Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

It is said later on in the prayers in the beginning of “Bhagavad-gita”: “vande’ham shri gurun…”. First this “om agyana” was to the spiritual master in general. “Gurun” is in plural. That means not only one, I have many masters. So I offer my respects to all who are my masters. Therefore it is said that you cannot achieve perfection only by one, following one master. You agree?

Kripadham: No. Totally disagree.

Tirtha Maharaj: Why not?

Kripadham: Because it is hard to devote to many people, it is easier to devote to one person, to focus your love on one person. There is always one that you are more devoted to then the rest.

Tirtha Maharaj: This is partial, fanatic!

Kripadham: Yes, it is.

Tirtha Maharaj: Radically fanatic! But if we examine this question, whether we should follow one person or many persons, what is your opinion – one or many?

Manohari: One.

Dani: I think that actually we are taking advices and knowledge from many people, because they give us different point of view, but at the end we have in most of the cases one main authority, that combines and explains all these views in one simple view.

Paramananda: I think we follow many until we find the one.

Damodar: I was thinking of the “one for all, all for one” principle. Maybe some combination of the two.

Prana Krishna: One.

Tirtha Maharaj: This is a radical group here!

Yashoda: My feeling is close to Dani’s. We are following Shri Guru, but in the form of one very specific person.

Dragi: I think we have one guru.

Devanath: Many.

Premananda: My version is that love of God may come to us through any soul, but the savior is one.

Prema-lata: I cannot say anything more after that.

Tirtha Maharaj: We should come to point of agreement although all of you have come with personal, private opinions. But the real vision is to have a unified harmony. And actually by following one we shall follow many and by following many we shall follow one. Because even if you focus on your private spiritual master as a person, by that you will follow the whole parampara, the whole traditional line. So in one person you will find many. And if you follow the advice and the teachings and wisdom of many qualified persons, there you will find the one unified basic principle. And this is Krishna’s function as guru. Shrila Shridhara Maharaj describes it extremely deep – how this divine principle is extended to the human beings. Therefore in the one we should worship the many and in the many we should worship the one. That is the complete vision. That is the synthesis. Because until we have only one thesis, we shall meet some antithesis. This is the world of dualities, but to overcome the dualities we should come to the synthesis platform.

Question of Premananda: If you could comment on a statement that I have heard. It was discussing the difference between shiksha-guru and diksha-guru. And it was said that the shiksha-guru is the person, who will tell you: “Look, my boy, there at the corner is the shop, there is bread, go and buy.” And diksha-guru will tell the same, but also give you the money to buy.

Tirtha Maharaj: Really?! My God! I’m in trouble! And…?

Premananda: This was how the difference between the two types of guru was explained to a person, who don’t know, haven’t heard what is the one, what is the other. If you would like to comment.

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, it’s very nice explanation. I did not know that. If I knew it before…

As a basic understanding it might help people. But actually the guru principle is one. And many. So the one is manifested in many forms. And many different forms are focused on one essential point. So we cannot really say that one guru is better or more important then the other. Because from that point of view we should say, we should understand the guru is one, it’s a divine principle, it’s a divine help, extended to us. And for some the diksha-guru is most important. For others shiksha-guru is more important. For one person nama-guru is important, for the other the mantra-guru is important. For the other the sannyasa-guru is important. For the next one the rasa-guru is important. So, there are so many gurus! So many masters we have! But as one of you mentioned, savior is one. That specific person, through whom the most inspiration comes to us – this is our savior. And it might be any type of these gurus. Some say that even your mind can be your guru. And many follow that parampara. But first the mind should be purified, then it will be a real advisor. So practically if we have the vision and if we have the necessity to obtain some advice – there is no limit for this. According to your taste you will find advice. But Krishna does not depend either on diksha or on shiksha. He can give you diksha through shiksha and he can give you shiksha through diksha – whatever He likes He can do. He is not limited. Your conception is limited; He is not limited.

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