About my Guru-the "Psychedelic sailor" Tirthapada!

hmmm's picture

Average: 4.3 (22 votes)

Because a few people have asked me about my guru,I will attempt to write something,even though Im not sure that mere words could ever adequately describe or do justice to this rare,precious being!
All I can honestly do,is relate my own personal,direct experiences of him.
I was 21 years old when I first encountered him at the Soho St Hare Krishna temple.I was working as a nanny at the time and felt restless,searching for something,unfulfilled and in inner turmoil.Id been gang raped a year previously and was probably in a very wounded state at the time,also.

The devotees there greeted me with wonderful manners and hospitality and I was also happy to be amongst males who practiced celibacy-perhaps not surprisingly!
They gave me lots of delicious vegetarian food-known as "Prasadam"-sanskrit for gods mercy.Yummy!!The temple was also stunningly beautiful,inside.

They spoke to me about the philosophy,the chanting,the 4 regulative principles,all of which fascinated me,but I remained unconvinced.
Then they began to tell me about the guru Srila Tirthapada(beautiful place of shelter),how amazing he was etc etc.
I remember feeling defiant and thinking I didnt want to be influenced by their slavish devotion to some so called spiritual master!I would remain cynical and make my own mind up,thank you very much!

On his next visit to the temple,I was to finally meet this man along with two spanish ladies.
We were taken upstairs to the library and I somewhat nervously entered,to be greeted by the sight of a divinely beautiful man who smiled and said hello,hare krishna..I cant remember much about the dialogue,because by then,in an instant,I was rendered completely and utterly speechless.
The feelings of love,recognition and awe were so profound and overwhelming,I didnt know what was happening,where to look or what to say!I knew immediately and without a shadow of a doubt,that I had found him and would follow him to the ends of the earth!Me,the woman who had never bowed to a man in my entire life,to feel this sense of devotion and surrender was a huge shock to the system!
He asked me what I thought of it all so far,and words failed me,I managed to get one word out"magic!"Everyone,laughed and he replied"yes,but its a bit more scientific than that!"The ice was broken and I sat and listened to the ensuing discussion.

He seemed to be very serene,yet an inner voice told me that this man would take me to hell and back and to prepare for a rollercoaster journey!
It was his eyes that most struck me,huge,dark deep pools of love,compassion,understanding,awareness,empathy and also a twinkle of humour and amusement.
As we prepared to leave,he pulled out two lockets with Krishna on one side and himself on the other.He handed one to each of the spanish girls and nothing to me.I suddenly found myself feeling ridiculously jealous and left out!I struggled to maintain my composure,and felt incredibly embarrassed and foolish to be feeling such powerful emotions about someone,I had just met!
He turned to me and asked,very cooly, if I was ok,was anything the matter?I thought,what am I supposed to say,why havent you given me a locket,Im feeling jealous??!!I mumbled something about having to give notice at work to move into the temple and he looked at me with such love,understanding and deep amusement!
I later understood this episode and what it actually meant,he threw me in at the deep end and the message was that I needed no external symbols or paraphenalia,because from that day forward,he would remain forever in my heart.
The two spanish girls didnt remain followers as time went by,interestingly enough!

Ive just realised,that I cant possibly tell you all about Tirthapada in one blog,so I will leave my introduction to him here and follow up with sections,in seperate blogs

Its probably about time I told his story and thank you,to those souls who have encouraged me to do so.

avi's picture

more!!!! :-)

more... more... more... more... Katerina - you can't leave me like this waiting for the continuation! It's too incredibly fascinating!

Meanwhile, a question: I assume this Thirtapada is/was affiliated with the ISKCON movement based on the fact that the meeting took place in the Hare Krishna temple. Was he subordinate to Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? Are there gurus within ISKCON?

avi | Fri, 12/18/2009 - 09:10
enlight's picture


fascinating. I was logging in this evening with a cup of tea and was so happy to see that you already posted the beginning of the story about the guru that we wished for, and in such a flowing and natural way that makes it fascinating to read. I'm going to make another cup of tea and to read chapter 2 :-)

I can relate to the locket incident in my own history with my teacher :-)

enlight | Fri, 12/18/2009 - 21:40
hmmm's picture


Hey,I hope you enjoy your cups of tea!I really appreciate everyones encouragement and am so glad Ive finally found a place to tell this story.I am certain that he himself,guided me to find this website.
I think often our teachers will play with us and show us how deeply they actually understand and know us as unique individuals!

hmmm | Sat, 12/19/2009 - 00:11