this is union or separation, we have the same practice.

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