June 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Monday)

You all have to become sannyasis – not formally, but internally. Be independent. Because by being independent you can become a better servant. If you are entangled, day and night no end of the stories of life – then you are not aware what’s happening. So please, be aware of your life, of your time, of your environment. Awareness is important. And as internal, secret sannyasis, you can become perfect and exemplary grihasthas. In this way you can prepare yourself for total renunciation – which in our explanation is total dedication. And I think you take all very good lessons of surrender and flexibility and dedication in your families.

The tree main duties of sannyasis are sattva-samshudhi – purification of life; the second is cultivating divine knowledge; and the third one is abhaya, fearlessness. Do you need these in grihastha life? A little knowledge how to resolve problems? A little purity of life? And a big dose of fearlessness? I think you need them. So, this is not a formal way, but an essential way.

So either you are a grihastha or a sannyasi, practically you have to come to the same platform of being independent, yet fully engaged and dedicated in your services. But we have not discussed the sannyasis – if they also practice the qualities of the grihasthas? Well, there are certain qualities they should not embrace, but there are others definitely they should – like being supportive, for example. Yet if the grihasthas start to behave like sannyasis, and the sannyasis start to behave like grihasthas, that’s a big scandal. If you are expected to renounce everything and the sannyasis start to collect everything – it’s not very good. Because if you don’t collect enough, then if next time the sannyasi comes to you, what can he collect from you? Can you say: “Sorry, swamiji, no chapatti for you.” Or if he asks for your son: “Sorry, no son for you. We have only one and we need that.” You have to satisfy these very eager swamis, who want to collect. They want to snatch all your attachments. Therefore they have big temples – to put everything that they collect.

So this is a little reflection about the question whether we should go through all the different experience. But we should not forget about divine love. And in many traditions they say that without experiencing the worldly love, you cannot understand, you cannot progress to divine love. Also they use the erotic poetry, for example, to express the divine love, the divine rapture. But don’t misunderstand symbolism! If somewhere you find that: “The devotees served the wine of ecstasy to Mahaprabhu”, don’t think that it comes from the grapes.

Usually love of the beings and love of God, the loving approach to the beings and the loving approach to the Supreme should go together. Krishna says in the Bhagavatam that “If somebody worships Me in the temple and bows down in front of My deity, but does not respect living entities, he cannot come to Me.”[1] So usually these two platforms should be practiced and they should somehow come together and meet. But that is a big question: which is first? I think that divine love can embrace more people and more living entities than simple so to say ‘material’ love.


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.29.22

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