Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

There are three ways to act and to live in this world. One is the level of exploitation. This is receiving and giving. Taking some fruits and paying the price later. So, whatever you enjoy, you will have to pay. Usually when you have a job, first you work and then you get paid. The same way with the karmic reaction: first you act and then you get the reaction. This is the level of exploitation – you try to enjoy, but you have to pay the price later. Therefore act in a proper way.  But it is very difficult! So many mistakes we do. Yet do not maintain the mistakes for a long time. That is already not a mistake, that is a sin.

If you had enough of this enjoying and suffering business, then you start to think. Before we do not, we only want to reach the fruits. Later on you think: “Activity brings me so much trouble. Better I do not act. Then no reaction will come.” Clever? It is logical. No activity – no reaction.

It is impossible not to act. Actually those, who do not act, they also act. They act in renunciation. Usually these people, by the force of their knowledge, gyana, renounce. Renounce such things that never belonged to them. What do we have? We do not have anything. Not so much. We have some little affection; in a final sense that is all. We do not have material resources – these belong to God. Earth is not ours. The air is not ours, etc. etc. Everything is provided to men, humans. What do we have? Some little energy we have. As spiritual sparks we have energy. That energy should be connected to the desire of the Supreme Lord.

So, if you only renounce, it is very difficult to satisfy someone. Also in the shastras it is said that by renunciation it is impossible to achieve perfection. And everybody is compelled to act in such and such way. Too much knowledge makes you dry. Somehow it takes away life energy. The heart is not soft – usually. And this renunciation does not really give too much pleasure to the soul.

Therefore a third method should be applied, and that is devotion. First is exploitation; second is renunciation; the third is devotion. And this third method is Bhakti-yoga – when you devote all your thought, feelings, all your energy resources, whatever you have for the satisfaction of Krishna.

Question of Dragi: My question is from the level of exploitation how a person can gradually develop through the renunciation level up to the level of bhakti?

Tirtha Maharaj: Actually bhakti does not stress renunciation. Because this type of yoga is not called “renunciation service”; it is called “devotional service”. Whatever you feel that you can offer nicely, in a nice mood to Krishna – do it! Automatically He will capture your attention. And from this service mood, from this connection, such a high and delicate taste will come, that you will never be satisfied with any lower taste! So, Krishna’s attractive power helps us very much.

Of course, some little basic principles should be followed. And usually people identify the four regulative principles with Bhakti-yoga, but that is a mistake. The four regulative principles are the basis of human existence! It is not for bhakti! It is outside. But in order to enter, we have to qualify ourselves a little bit. The devotional service or Krishna bhakti is not an association of such people, who believe in the reincarnation and do not eat meat. It is something more, a little bit more it should be!

So – how can we qualify ourselves from exploitation to go higher? Actually these levels are not necessarily to be progressed through one by one. You can jump. How can we jump? By the divine touch of the spiritual master, of a pure devotee, you can jump. He will give you the power to jump. Otherwise, if we have only our own resources, we cannot really jump. We jump, jump, but no result. Just like, it is said, a dwarf trying to reach the moon. It is useless! Do not waste your energy! Better catch mercy. And this personal mercy will help us to grow. Because the pure devotee can tell us how to qualify ourselves, how to give up a little bit of our exploiting mentality and to use our energy into service of the Lord.

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