Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 6th of September 2006, Sofia)

How well a devotee will be suitable outside? Most probably not so much. But it doesn’t matter. You don’t lose anything. Because if you lose material company you lose only obstacles. But if we come to devotional circles or saintly people, we are searching for friends, but we are finding relatives. So association must be a different type, not a simple one. If we sit together, it’s not a simple sitting. It must be a divine sitting. And don’t forget what Shrila Muni Maharaj explained last time that once Mahaprabhu started a kirtan and stopped: “Wait! Wait a minute, somebody is here, who is that?” Somebody was hiding behind the column. He said: “Bring him out! His presence disturbs the atmosphere.” Although Mahaprabhu is considered to be the Merciful avatar. And He said: “Get this guy out!” Because He was merciful with the others, right?! You should not disturb them, go out, if you don’t want to be here. If your heart is not throbbing on the tact of rasa-dance.  So where do we want to fit?
Once a devotee was invited to a TV show. It was a life performance. And the reporter asked: “Don’t you feel that if you act like this and follow this path you are a little… freak person from the normal consideration?” And you know, this was a very easy show for cultural events and this and that, so everybody was smiling and happy. But when the answer came: “Well, in the society of fools the only normal person will be considered foolish,” then the smile on the face of the reporter was just frozen immediately. You can imagine, it was just on the air like this! In the society of fools the only normal person will be considered stupid. So they soon finished with the questions.
But of course if we make the next step, from the practitioner you will come to the master degree, then you will have no problems and you will fit in any society, in any group of people. You will find a way to the hearts of everyone. This is for the masters. Until we are not there on that platform, we see the difference, we differentiate between situations, people…
But one main principle we may follow: give proper respect to everyone. What does it mean? It doesn’t mean that I respect you and therefore I agree on all points and I follow you. No, I give you respect, but I have my opinion. May be we don’t agree on many points, may be your ideas are completely different. Just imagine when you meet a simple, materially-orientated person. If you are on an elevated platform, because you have a divine or spiritual vision, you give respect to the person: “O, you are very nice person”, right? But it doesn’t mean that you follow all the practices that the person has – may be some are low or improper practices. So don’t expect if somebody pays respect to you that he will follow and he will agree on all points. The case is that we should pay respect. But others also should not expect total surrender instead of this respectful situation.

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