Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


There is a kind of spiritual egotism. Sometimes we have learned the basic rules and we want to put them into practice on a theoretical platform. This kind of egotism is called “abhiman”. And just like all other elements of life and practice, one (thing) can be used for a proper purpose and for a bad purpose. With the knife you can kill and you can cut the vegetables for the sabji. Same instrument – different purpose. Abhiman or this feeling or mentality is an instrument and you can use it for a good purpose and for a bad purpose.

Let’s start with shishya-abhiman, or the mentality of a disciple. Who is shishya, who is a disciple?

Yadunath: Someone who has said: “Yes, master!”

Tirtha Maharaj: But what “yes”? The Bulgarian “yes” or the general “yes”?

Yadunath: The big “yes”.

Yamuna: Shishya is whatever God sends to a guru.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah, my God, no, no! I did not know that! If I knew it before… Ah! Well, I think this is an upgrade of my previous understanding. But give me another definition – who is a shishya?

Hari Lila: Who can follow.

Yamuna: Someone to whom guru has said: “Yes.”

Krishna Priya: One who possess pariprashnena sevaya – the three qualities that Shridhara Maharaj says a disciple should have. The first is that you should search for the truth, ask the guru and be ready to accept the answer, without making remarks and arguments. Sevaya is to have the attitude and desire to serve. And the third one I don’t remember – maybe it is not by chance.

Tirtha Maharaj: Correct. The proper definition of a shishya or disciple is: a disciple is such a person who lets himself to be trained. You see, when I approach my master not with full knowledge; or “I know it better. You tell me but I have another opinion.” – It is very nice and usually this is what life sends to masters. And masters also should practice humility and tolerate what the divine wish is showering on them. But a disciple is such a person who lets himself or herself to be trained. Trained for what? Making more money? By crook or by hook sell some books? Or to convert people and make them shave their heads? And not trust them? Or develop a guilt consciousness in them? Or – to be trained of glorification of God, of becoming a real human being, who is ready to share and who lives in divinity, to make people into mystics…? So there are different purposes to be trained for.

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