Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question of Yamuna: Isn’t the connection between Arjuna and Krishna the same like guru-disciple?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, actually the connection between guru and shishya is very divine. And you are right, this is like an invitation. We got an invitation from our Gurudev: “Why don’t you join the dancing party of the vaishnavas?” Then you will come up with your opposition: “Ah, Gurudev, I don’t know Sanskrit language.” Then Gurudev says: “Ah, it does not matter!” “But I don’t know the songs in the songbook.” Then Gurudev says: “No problem, this is only after second initiation.” But then you come with the ultimate humility objection: “Ah, Gurudev, I am not qualified.” Then you expect that your Gurudev will say: “Ah, no, no, no, you are very qualified.” But to crush the spiritual false egotism guru will say: “Yes, you are not qualified. “ And then this small easy process of destructing false egotism will start. Last time someone asked: “Can’t we have destruction of the false ego in an easy way, in a light way?” But I think…

Anyway, this is an invitation to dance. Therefore we have to come closer to the essence. And many mistakes we will commit. Nevertheless we should go on, continue our practice. If our master is satisfied, then we all feel safe and secure. If he is not satisfied then we should try to understand better what the problem is. But nevertheless we should never forget that guru is not angry at us, but for us. And that’s a big difference. Until the guru is shouting at you, there is some hope. When he is not shouting anymore, you have lost the last hope.

But you know, this invitation is really very special. Gurudev also was always speaking from a different platform. Many times we could not understand what he is talking about. And he was distributing ideas like a spring.

Devotional service is a dance. The rhythm of this dance is the chanting of the maha-mantra. And the melody is sometimes breaking the hearts. It moves in waves and in circles. We are very fortunate if we are invited. And our case is similar to Arjuna’s; although we come with all our opposition and arguments – we are lost. We are lost case, even from the beginning.

And sometimes Gurudev comes with very unique ideas. Like: “Can you build a house for me?” “Yes, Gurudev, I can build a house for you.” Then you come with the key of the finished house: “Gurudev, I am ready with this service.” Then he says: “Can you demolish this house for me?” You say: “…Yes, Gurudev, as you like.” You come back and you say: “I have finished, Gurudev.” Then he says: “Can you build a house for me?” “Yes, I will do.” You come back with the key: “Gurudev, I am ready with this service,” and he says: “Can you demolish the house?” Sixteen times the guru demolished the house. Just imagine yourself in the situation. So after sixteen times the disciple asked: “Gurudev, may I have a question?”

Yamuna: What a humble one! After sixteen times!

Tirtha Maharaj: This is the ancient India, Yamuna, this is not twenty-first century Bulgaria. So: “Gurudev, do you need this house?” And guru said: “No. But I wanted to know whether you need it or not.”

So… Guru helps us to become selfless.

Or another beautiful example – when once Gaura Kishora das Babaji was visiting Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Gaura Kishora das Babaji was a very renounced person and very much dedicated and focused on his chanting and deep meditations. But once there was a big storm in Navadvip, and during the night somebody was knocking on the door of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He opened the door and it was Gaura Kishora das Babaji standing there. They had a very intimate connection, Bhaktivinoda treated Gaura Kishora das like his guru. But you know, it was a little unusual that during the night in a heavy storm somebody is knocking on your door. Gaura Kishora asked: “Do you have a potato?” Bhaktivinod said: “Wait a minute, I will check. Let’s see…” He was searching the house and he found one piece of potato. So he brought it to Babaji Maharaj and said: “Here is my potato.” He took it and went away.

So just imagine yourself, you are sleeping, dreaming of Radha-Krishna lila and Gurudev comes: “Do you have a potato?” It’s a little unusual question in the middle of the night! But then he is walking away with one potato – it is even more unusual.

And Bhaktivinoda started to wonder: “What’s happening? What special type of ecstasy Babaji Maharaj has?” And then he concluded: “Ah! Maybe I was attached to my potato. He came to save me from this attachment.”

So, please, families, at least one potato you should have in your stock – in case your spiritual master will knock on your door, you should be able to give something.

Yamuna: What was the potato for?

Tirtha Maharaj: No, the point was to get rid of the attachment.

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