Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question of Yadunath: Mine is something between question and request. Very often we practice with the idea: “I practice.” I chant. I clean the floor. I make puja. I am so kind with the devotees.

Tirtha Maharaj: Oho! That’s very dangerous.

Yadunath: And very rarely we could remember that this is happening only because of the blessings of God and our Gurudev. For example one is proud that he had made two rounds, another – that he has made twenty five. But there are some moments when neither of them is capable to chant his rounds. And then they understand that they have no chance if they don’t have the mercy of their Gurudev. So my question-request is if you may bless us.

Tirtha Maharaj: Life is long, but it goes very fast. And in the same time, life is very short, and it takes such a long time to survive that. So sometimes we think that we are doing. But this is a spiritual – it is not even a spiritual – it is mental egotism. Because I have learned that I have to be humble, so I am humble. This story starts and ends with me. This is not enough. Forget about yourself. And how we can forget about ourselves? Not by intellectually convincing ourselves: “I have to forget about myself.” But immediately when you start to love somebody, you lose yourself.

Once we were driving Gurudev from Viena airport back to Nandafalva. Two of us were receiving him on the airport and he said: “Ah, so many you came?!” Anyway, we were driving almost two days, because it was very foggy. And we wanted to go to one ashram. He said: “Let’s go there.” And I said: “Well, it’s a little problem, because the vaishnava, who is running the ashram, is not there.” He said: “What? If Prabhupad told us to stay in the ashram, we would never leave the ashram even if we had to give up our lives.” Then I tried to defend the situation: “Yes, but he went to Nandafalva to celebration”, because there was a celebration coming. He did not give any further remarks. Then he started to give remarks on the car. “What a stupid car,” he said. “They put the radio over the heating! Such a stupid system! If you turn on the heating, the radio will be also hot.” But that is nothing if your guru starts to criticize your car, actually it was not my car; but then he was not satisfied with criticizing the car, he started to criticize the driver! You know, if you are driving the car and your guru starts to criticize your driving abilities, it is a little dangerous. And he had a very direct and very open way to express his dissatisfaction: knocking on your head. Just imagine, you are driving and all of a sudden you receive this – then you try to pay some more attention. Etc, etc for two days!

Yamuna: Now I understand why only two of you went.

BAbhaiNarayan with a devotee

Tirtha Maharaj: After knocking on your head, half an hour don’t speaking anything – it is even more difficult than being kicked and beaten up by him, because then you have to make your balance what did you do correct and what did you do wrong. I think you know this feeling. And then he put some question: “Did you finish with this specific service?” We said: “Well… not yet…” Other times he was mentioning some impressions from his trip, how someone started to criticize another devotee and he said: “This is such a bad practice”, etc. But you know, riding with Gurudev was always quite an experience. And in the last kilometers he started to inquire about devotees: “How is he doing, how is she doing?” We had one brother, who at that time was very enthusiastic devotee: always being engaged, running and doing – like a great example! So we had to add: “Gurudev, this devotee is incredibly doing! He is so great, he is so nice!” And you know, after these two days of instructing us all of a sudden we had seen a change on his face. Somehow he was just like emerging from the seat, started to grow and shine and said: “This is life – glorifying the devotees.” And then we could see the depth of his satisfaction.

So life is the glorification of devotees. And I don’t really remember why I started to describe this story, but I think it gives some answers to you.

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