Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Vaishnava Academy

“Some behave very well but do not preach the cult of Krisna consciousness, whereas others preach but do not behave properly.“[1]

I think we all know these people. One is talking, but not practicing; other is practicing, but not talking; third is not practicing and not talking. This is nice, this is correct: I don’t practice and I don’t talk. If somebody is not practicing but talking, that is called cheating. And if somebody is practicing, but not talking, he is called selfish. Is there any other option?

Yamuna: Practicing and talking.

Tirtha Maharaj: Who practices and talks. That is called teacher, saintly teacher. Practicing and talking. Sometimes practicing and practicing, other times talking and talking. Depending on the situation – what is most necessary to do. But please, always try to remember this ideal: practice what you preach. Oh, no, that is not good, because there can be a false direction also. Practice nice in devotional service and you can talk about it.

“But you, dear Haridas, simultaneously perform both duties in relation to the holy name by your personal behavior and by your preaching. Therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, for you are the most advanced devotee in the world.” In this way the two of them passed their time discussing subjects concerning Kṛṣṇa. Thus they enjoyed life together.”[2]

So, if you want to enjoy with other saints, what should be done?

Somebody: To become a saint.

Tirtha Maharaj: Good idea. Maybe not so popular or not so practical, so to say. But I think you hit the target, because this is the essential solution: come together with other saintly persons, listen, glorify, serve, do something about your faith. Faith without activities is dead. This is the way to enjoy life: sit under a tree and discuss about Krishna.

Once we were talking with some devotee about the Vaishnava Academy. And you know when you hear the word “academy” you think of big buildings and hierarchical system and something very theoretical. And you know, he was a little reluctant to build big buildings. I could see in his eyes that he was not very inspired to hear about the Vaishnava Academy. So he inquired: “And what is this like? How do you think?” And you know we were sitting in one room – the two of us – and I said: “Like this. We come together and talk about Krishna – this is the Vaishnava Academy.” He said: “I join! This kind of academy I like.” Because actually this is according to the ancient traditional rule: come closer to your spiritual master, take the message, take the teachings from him, in exchange give a little service and live with the wisdom that you have got. From this you can see that devotional life is so living.

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya-lila 4.102

[2] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya-lila 4.103-104

Leave a Reply