Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(from discussion with B.K.Tirtha Maharaja, 7th of September 2006, Sofia)

I have a humble request to you. Let us think for few minutes and find a definition for a saint. Who is a saintly person? Whom we can consider a saint? It is not necessary to think, to intellectualize too much, but what comes to your mind if you mention “saint, saintly person”?
Prema Bindu: Authorized by God.
Tirtha Maharaja: Can we check it? May be we cannot check, but we can feel. Please, remember your versions and do not be influenced by listening to the voices of others! Be strong in your definition. Can we go in rows, so that everybody can give opinion?
Shyamasundara: Someone, who through his actions sets an example to be followed.
Raga: Who gives light. A shining person.
Ram Vijay: Who knows the truth, sadhu.
Yashoda: Who has dedicated his life to God.
Damodar: It is included in the word (in Bulgarian) – who has dedicated himself.
Keshava: Self-realized soul, who sees in his heart God.
Somebody else: Who have transcended the boundaries between the human and divine.
Somebody else: Who has no fear.
Nikhilatma: For me that is a person, who attracts me. I am longing for his association.
Manohari: Who sacrifices himself for others.
Keshava: Dasa-anudasa, who tries to serve the servants of the servants of the Lord.
Somebody else: Who is compassionate.
Prema-lata: Who is able to transform others into saints.
Valyo: Who can be a connection to eternity, peace of the mind and happiness of the soul (sat-cit-ananda).
Nelly: Who is humble.
Rukmini: Who has become close to God. And close to sinless.
Somebody else: Everybody who has come to God – no matter of the steps – he is a saint.
Somebody else: One who has real love – who can feel and give real love.
Small Dani: The purity that is breaking the ice of darkness, transforming it into light and brings the others to development.
Dragi: The sinless people.
Yamuna: The one, whom when you meet, you fall in love. He is a person, who can satisfy both the mind and the heart of people. He speaks with simple words, but is able to touch the very core of everything. Who can see the hearts of the people and speaks heart to heart.
Damodar: Who is very dear to God, because he has found shelter at His lotus feet.
Somebody else: In the presence of a real saint I will feel a different atmosphere, I will feel full satisfaction, I will be enlightened and uplifted.
Sasho: Who understands the science of knowledge and ignorance and who becomes a jivan-mukta – transcending the cycle of birth and death.
Premananda: Who gives the soft light of the Мoon in the heart.
Raga: The Sun! The Sun!
Revati: Those who renounce material life, also renouncing emotional and psychological dependencies and giving everything that they are in the service of the people and the Lord.
Somebody else: Who inspires people, animals and flowers.
Yadunath: One who has surrendered to light, who is now made of light and is constantly transcending light. And not only light, but divine light. And at the same time I think my definition was a bit poor after what the devotees said and I knew there was something more: a saint gives you a very special feel of different qualities of divine light.
Nikhilatma: Very dear to all living entities and has no enemies.
Somebody else: All of us can become saints, but first we have to want it, second to deserve it and third: they have to give it to us.
Yashoda: The saints have the ability to permanently change our life for good and to excavate the good side in us.
Somebody else: Every next meeting with him makes you better and better person.
Somebody else: First you have to renounce and then you have to dedicate yourself.
Somebody else: God who has come to earth.
Somebody else: Who is in harmony with himself and  others – but complete harmony.
Somebody else: I think everybody has different saints and the question is not what are they, but who are they. Who is my saint?
Tirtha Maharaja: So, if we summarize all these beautiful qualities that you mentioned – well, to find such a person, I tell you, is rare. Who can fulfill all the requirements? Renouncing and dedicating, humble and shining, small and great – it is rare! Because you were giving a full list of divine qualities of a saintly person. But certain common points you mentioned. In this respect I would like to quote you one verse from the shastras, from our tradition. It is said:

“As the rivers do not run their water for themselves,
but only for the sake of others;
and as the fruit-bearing trees do not bring their fruits for themselves,
but only for the sake of others;
and as the clouds do not pour the rain for themselves,
but only for the sake of others,
similarly the saintly persons do not live for themselves,
but only for the sake of others.”

But that you can do only if you are very close to God. If you are close to the Source, then you are close to the essence. If you live for God, you live for everyone. If you live for yourself, you live for nobody.
And from your list I could feel the need, the urgent need for the company of saintly people. From this list we all can understand why the sadhu-sanga, association with the saintly people is so important for us. Because yes, in a company of a pure person my heart, my life will change. The association with the saints is very important in our lives. Do not miss the opportunity.
The devotional company should be very strong. If we always appreciate the qualities of the saints, of saintly devotees around us, then the company will be very strong. If you take one stick of incense, it is very easy to break it. Take one pack of incense. Try! It is almost impossible. Remember this. If the company of the devotees is united, nothing can break you. But if you are all alone…
We should appreciate the holy company. We have one motto in our devotional circles: “One for all and all for one” Therefore we say: “Sadhu-sanga sadhu-sanga sarva -shastrе kaya lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya * – associate with the saints, associate with the saints, because in their association you can easily achieve all perfection.” All perfection – because it will be given to you, it will be reflected on you.
Once great preachers were sitting around Shrila Shridhara Maharaja. And you know, he was a person to hide. He was always hiding, pulling back; he was not moving from his temple in Navadvip. And therefore – because he was a high quality saint – all the Vaishnava world was coming to him. He was a sacred place of pilgrimage himself. People were approaching him, he did not have to go to people. That is a holy place. So they were sitting around him and he was giving very soft teachings: “Preach! Go and tell people!” And finally he said: “I give you the rights. I empower you to do this.”
So if these divine qualities are reflected on us, shed on us, then our life will change. Please, cultivate this divine association, do not miss a chance, do not lose a moment for this association! Because finally if you reach, if you return back, you will understand what was the real help in your life. May be now the picture is overcomplicated for us. But at the end when you just return back, turn your head and check out what was happening – it will be a perfectly clean and unbroken line to reach your destination. And who are standing in rows by the side of your path? Who are congratulating you when returning back? Who are forming the bricks on your path? These are the saintly people. Just look around and you will find them.

*Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 22.54

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