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June 2017
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English issues

brahmin reading

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Once upon a time there was a very knowledgeable brahmin. He was studying the scriptures very seriously. His favorite study was Bhagavad Gita where Krishna many times says: “I will support, I will take care and I am there.” And you know, our brahmin was very knowledgeable, but he had a little lack of faith. So, whenever he read these passages that “I am there, I will take care”, he was doubting that. He had a pen with some red ink, so whenever he read it, he underlined this: “I am there, I will take care” – always marking this. But if you are such a knowledgeable brahmin, devoting all your time to critically edit the Bhagavad Gita, then you have not so much time for earning your livelihood. So our brahmin was very poor. He was also a married man, a family man. And you know, if the head of the family is poor then the goddess of the home is dissatisfied. So, the wife told the husband, this knowledgeable brahmin: “Oh, again you marked the Gita with this red ink? Better you go and find some alms, some grains.” And if the goddess of the home says something, even the knowledgeable brahmins have to accept it. So our poor brahmin went out for earning some livelihood for the day.

You know, men are sometimes very fond of philosophy and theory, while ladies usually are very fond of faith. So, our goddess of the home said: “Ah, forget about your red ink, just go! Krishna will take care of us somehow!” Our friend went and he had a very hard day – going out, trying to find, trying to get some help with not so much success. While the lady was staying at home and she was waiting for something to happen. All of a sudden she saw two boys coming on the street, carrying a big basket on the head. The boys were knocking on the door and taking shelter of the woman. “We have a little problem” said one of the boys. “What is that?” inquired the lady. “Well, I have a little pain in my back.” “What pain, my dear?” “Let me first put down my basket. Maybe you can take good advantage of this. There are some fruits, there is some rice, this and that in the basket. So, this is for you.” “Very nice, my dear son, but what is your problem?” “My back is aching.” “Show me!” said the mother. And she saw that on the back of this boy there were signs of whipping. His back was in blood – when you whip someone there are some red scars. The lady was shocked: how is it – this small young boy and he’s been beaten up? She did not realize what is happening! She was so much shocked and all of a sudden as a natural function of a mother, as a lady, she wanted to heal his wounds. Immediately she brought some ointments to treat the wounds on the back of this boy. And as she was applying the ointment on the wounds she was counting the wounds. All of a sudden she understood: ‘Oh, wait a minute, there are as many wounds on the back of the boy as there are red lines in the Gita!’ Then she realized that this boy is a little unusual. His skin had a very special shade. So, she was very happy to heal the wounds… and all of a sudden the boys disappeared. The other one was white and this boy was black. So, as soon as she understood what was happening – that God came to her to help, as her faith told her – she also understood that the disbelief, the faithlessness of her husband were just like whipping the back of Krishna.

Then the husband returned, empty handed of course, while she was cooking a big feast. The husband came home very depressed: ‘Again a very difficult day, nothing happened, nothing worked out for me.’ And not only that he was working all day long outside, but he was absolutely not sure of the supper. And usually that makes the husbands a little uneasy. But when he entered he saw that a big feast is waiting for him. So, he was a little surprised and started to inquire from his wife: “Oh, what’s happened?” And then the lady told the story how the two boys came with a big basket full of things to eat. And she said that this was the victory of dedication because the foodstuffs were provided by Him, by the Supreme. Of course she also told him about the wounds of whipping, because while she was treating Krishna, He told her: “Whenever My devotees don’t really believe Me this is like torturing Me.”

So, this is one story to describe the support and care of the Supreme. We as human beings enjoy so much attention and so much care of the Supreme. He has provided us so many things, so many capacities. Providing eyes to see Him, providing hands to serve Him, providing mind to think of Him. Unlimited capacities we’ve got. Plus He provides the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the earth that we cultivate, life as a miracle. Everything around us is His unconditional and very special mercy. And we take advantage of all these assets and energies and blessings so naturally. Just like as it is provided free. And Krishna is selfless enough to provide all these energies through a nice system He arranges. But our duty is to be grateful and faithful. It is not very nice if we enjoy the fruits of the energy without paying respects to the source of the energy. This is what we should do.



During these last days we discussed some important elements of a beautiful process of establishing a loving and living contact with God. This process is called sharanagati, or the surrender of the self. The first two steps of this process are to avoid what is unfavorable and practice what is favorable. The second two steps are your human qualities, like humility and dedication of the self. And now two more elements remain that we should discuss – this is the firm faith that Krishna is the maintainer and that He will protect us from everything. So, could you investigate which is first?

Paramananda: Palana-shakti is first – the firm conviction that Krishna will protect us.

            Swami Tirtha: Nevertheless we shall take that tomorrow. Then today we have to discuss the remaining topic that Krishna is the maintainer of all. And today we’ve visited one monastery which is named after the carrier bird of Lord Vishnu – this is Garuda in the Indian tradition and locally here they call him falcon[1] – Sokolski Monastery. And what was written on the top of the dome of this monastery?

Yashoda: God holds everything.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. God who holds everything. I took it as a direct instruction that today we have to discuss God as a maintainer, Krishna as a maintainer. If we generally examine the Supreme Lord, His general name in English is God. And this is like a code, a name code. The three letters of this name describe three main qualities of the Supreme. “G” or the first letter is for generator, the second “O” is for …?

Answer: Omnipotent.

Swami Tirtha: No. “O” is for operator. And the third “D” is for destructor. So the three functions are generator, operator and destructor, right. The three main functions that come from Him are these. That means He is the ultimate source of everything as a generator; He is the maintainer of all, as an operator; and after the dissolution He is the final destination of all. So, His energies are emanated, maintained and then withdrawn – this is the cycle of creation. And if we have to choose what is the easiest – to destroy something, to start something, or to maintain something – then what is your choice?

Answer: To destroy.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, to destroy something is very easy. Your spiritual master builds up a mission for years and years, and then you come and very easily destroy everything. Right, it goes very easy, although, to start something takes a lot of efforts. You have to work very hard to start something. But I think we can agree that to maintain something – this is the greatest. So, this function – God as an operator, who operates this whole created Universe – this is the most beautiful task. And in many places the revealed scriptures support this idea: that God takes care, He supports, He maintains. In order to understand that deeply you must have faith. If we have only knowledge, or information – that is not enough to see this beautiful aspect of the Lord. Because in order to see that Krishna maintains everything you must have the vision that He is there. So, He is not missing from the picture. In all the elements of creation He is present. Especially in those which are beautiful.

(to be continued) 

[1] сокол (pronounced “sokol”) in Bulgarian



Question of Yamuna: Maharaj, is sharanagati the same dedication to God ishvara pranidhana which Patanjali mentions as the fifth element of niyama? And how come that these classifications are quite different: Patanjali mentions ishvara pranidhana as the fifth element of the second step of yoga, while from devotional point of view this is the highest?

Swami Tirtha: The highest? This is the beginning. It’s the entrance. In the Yoga Sutras it says exactly ishvara pranidhana va[1]  – “Or you can achieve perfection by surrender to the Supreme”. Because there is a technical list: “You can achieve like this, you can achieve like that; or you can surrender to God”. So, even the technical, mystical, classical yoga scripture acknowledges the power of dedication of the self to God. That means even in the classical yoga systems bhakti processes, bhakti practices are accepted. Accepted so much so, that practically all the present day great schools of yoga – like the Himalayan tradition, like the Bihar school of yoga – they accept that in this Kali-yuga the best method is bhakti; the cultivation that will bring the best results is bhakti. And as last time we agreed that we want to go the easy path, we need a shortcut, therefore we focus on dedication of the self to the Supreme Lord. Because in the Gita it is also said: “By surrendering to Me you can achieve all other results that otherwise usually people achieve by spiritual practices.”

Yamuna: So, is ishvara pranidhana synonym of sharanagati, or there is difference?

Swami Tirtha: Well, Shripad Shankaracharya said: bhaja govindam, bhaja govindam, bhaja govindam mudha mate[2]  – “Oh, fools, just worship Govinda!” This is a poem by this very strong, very heartfelt teacher of advaita-vedanta. He had given so many instructions and so much philosophy for his followers. And finally he said: “Oh, fools!” So, after he has trained his students, he said: “Oh, fools! Just worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda!” Do you remember that question of one of our senior friends: “He is speaking of Govinda, we are speaking of Govinda, how is it? Then what is the difference?” What was the answer of Shrila Shridhara Maharaj?

Yamuna: “Their Govinda is not our Govinda.”

Swami Tirtha: Yes! So, their ishvara pranidhana va is not our sharanagati.

1. Yoga Sutras 1.23
2. Dvadashamanjarika Stotra 1


Question of Premananda: In the beginning of the lecture again you mentioned the divine dance as a topmost spiritual practice. For a dance rhythm or pace is very important. And even in the material world like for example if you want to produce something, people and machines are adjusted on equal intervals like rhythm. So, even you cannot have a material achievement without proper rhythm, proper pace. My question is: if one wants to achieve the four objects of life, what are the aspects of rhythm? And if one wants to have the topmost achievement, the fifth goal of life, what is the rhythm there and are these two types of rhythms related or they are different?

Swami Tirtha: You say “rhythm”, which is very nice, this is according to our artistic aesthetic Vedanta. Nowadays people say “vibration” – energy levels, vibrations and this and that. It’s a little boring, but let’s discuss this. The body has a certain vibration. And your bodily vibration, or otherwise your energy system, can vibrate on different levels according to your chakras. For example the sexual intercourse is a vibration, right. After some time, let’s say nine months, there will be some beautiful fruit. So, this is one, quite basic vibration. But if you raise your energy then the hertz, the rhythm of your vibration, the frequency might be higher. For example you are not obsessed by maintaining yourself, or maintaining your race, which happens on the basic chakras, but you are more focused on spiritual, divine topics. A higher vibration has a different color for example. From red you come to the blue. Everything is connected, of course.

But beyond these basic vibrations, as you mentioned like the four goals of the material existence, all the bodily cycles do have certain vibrations. And the whole life span also has got a certain vibration. But these vibrations, these frequencies start and end. We should search for that vibration which never ends. Which never started, permanently is going on and never ends. This is the divine vibration. And as we are spiritual souls we can tune ourselves to that divine vibration. Now our rhythm is on the material platform. For example every day you start to be hungry – this is a rhythm. Sometimes very painful rhythm, especially if your supper is late. What to speak of missing! You can all understand the different rhythms and cycles of our life, they are so many. But as the energy center of this whole bodily complex, you are a spiritual spark. You are able to harmonize yourself with the supreme vibration, which is even beyond the cosmic vibration. We can say that this universal cosmic vibration is the most general that is available in the spiritual sky. But the spiritual vibration is even higher and that vibration – you know, our version is very aesthetic – that highest vibration is the flute sound of Krishna. So, as God plays a musical instrument everything follows Him. This is the enchanting vibration of divinity. Therefore this is what the brahmins glorify in their gayatri-mantras, because the gayatri-mantra is the flute sound of Krishna. And kama-bija is very special, because on a flute you can give many sounds, but kama-bija is like the special note, the fifth note on the flute of Krishna.

So, it is possible to come to the highest platform of resonance. But for this we have to more or less go beyond the material vibrations and rhythms. How to do that? Pray always. Kirtanaya sada hari[1]All the time chant the Holy Names. How can you achieve that? There are two basic vibrations of our bodies.

Yamuna: Heart rhythm and blinking.

Swami Tirtha: Blinking? Blinking is cursed by the gopis, so we cannot speak about that. It’s a mistake of Brahma. It was recommended: “Don’t find faults in the list of good qualities”, so we don’t speak about blinking. But until your heart beats you are also breathing. It is recommended that with every breath we should glorify God. That means that during the daytime you are engaged fully in glorifying the Lord. With every breath we should glorify. Usually we cannot do that. So, let’s divide this daytime by one hundred. At least, one hundred and eight times please chant your mantras. Say some prayer. In this way you will be connected not only to the universal or the cosmic vibration, but also to the divine vibration. With every breath we should glorify the Lord. If you cannot do that permanently, twenty four hours per day, at least do it during the day divided by one hundred. Don’t be satisfied with such a license, but always try for something more, something higher. Always go for something higher. This is one way to raise the level of your vibration.

[1] Shikshashtaka 3





Mahaprabhu's school

If you examine yourself with the question ‘Who am I?’, if you are intent enough to find a satisfying answer, finally you will meet yourself, you will understand who you are. And then you can dedicate yourself. So, if you very simply make an investigation ‘Am I this body? In one sense it limits me very much, and it gives me a chance to express myself. Still I feel a little bit more precious than these seventy kg of material elements. And am I identical with my car?’ I don’t know how it is here, but sometimes when you have a crash, you feel that: ‘Oh, somebody hit me!’ They didn’t hit you, they hit your car. You project your ego into this four wheeled vehicle. And you can make a full list: you are not your house, you are not your assets – nothing material, nothing external. Not even your brain, not even your intelligence; something beyond. You are the one who asks ‘Who am I?’ This is you. When you can capture yourself, then you can give yourself. Withut first capturing yourself – by investigation, by control, by following a spiritual practice – you cannot dedicate yourself. So, if you have a peaceful moment, just think very deeply ‘Who am I?’ Try to find yourself, try to identify yourself, try to face yourself. And then whatever you had found, try to bring this to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.

Dedication of the self as a spiritual practice is not difficult. Do you believe me? It’s not difficult. Why? Because if you were not spiritual, you wouldn’t search for the spiritual. But because you are spiritual, you are searching for the spiritual. Because our soul, the atma, is a divine energy, therefore this energy searches for the source, wants to return to that source.

Dedication of the self also means that we act as sat-shishya as I described before[1]. And for this we have to examine the mentality of the disciple. It is written: amany amatsaro daksho nirmamo dridha-sauhridah asatvaro ‘rtha-jigyasur anasuyur amogha-vak[2]“A disciple should give up all interest in worldly bodily conceptions” – and if you search for spiritual identity, it is easy – “Just like attachment to the six enemies like lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. Such a person should be interested only in understanding the science of God and connected to this he should consider everything. He should not identify anymore with the body, or he shouldn’t think that he posseses anything.” All right, so far this is the general instruction: be independent, don’t be attached, don’t be misidentified. But then comes the more specific, the more intimate instruction: ”He should love his spiritual master with deep commitment, be steady and strong in his spiritual endeavors. A real disciple is deeply interested in spiritual topics and he should not find fault among good qualities. He shouldn’t maintain interest for material things and should have only one desire – Krishna, the Supreme personality of Godhead”.

These are some thoughts that I wanted to share with you about this topic, dedication of the self. Search for yourself, capture yourself and bring your atman to the service of the Supreme. And don’t forget: if you are not spiritual, you wouldn’t search for God. Maybe you have some questions or remarks?

Question: My question is about the path. You said that dedication is an easy way, but for us humans, it’s the most difficult.

Swami Tirtha: Why?

Comment: If one does not have a strong divine spark maybe this path will be difficult.

Swami Tirtha: Everybody has a divine spark. We all belong to the same category. You and me as spirit souls, we are the same. Same qualities we have. Everybody’s got this spiritual energy. We are spiritual energy. So, ultimately we can all achieve that. Don’t forget that we are spiritual therefore we can search for the divine and by cleansing our hearts by chanting the holy names we can achieve our perfection.

[1] In the text “This ecstatic rapture – divine love”

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.10.6

meditating sadhu

There are four supports in the spiritual practice. The first is: we have to distinguish between the eternal and the non-eternal, or what is divine and what is material. It’s very similar to the previous practice that we discussed – to practice what is favorable and to avoid what is unfavorable. We human beings have this capacity to distinguish between good and bad. We always have to choose between proper and improper. So, we have to use this capacity of ours for the best purpose – to find what will bring us closer to God and what not. This distinction is there between the easy and the useful. The intelligent person will choose what is useful, and the normal person will choose what is easy. In that sense we have to be super humans. Choose what is beneficial, not what is easy. So, this is the first: use your power to distinguish.

The second is: get rid of your worldly and heavenly pleasures. You don’t have to work very hard on this point. Give a little time and you will lose anyway all the pleasures of life. So, if you are a lazy type just give some time; if you are more intelligent, you give up your attachment before. You know what happens – when you are young you are full of energy, but you have no brain; when you are old you have some brain, but you have no energy. So be intelligent.

But how to give up? We don’t want to give up, we don’t like sacrifices, we don’t like difficulties. What can we do? By a better practice, by doing something positive you can easily give up. This is the third support in your spiritual life – you should obtain the six merits. The first is peacefulness. Last time we discussed shanti – ‘nothing happens, I am just sitting in the corner’. But compared to the busy stupidity, it’s much better to do nothing in the corner. Second is self-control. Self-control means you are not only passive but you know ‘Why I choose between proper and improper activities’. If you have this self control, then you will achieve the third step that is balance. If you have your inner balance, then you can tolerate – next step – you can tolerate whatever happens to you. If you have this unshaken tolerance, you can concentrate, you can focus your attention. This is the next step; and the ultimate step is faith. Faith – here in this list this is the last step. But on the list of Shrila Rupa Goswami faith is the first step. Adau shraddha tatah sadhu-sango[1]… – First is faith, initial faith in the process, in the vaishnavas, in God. But what is faith? Do you remember this beautiful definition of faith?

Answer: Conviction achieved through love.

Yamuna: Maharaj, there is another one: “Subjective sufficiency of proofs”.

Swami Tirtha: Well, this sounds a little tattvic; the first one sounds a little rasic. Of course, there are again many different levels of understanding what faith is. But I think we all can agree that faith is the greatest power in human beings. If you have it, just protect it very nicely.

So, to get rid of the worldly pleasures we should practice and obtain these six merits. And also we should have a deep desire for perfection. This is general advice to any spiritual practitioners. Sometimes it is mentioned as a desire for liberation. But we know that dedicated service is beyond liberation. So, if you want to be more specific, it’s desire for perfection.

Dedication of the self as a spiritual practice – it sounds very soft, very mild and very humble. Still we have to be clever to what to dedicate yourself. One of my very dear friends gave a very good definition about bhakti-yoga: “Bhakti-yoga means that you isolate yourself from stupidity.” How can we isolate ourselves from stupidity? If we come in contact with the truth. So, surrender not to anything, surrender to something very specific. Dedicate yourself to something very specific. If you use this beautiful spiritual quality of humble dedication to something really stupid, or ugly, to some detrimental, dangerous process, then you will end up with very bad results. So we have to be selective about our surrender.

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 23.14-15 and Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.4.15-16



Swami Tirtha: To become a surrendered soul we must acquire some very high qualities. How is the spiritual master called in Sanskrit?

Answer: Guru!

Swami Tirtha: Yes, it’s called guru. And how the eternal guru is called in Sanskrit?

Answer: Sat-guru.

Swami Tirtha: Sat-guru, correct – the “high class master”. So what are the qualities of sat-guru you can imagine! Just expand your expectations towards your guru and that is the sat-guru. And what is the name of the disciple in Sanskrit?

Answer: Shishya.

Swami Tirtha: Shishya, yes. Guru means “heavy”; and disciple should not be “light”, laghuvery light, insignificant. What is the meaning of shishya? “One who lets himself to be instructed” – that is the disciple. But if you want a sat-guru, then you have to become a sat-shishya, a real disciple. So the expectations are not only for the superiors; for the practitioners there are also some expectations. Such a sat-shishya is very rare. So rare, that Krishna personally takes care of such a person. God will personally take care and guide this soul back home back to Godhead. For example in such a way that Krishna will empower a local sadhu to instruct this sat-shishya. And to teach such a disciple, a guru will give certain things. First of all he will give the tattva-gyana, or the knowledge of theory for the truths of devotion. We can call that divya-gyana, or divine knowledge, or tattva-gyana, the knowledge of the basic tenets, basic teachings. And also the sat-shishya will receive diksha and shikshadiksha like initiation and shiksha like instruction. In a fortunate case you can receive all these different types of blessings from one person, or one source. If you are more fortunate, then you can have this from different sources. Then you can have more well-wishers. Is it good to have one well-wisher? It is very good. And if we have more than one? It’s even better. In this way by providing the knowledge, instructions and mystic initiation, the connection to God is provided.

All right, we understood that we have to dedicate ourselves, but on the material sphere we are accustomed to this business mentality: ‘If I give something what will I receive? What is the benefit of giving anything?’ Isn’t it? That’s logical, we want to see the results. So, if you give yourself, what will you receive? By the guru’s grace, by the mercy of your spiritual master avidya, or ignorance, will be dispelled and the truth will be revealed. So, first of all you will be purified of your ignorance; second your sambandha, your connection to God, will be revealed to you. And also the grace of your spiritual master will provide you prema, divine love. This is what you can receive if you give yourself – you receive enlightenment; you receive the nature of your living connection to God; and also the chance to this ecstatic rapture – love of Godhead.


Mahaprabhu dancing

How can we come closer to understanding that we are spiritual, not material? How can we perfect our life? There are three elements to perfect our life. One is tyaga or renunciation, the other is seva, service, and the third one is prema, divine love. It’s very simple, you just renounce what is not for you. Instead of trying to posses, you change this habit to a desire to serve. This is the cultivation of service, seva; and then you will achieve prema. Tyaga, seva, prema – easy to remember, even in this degraded age when you cannot remember anything. So, renounce what is not for you; serve what is for service; and practice divine affection to God. These are the ways to perfect your life.

There is a very nice story about the nature of dedication. This example is from the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He had some extraordinary students, followers and partners. Some were considered just like exact replica, exact copy of Him. They surrendered to Him so much that they started to practically identify with Him. And He is considered like a trunk of a great tree of spiritual lineage. From Him many great branches started – His immediate disciples and followers. Then some smaller branches started after these main branches. Then again twigs are there, then again new sprouts are there, then again the leaves and the buds. Just like a big, complicated tree of spiritual system. This example comes from this tree. “Vakreshvara Pandita, the fifth branch of the tree of Chaitanya, was a very dear servant of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He could dance with constant ecstasy for seventy-two hours.”[1] Yes, seventy-two hours! In the purport Shrila Prabhupad says: “In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 71, it is stated that Vakreshvara Pandita was an incarnation of Aniruddha – one of the four quadruple expansions of Visnu: Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Aniruddha and Pradyumna. He could dance wonderfully for seventy-two continuous hours. When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu played in dramatic performances in the house of Shrivasa Pandita Vakreshvara Pandita was one of the chief dancers, and he danced continuously for that length of time.”

From this we can also understand that dance is not a show, but this is a very deep spiritual practice, expression of divine feelings. Whatever you cannot express in words, you can express in bhajan. Whatever you cannot express in bhajan, you can express that in kirtan. So dance is a very condensed spiritual practice. It’s not that: “Oh, I am excited!” It’s different. Please, try to understand the rasa, the inner meaning of this dance as an expression of divine feelings.

But if we return back to Vakreshvara Pandita, “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally was singing while Vakreshvara Pandita danced. And thus Vakreshvara Pandita fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and spoke as follows. “O Chandramukha! (Moonfaced – this was the name that He gave to Mahaprabhu) Please give me ten thousand gandharvas. Let them sing as I dance, and then I will be greatly happy.”[2] The gandharvas are the heavenly musicians. So, for such a divine dancer who can dance for seventy-two hours permanently, you must have some super human musicians to supply music for that long time. Therefore he was praying to Mahaprabhu, God Himself: “Please, give me more musicians and singers, then I can dance more.” Then “Lord Chaitanya replied, “I have only one wing like you, but if I had another, certainly I would fly in the sky!”[3]

This is the example of surrendering. Whatever you do, God should be so satisfied with you that if He had one more of you, He would be fully satisfied. I think that is a very responsible job. This is the intensity and beauty of surrender and dedication of the self. But in order to achieve that platform we really have to perfect our lives with these three practices – tyaga, renounciation; service – seva; and cultivation of divine love – prema. Why? Because although the foolish and the wise observe the same tree, they see a different tree. So, it depends on your level of consciousness what kind of reality you will see, what kind of beauty you will see.

Question of Kripadham: In connection with the story of Vakreshvara Pandit, we know that Radharani is the most dedicated to Krishna and if She is the one wing, is there another and who is this?

Swami Tirtha: Don’t mix. This sentence that “If I had such a second wing like you, I could fly” is told by Gau-Ra. So They are flying together. Govinda-Radhe they are flying together already. But actually from this you can see – and thank you for this point – the real dedication of the self. Because what is happening here – the servant falls at the feet of God. It’s all right, this is the normal case. Human being starts to glorify God: “You are great, You are so nice!” But then what happens? God will say: “Oh, you are My wing! If I had one more wing like this, I could fly!” So, the Supreme Lord’s nature is to glorify His followers, His worshippers, His devotees. In the same way Krishna acts like a driver to Arjuna. If God is ready to accept such a humble position as a servant, we should also do this.

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila 10.17

[2] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila 10.18-19

[3] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila 10.20


transperant medium

Продолжаем наше исследование шести элементов самоотдачи. До сих пор мы перешли через вход – практикуем то, что благоприятно и избегаем неблагоприятное. Мы зплатили и входную плату, которая есть смирение. Теперь будем изучать что надо делать если имеем эти качества. Потому что следующий шаг это посвятить самих себя. Чтобы понять что означает посвятить себя, надо рассмотреть эти обе слова: что такое „посвященность” и что такое „себя”? Пока не знаем кто мы, как можем себя посвятить? И пока не знаем что такое настоящая посвященность, как мы бы могли отдаться? Чтобы совершать свои духовные практики нам нужно много сил. Что является источником силы? Как вы думаете, что является источником силы?

Яшода: Баларам.

Свами Тиртха: Баларам в объективном смысле; а субъективно это тапася, аскетическая практика, которую мы делаем. Сказано, что если совершаете какие-то отречения, будете сильнее. Однако сильнее не означает быть счастливее. Как много сильных людей можно увидеть на свете, которые очень неудовлетворенные! Источник блаженства, духовного удовлетворения другой – это посвященность. И так, тапася приносит силу, посвященность приносит блаженство. И как тапася, самоконтроль, так и посвященность означают некий вид жертву. Жертва – это звучит вам хорошо? Нравится ли вам это выражение? Не очень.

Коментарий: Саможертва или жертва?

Свами Тиртха: Хороший вопрос. Потому что надо исследовать что пожертвовать. Это действительно что-то очень важное. Кришна говорит в „Гите”, что без жертвы не можете быть счастливыми ни в этой жизни, ни в следующей. Тогда что надо пожертвовать? Мы много раз говорили об этом. Четыре элемента можете  пожертвовать в службе Бога. Если двигаться от внешнего к внутреннему, первое, что можете включить в служении к Богу это ваши материальные активы – ваше время, ваша энергия, ваше богатство. Второе, которое несколько ближе к вам, это ваши слова; еще шаг ближе это ваши мысли. Но если хотите действительно приблизиться к окончательной жертве – это отдать свою жизнь, отдать самих себя. Это самая большая жертва, которую мы можем дарить Богу – себя. Это не  некие чужие активы, а мы, сами мы. Так что, эти четыре типа инструментов служения – материальные активы, слова, интеллектуальные способности и самих себя – это самые большие жертвенные объекты.

А какова мантра для саможертвы? Сваха. В „Гопала Тапани Упанишад” сказано, что сваха заставляет мир вращаться, она помагает миру двигаться гладко. Жертва помагает миру выполнить свои объязанности, пройти свой путь. Так что, для того чтобы постичь духовное блаженство надо делать какие-то жертвы. Иногда чувствуем жертву как нечто обременительное. Тем не менее говорится, что Бог трансформирует себя в человеке как усилие. Это мнение Патанджали Муни, один из самых крупных авторитетов в йоге: Бог в человеке превращается в усилия. Это потверждено и в „Бхагавад Гите” Кришной, который говорит: „Я – способность в человеке”[1]. Это нечто очень важное. Потому что означает, что какие бы способности вы не имели, они даны Верховным Богом. Поэтому даже свои усилия, свои жертвы  можем предлагать Ему. Они нам даны Им и можем их поднести обратно Ему же.

Но так как надо понять что такое настоящая посвященность, надо понять, что мы находимся под влиянием. Это влияние означает, что мы подвластны материальной энергии. А как можете избавиться от этого влияния?

Ответ: Изменив потребности, которые есть у нас.

Свами Тиртха: Или, скажем совсем просто, если поставим себя под другое влияние. Так что если мы находимся под воздействием иллюзии, чего-то очень непостоянного, если хотим избежать этой ситуации, надо подчиниться неизменному, божественному воздействию. Это есть признак великих душ – они отдают себя более высшему, божественному влиянию. И если вы действительно осуществили эту отдачу себя, тогда что произойдет с вами? Может и не хотите говорить; тем не менее что-то вас вдохновляет говорить. Может не хотите служить; несмотря на это что-то будет вас вдохновлять служить. И кто это вдохновление? Мой учитель. Мой учитель говорит через меня и я также слушаю. Это не мои слова. Если есть настоящая посвященность, это не мои слова. Это не мои способности. Единственная моя способность это посвятить себя. Тогда могу превратиться в прозрачный посредник, в покорный инструмент в руках более высшестоящих.

Это признак, что мы себя посвятили – понять, что мы не тело, ни органы чувств, мы не умственные конструкции, а нечто более глубокое, нечто неизменное. Вы являетесь духовной искрой, разделяющей вечные качества бытия, сознания и блаженства. Поэтому именно с этими качествами мы должны предложить себя Верховному.


[1] „Бхагавад Гита” 7.8

transperant medium

We continue our studies about the six ways of surrender. So far we have gone through the entrance – practice what is favorable and avoid what is unfavorable. And we had paid the entrance fee – that is humility. Now we shall study what we should do if we have these qualities. Because the next step is dedication of the self. In order to understand what is dedication of the self we have to examine two expressions: what is “dedication” and what is “self”? Until we don’t know who we are, how can we dedicate ourselves? And until we do not know what real dedication is, how can we give ourselves? In order to perform our spiritual practices we need a lot of strength. What is the source of strength? What do you think, what is the source of strength?

Yashoda: Balaram.

Swami Tirtha: Balaram objectively; and subjectively this is tapasya, the ascetic practice that we do. So it is said, if you do some penance, you will be stronger. But strength doesn’t mean that you will be happier. How many strong people you can see in the world running very unsatisfied! The source of bliss, of spiritual satisfaction is different – that is dedication. So tapasya brings power, dedication brings bliss. And both tapasya, or self control, and dedication mean a kind of sacrifice. Sacrifice – does it sound good? Do you like this expression? Not so much.

Comment: Self-sacrifice, or sacrifice?

Swami Tirtha: Good question. Because we have to examine what to sacrifice. Again this is something very important. Krishna says in the Gita that without sacrifice you cannot be happy neither in this lifetime, nor in the next one. Then what should we sacrifice? Many times we discussed this. There are four elements you can sacrifice in the service of the Lord. If we approach from the external to the internal, the first that you can engage in the service of God are your material assets – your time, your energy, your wealth. The second, which is coming a little closer to you, these are your words; one step closer are your thoughts. But if you want to come really close to the final sacrifice – this is your life, this is your self. So this is the greatest sacrifice that we can give to God – ourselves. It’s not the other persons’ assets, it’s you, yourself. So, these four types of instruments for service – the material assets, the words, the intellectual capacities and yourself – are the greatest objects of sacrifices.

And what is the mantra for sacrifice? Svaha. In the Gopala Tapani Upanishad it is said that svaha makes the world go round, it helps the world run smoothly. Sacrifice helps the world accomplish its duty, its path. So, in order to achieve spiritual bliss we have to make some sacrifice. Sometimes we feel that sacrifice is burdensome. Nevertheless, it is said that God in men transforms itself into efforts. This is the opinion of Patanjali Muni who is one of the greatest authorities on yoga: God in men transforms into efforts. And this is also supported by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita who says: “I am the ability in man”[1]. This is something very important. Because that means that whatever capacities you’ve got, they’re provided by the Supreme Lord. Therefore even our efforts, even our sacrifices can be offered to Him. They are given by Him, so we can offer these back to Him.

But, as we should understand what real dedication of the self is, we have to understand that we are under influence. And this influence means we are subject to the material energy. And how can you get rid of one influence?

Answer: To change the needs we have.

Swami Tirtha: Or, to put it very simply, to come under a different influence. So, if we are under the influence of illusion, of something impermanent, if we want to escape the situation, we have to submit ourselves to permanent, divine influence. This is the sign of the great souls – they surrendered themselves to the superior, divine influence. And if you had really done this surrender then what will happen to you? Maybe you don’t want to speak; nevertheless something inspires you to speak. Maybe you don’t want to serve; nevertheless something will inspire you to serve. And who is this inspiration? This is my master. My master speaks through me and I am also listening. These are not my words. If there is real surrender, it is not my words. It is not my capacity. My only capacity is to submit myself. Then I can become like a transparent medium, like obedient tool in the hands of the superiors.

This is one sign of dedication of the self – if we understood that we are not the body, not the senses nor the sense organs, we are not the mind constructions, but something deeper, something permanent. You are a spiritual spark, sharing the eternal qualities of existence, consciousness and bliss. Therefore with these qualities we should submit ourselves to the Supreme.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 7.8