Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Monday)


Shrila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj goes on[1]: “I am a disciple and I will always remain a disciple of my guru. This is the shishya-abhiman, the attitude of a disciple. Ah Gurudev! I am a speck of dust at your lotus feet! I’m not equal with you. I cannot sit on equal asan with you. I am your servant. Let my heart be always tinged with this dasya-bhava, mood of servitorship. This is the prayer of a true disciple. He never says: “I am guru.” He always remains the disciple of the guru.”

Tirtha Maharaj: This is what was stressed by Shrila Shridhara Maharaj also – that we are disciples and we shall remain like that forever. And as we mentioned all these stalwart acharyas from the past, we should remember also our spiritual master, who once expressed his thoughts in quite a strong way. He said: “With all those who help me in serving Prabhupad’s mission I am happily associating, but with those who don’t help that…” and then Giriraj dropped His crown. I think that was an obvious signal that the sentence should not be accomplished, so you can imagine what was his mood. We should understand that we have to try to promote the mission of our masters, because then God is also happy.

And maybe many humble words are expected from me. But I think our readings have shown us the expected level of humility. So why do we come together, why do we appreciate the standards of humility given in the shastras? The only reason is so that our vision is a little purified, so that we are adjusted to a culture – because this is part of a culture. In taking part of such occasions our adjustment is more refined to the basic principles and we are connected back to the original principle that we come together to worship and appreciate the guru-tattva. Because guru principle is a divine function. Guru person is a human function, he is a human being. So one is a divine function, the other is a human being, and we should not mix, should not exchange one for the other. Therefore we should offer worship to God and respect to the master. Then the disciple is very much safe, this is the safe way. So we come together on celebrations and we read and approach these very high principles in order to refine our vision, in order to purify our existence.

And Mahaprabhu also told a very important message: that you all should become spiritual masters, gurus. What does it mean? Shall we open the marketplace of the holy name so that different people are selling this mantra and that mantra and that perfection here and there? This is like a competition spirit or a free market mentality of the spiritual realm – it does not apply. But we should try to apply what is inherited from our masters, we should serve the truth, we should protect the teachings and we should share what we have got with people all around. All these are functions of guru. And in this respect I think you are all gurus, because you serve, you preach, you practice, you help yourselves, you help others – this is the guru principle.

So if the disciple is for the protection of the spiritual master, then what is the spiritual master for the disciple? Headache? Or chastiser, or object of fear? Or example in spiritual practice, help in our spiritual progress? He is an example, he is protection. So if disciple is protection for the master, the master is also protection for the shishya, for the disciple. And therefore what is the birthday of the guru? This is the birthday of the disciple. Because without the disciple there is no guru and without the guru there is no disciple.


[1] From the book The worship of Shri Guru

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