Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

So far we have discussed only service, now we have to discuss devotional service. So, what is the definition of devotional service? Priya?

Krishna Priya: Service with dedication and love. Again it became romantic.

Swami Tirtha: All right, all right – this is one side. And what is the other side, other qualification?

Sanatana: When you serve in accordance with the instructions in the holy books given by God.

Swami Tirtha: Good, good. So it comes from Him, right? This is very close to the exact definition of devotional service. My dear ones, you have to do it under instruction. Didn’t you hear that little part? You all know the romantic part, but the rule and regulation is that I act under instruction. Because if everybody starts his or her very devotional offerings in the temple like this and like that, then it’s a disaster. It’s a mix of rasa, sometimes with bad taste.

This is something very important – please, try to embrace it in your hearts: devotional service means that I act according to instructions and I try to do it with the best of my enthusiasm. These are the two requirements: act under instruction and do it nicely, enthusiastically. You must know this! Even if you wake up from bed, you have to be able to give that definition.

vasudeve bhagavati

bhakti-yogah prayojitah

janayaty ashu vairagyam

gyanam ca yad ahaitukam[1]

The definition of devotional service in the Shrimad Bhagavatam is vasudeve bhagavati – “to Vasudeva Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, supreme intelligence” – bhakti-yogah prayojitah – “to serve Him with devotion”. And then what will be the result of such a selfless and devotional service to the Supreme? Vairagyam and gyanam will come to you. Freedom from entanglement and divine knowledge will come to you. So, the results of devotional service are these two very beneficial features. You will achieve your freedom from the material entanglement and you will achieve divine knowledge – it will come to you.

yad atra kriyate karma


gyanam yat tad adhinam hi


“Whatever you do for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord that is called bhakti, divine love or service. And the natural consequence of this is gyanam, divine knowledge.”

These are the benefits of devotional service. You will achieve your freedom and you will achieve the understanding how to proceed further.

Now I give you a little homework – to collect the nine processes of bhakti, the 64 elements of bhakti, the five most important practices in bhakti and the six steps of dedication.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.7

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.5.35

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