Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.”[1]

Here Arjuna represents the different levels of necessities of the disciple. First of all he says: “I am perplexed about my duty, what to do?” This is one level, the practical. The second: “Tell me what is best for me.” And the third one is: “I am Your surrendered soul.”

Do you see the differences? On the first platform this we can call a neophyte disciple. He is searching for material solutions. “I’m perplexed about my duty, so please help me.” Well, don’t stop on that platform. Usually masters are tolerant enough to give guidance even on that platform, and strange enough it works! If you invent your own life it might work, it might not work. But if you follow the instruction, it will work definitely. It’s very divine, it’s very magic. This is the first platform of a disciple – give me this, give me that. And the gurus are very happy with these disciples. “Ah, very good! I give him little money, I give him little job, I give him little engagement – they leave me alone. They’ve got a few coins and they are satisfied.” Don’t be such a neophyte that will be satisfied with insignificant things.

Because the second level, mentioned by Arjuna is: “Tell me what is best for me?” So the first level was focused on ourselves, the second level is focused on our eternal benefit. And “Tell me for certain what is best for me?” No guesses. Give me a sure answer. That level is for the intermediate disciples, who are searching for something more substantial and more satisfying than the immediate benefits. This is more rare and gurus are even more happy with these disciples than with the previous ones. Because such a master will say: “Ah, he is not satisfied with the coins, he wants something more – good!” And this is the time when we can discuss the higher dharma, the higher goals of human life. How to live in this material world in such a way that we don’t lose out eternal benefits. Because sometimes they contradict each other – the basic needs and the spiritual goals.

So with this secondary class of disciples, the guru will discuss dharma. With the first ones – material benefits; with the second ones – dharmic benefits. But the third level, mentioned in the verse, is: “I am Your disciple and a soul surrendered to You.” So, what do you think, a surrendered person has any separate interests? Surrender means you submit yourself. This is a very high expectation. But on than platform the goal is not the material benefits, the goal is not dharmic benefits, but here the goal is Your desire, what You like, my master, this is important for me. And this is the real level of surrender, this is the real disciple. Not searching for his own benefit, not searching for the dharma principles, but when he is ready to submit all his energies to the master and to God. And what do we have? As human beings what possessions you’ve got?

Manjari: Love and life.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, ultimately we have only two things – our life and our love. These are the only two possessions that we have. So, this is what we have to submit to God. It sounds risky, isn’t it? “Shall I give my life and my love to someone?! No! Better I protect myself. This is all what I have! Shall I give everything?! No, I want to keep it for myself.” It is risky, that means you risk everything. And what do you gain? Maybe nothing. So this is like a spiritual hazard. You give everything and you don’t receive anything in return. Looks like a bad investment. But actually this is the other way round. No risk no gain. So in order to gain something we have to risk something.

When you come to the platform of Arjuna, he is like approaching the ocean: “I have little problems, can You help me?” he is still on the bank. Then he says: “Can You tell me something about dharma, about the important eternal principles?” – this is when he pokes his legs into the water. But finally he says: “Anyway, I am a surrendered soul unto You, I am Your disciple” – headlong jump into the dark ocean. But when you are inside the water, you understand: “Hey, I can swim! It’s not that bad. Previously it looked like: all risk and no gain. Now I understand: no risk and all gain!”

So, from the beginner’s state if you come to the highest practitioner’s state, this is the change. The change from the coal into diamond. And from a simple diamond to a cut brilliant. Therefore we need this very powerful change on us, which starts with the initiation. In very short, this is about the disciplic verse.


(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 2.7

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