Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.05.2017 evening, Rila Mountain)


(continues from the previous Friday)


“The spiritual master is always engaged in the temple worship of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. He also engages his disciples in such worship. They dress the deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.”[1]

So, this is another type of engagement for the spiritual masters – cleaning. It’s a cleaning service. Mahaprabhu was very ecstatic to clean the Gundicha temple and He collected more dust than all the others. But what is the point here? The point is that there is worship in the temple. And actually sometimes we might think that the temple means the building. But actually the temple should mean the whole universe, the whole existence. And whatever he does – like cleaning or putting ornaments on the deities, or whatever – it’s an offering, it’s a service. In the same way, whatever we do should be also an offering, because we are living in the temple of the universe.

Once I met a person whose spiritual lineage was blocked by law enforcement – they were forced to give up their monasteries, active preaching, etc. And he said: “You see, our ashrams have been closed for 70 years, but now the whole world has become our ashram.” This conception we need to have. If you have a temple – good, if you don’t have a temple – then the whole world is your temple. And our teachers move in this temple and whatever they do, they try to do it for the satisfaction of the Divine Couple.

And what makes a teacher to be a teacher? It is the students. And what is the duty of a student? To learn, to follow. If the teacher is doing, acting like that, then we also have to develop the same mood. Therefore we are ready to offer our respects. But what about the next verse?

“The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food…” Aha, so not only cleaning – cooking also. “When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master”.

When I sing this verse, I always remember a picture from 1984. At that time we were sitting in one room taking prasadam. And then Gurudev entered the room and observed the devotees taking the food. Such a divine smile was on his face. He was fully and deeply satisfied by observing this very simple activity. You are eating, and your master is happy about that – you see, it’s not that difficult to satisfy the spiritual master. Eat in a proper manner. Food is another exchange of energy. And it’s not the physical substance, it’s the loving offering exchange that is important.

(to be continued)

[1] A line from the song Shri Gurvashtakam

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