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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaja, 04.2005, Sofia)
Intention is natural for the soul. Bad intention means disharmony in the natural functions. In final sense we can trace back everything to the false identification. Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says: “When I start to work on a separate interest, not respecting the central or the ultimate interest of Krishna, then we can call this bad intention.” If I try to use something for my own sake, irrespective of the divine structure. And practically it manifests with the misuse of freedom – of the little freedom that we have. Because you can use your energy in harmony with the divine will; and you are free not to use it in this harmony.
It means that you are not working for the spiritual benefit of others, but you feel that your immediate interest is more important than other people’s spiritual growth. This we can call distorted vision or distorted structure of values. Again this is a complicated question, because every person needs some space, some growth; everybody has some specific interestes – his or her own. We need a little space for ourselves, a little freedom for ourselves. And naturally it will have some interference with others. By living you interfere with the life of others. Because I breathe the air from you! I take some energy from the world, from the universe which you cannot take because I have taken. So there is interference – if there is no harmony. But if I am pure in my intention, then I can breathe in such a way that you can also breath. The principle in this respect should be: live and let others live. And don’t forget about the definition of a saintly person – of cource there are many definitions, but one is that a saintly person is living for the sake of others. My saint is not breathing against me, he is breathing for me.
So bad intention in the practical sense can be traced back to illusion. We forget about the universal principles and push too much on our personal interests. How many times we had repeated “Trinad api sunichena”?! “Be more humble than a blade of grass, be more tollerant than a tree, offer respects to anybody without expect anything for yourself.” I think this is a common ideal for all vaishnavas. Everybody agrees: “O, this is very nice!” And where is the practical performance of that? We are very far away from that!
So bad intention means you forget to work for the spiritual benefit of the others. That we can call himsa, violence. And physical violence is not so sinfull, because you hurt only the body. But the spiritual violence – that is really sinfull. Because in this way you try to influence the soul, give trouble to the soul.
Bad intention is just like a wirlpool. You start a bad though and it will just overpower your mental capacities and bring you down, down, down to the bottom. I don’t think that a real vaishnava can have such a bad thought: “I will give troubles to others!” This is beyond my imagination. But may be I am too naïve. And I don’t know what the Kali yuga will bring in that respect…
And how to avoid practically this bad intention – everybody should have the same ideal: “Trinad api sunichena.” And we should cultivate our desires, we should cultivate our feelings. It is said that you should cherish beautiful, warm feelings with the devotees in the heart.
So we should come to a very high level of understanding each-other correctly. We must have very open and very trustworthy atmosphere and have very open comunication. But of course without trustworthy atmosphere you cannot have open comunication. So I think this is the first.
We read in the scriptures that the vaishnavas are pearls, pearl beauties of the world. And then we don’t believe that the vaishnava seating next to me is also that type?! We should get rid of the bad conditionings that we have. We are very much inclined to see the mistakes or the fears. We are ready to imagine demons even in the open sunshine.
You should protect yourself – don’t enter into such conversations where two devotees come together and they start to speack about the third one – but not in a nice way. Immediately they start to criticize the third one, and the fourth one, and the fifth one… This is NOT sadhu-sandha. This is gosip. Don’t enter that – because that will spoil, that will poison the atmosphere. Because if you speak bad abouth the third one, you can imagine what is happening with you when you are not present. The same is going on. So we should CUT this tendency. We should create the atmosphere of trust.
Then the next step, the know-how to create that atmosphere is to stop criticism. And the second one is open discussion. If I have a problem with you – I should go TO YOU, not to him. We should be open, pure enough and brave enough to talk to each-other.
If somebody does not ask help from you – then you must be very humble and very powerful, very compassionate person to help. Otherwise people will consider this as violence, spiritual violence. So if somebody does not ask you: “Please, tell me what are my mistakes”, then we should NOT give the mistake list, we should give the pro-list. Vaishnavas are also human beings. Usually. May be there are some divine angels also, but ususlly they are human beings, simple human beings. If you come with: “O, Gurudev has told you to wake up earlier and to do more service!” he will do, she will do but not with a light heart. But if you say: “O, Gurudev always appreciates your efforts. Krishna accepts your service so nice.” And this is not a flattering! Definitelly we should avoid that, because it is another type of cheating. But to really apprechiate the good qualities of the others and to focus on them – try that, you will see miracles. Not only in the others, but in your mind, in your mentality also. They will fly and you will have very good feelings.
We should see the tendency and we should educate ourselves to see the good. In this way devotees should become just like Krishna. And I have told you many times: Krishna is not interested in your mistakes and bad character. But He can see the little spark in you and He will give fresh air to that little spark, so that it grows and flames up. He is not concerned with your mistakes. He is only interested in your small little good efforts and He tries to strenghten that. We should have the same mentality – to see the good intentions, the good abilities, the good tendencies in others and neglect or forgive the shortcomings. What is more important – a small mistake or a big devotion?
If this is your service – to call the attention of the others on their mistakes, it’s a very difficult service. This is only for the high class devotees. Because this service is called “guru”. He has to focus sometimes on your mistakes also. The guru is not contaminated if he focuses on your mistakes. But if we concentrate on the mistakes of others, then we will be contaminated. And then the mistake will not be outside, in the other person, but inside my mind. Therefor we should try to avoid that by all means.
So become like Krishna! Always see the good in others. We should cultivate ourselves, we should educate ourselves. The humble souls never lose. Never.


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