Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 01.10.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Question of Hari Bhakti: In Shrimad Bhagavatam it is said that if you worship Krishna it’s very beneficial, but if you worship a pure devotee of Krishna it’s even more precious. This is something new for me. Is it possible for Gurudev to elaborate on this?

Swami Tirtha: If I glorify you, would you like it?

Hari Bhakti: I would be embarrassed.

Swami Tirtha: But it feels good. Yet, if I glorify your daughter? Ah, you will feel much better. In the same way, if you glorify Krishna, He will be satisfied. It’s a little uneasy, but it’s all right, He can digest it. But if you appreciate those whom He likes – that is very satisfying.

Therefore to be a vaishnava, and especially to be a pure devotee is a very special position. Shrila Prabhupad says that a pure devotee is omnipotent. It’s almost like a blasphemy. Very unusual! How come!? God is omnipotent. But we also know that by proper cultivation all the divine qualities will come to a surrendered devotee. So I think it’s very simple, it’s like an emotional truth – if you want to satisfy the master, glorify the servants.

Tejasvini: One though came to me: many years ago you said that two devotees who are going in the same direction can change the world. If they have the same target, if they are helping each other along the path – they can.

Swami Tirtha: Yeah, actually today again I was looking through the window. I have this habit. And what did I see? Now really, two devotees were coming. I saw the determination on their face. And I saw the yearning to join the bhajan that was already going on in the ashram. I was so happy in my heart that I wanted to jump out on the balcony, I wanted to wave: “Radhe, Radhe!” or “Haribol!” – according to your taste. But they were so intent and focused that they didn’t look up. Because they were so focused: ‘Now we are going to the temple, we are coming to the evening program’. So, as you say, two devotees, one goal, helping each other – now it’s your turn: change the world!

Question of Baladev: Gurudev said that the goal of spiritual life is to become a better person. When can we know that we have achieved success in this? And what is success at all?

Swami Tirtha: Success is when we don’t think that we have achieved it. Because we are connected to a never-ending process. This prospect is unlimited! How can you reach the limit of unlimited? Impossible! Therefore this is not a spiritual science or spiritual knowledge – this is spiritual life! You can come to the end of knowledge, you can collect all the information, you can count how many particles of sand are there on the shore of the ocean. But you can never fathom Krishna, He is unlimited. So if we are connected to a never-ending, unlimited, transcendental process, then we should apply what is suggested by Shrila Shridhara Maharaj: “We are disciples and we shall eternally remain like this.”

So it’s not a question of achieving. It’s a question of being united in the fold of this divine reality.

There was a very nice discussion between a young prospective devotee and Shrila Prabhupad in America. They were discussing, discussing, he came with questions and Prabhupad was answering. And finally the boy said: “But you are the best devotee, right?” Then Prabhupad said: “Me? No! You are the best devotee!” And then of course this young man said: “No, no, it’s impossible!” You see, this is the mentality that we need.

And of course now I tried to mention something about the topmost achievement – when you don’t mind what you have achieved. When you want to achieve – that’s good; but when you don’t want to achieve anything – I think that’s better.

‘Why? Why is it better? We have learned that God turns into activity in humans. We have to be active, we have to search, we need to reach something! Why do you say that non-activity is better than action? That no desire is higher than spiritual desire?’

Well, in this respect the Chaitanya Charitamrita has something to say. There are described the inner feelings of the gopis. The whirlwind of devotion acts over them. In the absence of Krishna their minds and their hearts are drying up like dry leaves in the autumn time. And what happens to the dry leaves when the whirlwind comes? It will just take them. It is said that their dried up hearts are taken by the whirlwind and eternally hurled to the lotus feet of Krishna. That’s an achievement! If the whirlwind of pure devotion will grab our dried up heart and throw it to the lotus feet of Krishna for eternity. I think it doesn’t depend on our ambition.


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