Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Question of Dani: My question is if there is a sure sign that we are following the false ego, like a red lamp, indicating that we are heading in a wrong direction?

Tirtha Maharaj: Usually we don’t see that. Because if a person is mistaken, he is very convinced that he is doing correct. And it is very difficult to instruct such a person. But what we cannot do, the Supreme Lord can do. So if we cannot instruct a person or help a person, then God will correct the mistakes.

How to decide whether I am driven by my spiritual egotism or by God? It’s a question of permanent efforts, analysis, facing myself in the mirror and this is very hard work. Still there are some standards that help us. For example the lists of good qualities in “Gita”[1] and in other places – so the requirements from the outside sources like the scriptures. Then there are your partners – the sanga that you attend. I think this is very important to have a community, because in this way we shall face ourselves. If you sit at home alone, you might think that you have overcome all the shortcomings. But immediately when you have to associate with others, when you have to cooperate, when you have to tolerate – you will see who you are. Of course one very important outside measurement is our master who will tell us: “Correct!” or “Stop this!” And ultimately there is your inner voice, giving you the guidance in certain cases. We have to be careful about this. But I think in ultimate questions and in very honest, very pure moments we should definitely listen to this inner conviction. Because if we agree that Krishna is there in everybody’s heart, there must be a chance to communicate with Him. But, of course, we all agree – we have to be very pure and very intent on this communication. Yet it is possible. And then we should do accordingly.

Self-realization practically means how to get rid of the false spiritualism. This is a purification process.

Dani: Yes, but the job is very difficult, because we can pretend that we practice all those qualities that are written in the scriptures; and the sanga can be very merciful and humble, and tolerate our bad qualities. And also, speaking about myself, I have seen many times that I sometimes hear my inner voice, but I don’t have the habit to listen to it and to follow it. I notice its guidance, but I don’t listen, because of the usual tendencies and habits. So I know about all these signs and I try to do like this, but all this can be – how to say – tricked.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah, that’s a different case. But don’t torture yourself all the time that “I am so bad and I cannot do, because of my habits and although I listen, I cannot follow…” Don’t torture yourself, just do, just live, chant, do your practice with some patience. Life is not a torture. Life is happiness, isn’t it? And spiritual life also means to train us to be happy.

Although happiness is not a very high ambition. For example Zaratustra – he was not working for happiness, his own personal happiness. He was working to fulfill his mission.

Yamuna: But sometimes for preaching purposes we wave the flag of happiness.

Tirtha Maharaj: Only for propaganda purposes.

Very few remarks on your last question – how not to be tricked? Because we might do our practice, we might have even divine visions, you can have chakra experience, we can have our kundalini awakened, but it is yet another trick. The only way to escape to be tricked and to be misled is to have full faith and full dependence on divine will. If we come to that committed and dedicated platform, whatever is given to us, we should be satisfied. “If I have this chakra experience – good, if I don’t have – also good. I am not running after results. I am Your dedicated servant from lifetime to lifetime.” That is our permanent conviction, irrespective of the charming results of spirituality.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 16.1-3

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