December 2018
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



kiss 2

(continues from the previous Monday)

Question of Mahadev: When you have a spiritual master, it’s very tempting to give up all efforts you do yourself and give the rights to your master to take action instead of you. To which extent should you act by your own and to which extent will your master do certain things for you?

Swami Tirtha: There is a long-standing debate on this question; it’s been going on for at least one and a half thousand years now. One idea is that we should act like the kitten, and the other idea is that we should act like the small monkeys. Both the small animals are carried by the mother, but in a different manner. The monkey is catching the fur of the mother and when the mother jumps, the baby-monkey is also carried to the next tree. While the mother cat catches the kittens by the neck in her mouth and she carries them. So this is an on-going debate: whether we should act like small kittens or like baby-monkeys – to catch on or simply to hang?

My understanding is that we should catch on. Better if we are a little bit more active and we let the process also work over ourselves. So a kind of active participation – especially for the westerners! Because we are born in karma-desh, in the ‘land of activity’. For us it’s so difficult to stay without action, we need to express ourselves in activity. In that sense a kind of spiritual activity I think is also very useful and is very much possible. So, act like a monkey!

Mahadev: In the western society nowadays it’s very popular that ‘we all are very positive, we have positive thinking, we are vegans, we do this and that in the New Age movement’. So, we try to find ourselves because we feel completely lost. How should we react when we feel lost for a second? Should we treat ourselves like we made a mistake? Or should we forgive ourselves? Or we should just overcome this moment and go on? And if we have a spiritual teacher, if we have doubts in him for a second, or if we have doubts in ourselves, or in life in general, how should we cope in these moments?

Swami Tirtha: Well, doubts are old friends, staying with us for a long time. Usually people are afraid of their doubts, because they will question the most important things in our life – our ideals, our dreams, our hopes, our feelings. But as spiritual progress means one step closer to reality, one step closer to the truth, even doubts can help us in that process.

Of course, to perceive doubts and to survive these difficult moments – it’s definitely a challenge. Nevertheless I hope that there is such a sacrament in our life, which we can always rely on. Even if everything is broken down around us – hopes, realizations, faith – there must be something that you can catch on. And if we have only one such help, then we can survive the most difficult moments. Then maybe we shall lose one or two battles, but we should win the war.

Mahadev: And which war is it?

Swami Tirtha: The war is against our weaker self. Because our materially influenced self, our bodily consciousness is fighting against the spiritual consciousness. The fight is not externally there, but the fight is practically on the inside. Those who can overcome others, they are strong; but those who can overcome themselves, they are powerful. And I think we should learn how to be powerful.


(to be continued)


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