(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 20 March 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, BTS Vyasa Puja Talk)
Transcribed by Sukumari devi dasi
Bhakti Tirtha Swami was undoubtedly an outstanding person, even in his material life. If we read his biography (Black Lotus), then we see that he grew up in the United States of America where the Afro-American community was still underprivileged at that time. Martin Luther King had not yet marched for equal rights; that was still to come. It was in that America that John Favors took his birth. It was in that America that he grew up, in very simple conditions.
I remember some highlights from the biography; I remember that he was part of a Christian prayer group and they were praying to heal people. There was a person who was blind and just by their prayers, that person actually got their sight! Some other miracles like that were described about the prayer group. Certainly, he could pray – we see that in his writings, in four books called The Beggar.
In these books, he is really praying. The first book, I remember, is dedicated to praying. The second book to mercy. The third book is dedicated to overcoming the false ego. And the last book of The Beggar series, the fourth volume, was Die Before Dying. He was not just writing some books to entertain people. In the books, The Beggar, he was revealing his identity, “I am a beggar before the Lord and simply as a beggar, I am praying for his mercy and I am preparing to die before dying.”