Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question of Yashoda: I have a question about ‘loving yourself’. What does this mean in the bhakti path? Can it be not only an ego trip?

Swami Tirtha: Remember jive-doya, name-ruchi, vaishnava-sevana[1].

Jive-doya means mercy to the living entity – that is a compassionate and loving kindness to all living beings, including ourselves. Then the question comes, what is real mercy? We need to administer the best remedy that will help us during this material life on the planet Earth and also save our souls in eternity. So this merciful attitude is to make the spiritual practice for ourselves and also to help others to find their ways.

Name-ruchi means, we need to generate spiritual power to maintain the services, the feeling so to say for the merciful attitude and also to get a higher taste so that we can find our own enthusiasm. Mantra-japa meditation is the source of this spiritual power and also we need to remember that real mantra is not only for our own benefit, but rather this quality of chanting is also good for the mantra itself. If we cultivate, it helps to maintain the spiritual tradition – in this way our individual practice is more like a real service.

Vaishnava-sevana – and finally we can channel our generated spiritual energies in the proper direction by serving the devotees. And actually this is to make the devotee around us spiritually happy. The way to do this is: jive-doya – preaching, serving in merciful mood to other beings, and name-ruchi – properly and enthusiastically chanting of the holy names. This is how the circle is closed, and then we can start again on a higher platform.

‘Love yourself’ for me means we include ourselves on the list of those whom we appreciate as well. Life is so simple. We are eternal souls, we belong to the Supreme, and there is a living and loving connection. All else is secondary.

[1] „Hear, Sanatana! Kindness to all living beings, taste for the holy name, and service to vaishnavas – apart from these there is no other dharma”./ jive daya name ruchi, vaishnava-sevana | iha chara dharma nahi suna sanatana || (attributed to Lord Caitanya, often quoted or alluded to by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, e.g. in Caitanya Bhagavata Adi Khanda 1.1 purport, original source unknown)



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