Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


So far we have seen the difficult life of the sannyasis and the more difficult life of the grihasthas. Maybe there is another option? Krishna, have you got a lighter version? This is very complicated! So what He says further? “Study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity.”[1] These are requirements for brahmacharis. Poor brahmacharis! No sense gratification, only austerity. “Austerity is my daily chapati.”

And what is the austerity of the brahmachari? He has to work hard without the hope of enjoying the fruits. Sometimes people think that the life of a brahmachari is very simple – just singing, dancing, eating and doing nothing. Is that true? It’s not true, because you try to work in such a way that all your fruits you dedicate to Krishna. Try, try once, how is it, what a feeling it is that you have to work hard and everything you have to give. The inner feeling is very difficult – to be so selfless. Therefore the Vedas glorify brahmachariya very much. They say that they are the pride of the whole world. All the different living entities are glorifying the brahmacharis. Why? Because the brahmacharis live according to Brahma, according to divinity. And this brahmacharya lifestyle is a very spiritual lifestyle, dedicated very much to God.

Simplicity is mentioned next. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that religion is simplicity. How do you feel, how is your life – complicated or simple? We all create a net for ourselves. Many times we are just like a cocoon. The silk-worm is a busy guy. He is ready to produce silk thread. And he is so busy producing the silk thread that it cannot put it anywhere. Therefore he uses his brain and says: “Ah, I cannot put it in one line, so I will put it like this (like a spiral)” So he says: “Like this, I put my thread like this…” Like this, like that and finally he ends up in a trap. So if we over-complicate our life, we also end up in a cocoon. This is the net of our action, reaction. Humans have one very specific part of the body which is highly overcomplicated. This is the mind. It over-complicates the things, so better we purify the mind.

Study of the Vedas is the third for brahmacharis. Once, when Shrila Shridhara Maharaj had only a very few disciples, brahmacharis in his temple, one of them said: “I cannot stay, I have to leave. I cannot tolerate it anymore. I have to go! I have to escape… ” It’s very painful when one of your fellow brothers and sisters is so much frustrated that he wants to give up spiritual practices. So, Shrila Shridhara Maharaj started to talk to him, he started to explain: “Hey, but you are doing so nice. And how is it that you are not happy to attend this school? Don’t you know who your classmates are? Narada Muni! Brahma! They also had attended this school. How is it – you are not satisfied with them?” And what happened? Our friend stayed. And stayed forever. So, never forget, Narada Muni is attending the same school. All the demigods are waiting for the list to enroll.

So you are so glorious to attend this school of prema-bhakti! Study of the Vedas for us means this – how to make the devotees happy, how to serve our spiritual masters, how to chant the holy names properly, how to get rid of our false attachments. This is what we study. How? By learning how to cook, by making garlands for the deities, learning the shlokas from the “Bhagavad Gita”, distributing the prasadam and the books, inviting people and telling them: “Hey, you are not the bodies. Don’t die stupid.” There are so many ways to serve Krishna. So do it!

From this you can see – there is no easy way in bhakti. Difficult for the sannyasis – purification of the existence, my God! Difficult for the grihasthas – to share what I have, uh! And very difficult for the brahmacharis – be simple! So, I have to warn everybody on time – don’t follow this path!

Krishna Priya: It’s too late!

Tirtha Maharaj: Then what to do?! We’ve made a wrong choice. But as we have given our words, our vows to God, guru and vaishnavas, we have to obey. Our acharyas say: life is suffering, let’s suffer for Krishna. A-ha, and this is the result from suffering for Krishna – you are laughing!

Of course, this is a very basic information and introduction into any kind of spiritual and moral activities. As you are nice practitioners, you will know how to apply these principles in your private lives.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 16.1-3

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