Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous issue)

Focusing on the top of the question – martyrdom. What is the opinion of Shrila Shidara Maharaj about martyrdom? He said: “We don’t need martyrs. We need fighters, but we don’t need martyrs.” And he said: “Go to the utmost limit that is possible, but don’t lose the next chance.” Is it clear? Can you follow? He said: “We don’t need martyrs. Don’t die for a limited cause. Die for the unlimited.”

And the best part of your question: What to die for? Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was like a singha–guru, a fighter-guru, you know, he was not nicely, softly and humbly representing his vision, but he was in a different mood, and sometimes this mood was not very welcomed by others. So much so, that once when they have arrived to a city, people were throwing stones, they wanted to stone them. And of course his life was in danger. He had a disciple, who looked very similar in body to him and this disciple was ready to take the robe of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and posed as him. “If people like to stone the master, let them stone me, and he can escape.” So, what to die for? Die for our spiritual master. Better I give my life and he survives, because he can help more than my insignificant life.

This was one very strong example what to die for. And we have to die very early – for ourselves. It is best if we die for ourselves in the first meeting with the devotees, or at least at the time of the initiation. In case it doesn’t happen, that will be a long elongated agony. It is better to have a quick death than a long agony. Quick death of the false egotism and be born again on the spirit level.

We have to go back a little in history: why people were ready to die for their faith? Because, that was very important for them, right? Just a hundred years back people were ready to die for the country, for their homeland. What about now? People want to escape army service. This loss of values is so fast! In a few years, we lose so much! Why? Because all this stupid consumer society, consumer mentality, teaches you only to enjoy, with no sacrifice. If you would tell to a young man now: “Do some sacrifice!” he will say: “O, better I push the button and I get everything on the internet.” Thirty years back the people were ready to copy by hand the books of yoga, because it was important for them. They were ready to do some sacrifice; now you just push the button, and you don’t do anything.

So, people were ready to die for their faith, because it was important for them – however limited their conception was, this is not the current question now. And practically, today there is one religion on the earth, where people take it so serious and so deep, that they are ready to die for it and this is Islam. And what is the general view for Islam? Fanaticism, fundamental religion and international terrorism. Because they are ready to die for their faith. Right? So, the propaganda is very strange. By the way Haridasa Thakur is coming from a Muslim background.

But Krishna says in the “Gita”, that: “My devotee is clever”. That means he doesn’t die once and early, but he stays here and helps Me to conquer everything. So, we have to use our intelligence also to figure it out what is worth to die for? And it depends also on your varna. Because shudras they don’t die. They want to live forever. Vaishyas they die if they lose their money. Kshatriyas they die in a heroic death once on a battle field and they achieve heaven. One death is enough for them. But what about the brahmins?

Manohari: They must die for the lower consciousness and to be born for the higher consciousness, again and again.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, they have to die many deaths. But their death is not physical, not bodily death, but this is a mental or so to say subtle death. So, choose your identity.

Otherwise, these different conceptions about God like suffering, sacrifice and enjoying – it’s a question of rasa. Some critics of the Bible say: “God loved His son so much, that He put Him on a cross.” Our vision is a little different: He in a very charming way sends His representatives to help the fallen souls to return. But anyway, this is a totally different question. So, we don’t need martyrs, we need devotees.


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