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English issues

burning-dry-reed

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, evening, Sofia )

“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is not affected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.”[1]

We all want to be pure souls. Purification means that you are free from your karma. Karma means bondage, and freedom means no karma, no bondage. How to achieve that? There are two ways – one is the difficult and the other is the easy. Which one do you want to hear?

Answer: The easy one.

Swami Tirtha: No, we should start with the difficult. So, the difficult is knowledge. Divine knowledge, although this is divine, it takes a long time to learn, and to study, and to accomplish everything, and to collect that knowledge. But it is very effective. They say that it can liberate you from the karmic reaction. Divine knowledge can bring you to divine consciousness.

So, let’s discuss a little bit more the difficult part. Our karma works minimum in two different ways. If you had taken birth on this planet Earth, that means you had chosen, you had agreed to work with a certain package of karma. This is called prarabdha-karma – accumulated through the lifetimes and now it starts to manifest in your life. So, this is the package that you come with. While there is another package of your karma that you can create now. Therefore purification needs two parts. One part of the purification is compared to the burning of reeds, because they very easily burn – big flames and no charcoal, quickly burning. And the other part of your karma is compared to the drop of water on the leaf of a lotus. So, the prarabdha-karma, the previously accumulated karma, should be burned by your spiritual divine knowledge. The fire of divine knowledge is so powerful that it very easily burns up the remnants of your previous karma. But this is not enough; you have to be clever enough not to create new karma meanwhile. Therefore we have to be so much dedicated to God that we become like the lotus flower, the lotus leaf. Because in case the raindrops touch this leaf, they roll down, they cannot stick to the leaf, they are removed. That means in our present life we have to be so much dedicated to the Supreme that we are just like the leaf of a lotus. In case some karmic reaction should touch you, it should run down and shouldn’t be attached to you.

Therefore full purification, complete, total purification will come if your previous karma package is burned up by your divine knowledge, and you are depending so much on God Supreme that you are not touched by any present reactions that might come to you. Then the next question comes: ”What is this divine knowledge that will burn up my karma?” This is the topic we can discuss next time. Just to keep your interest alive.

So, if you want to become a pure soul, then please try to control your body and mind complex, and also work in devotion, in harmony with Krishna’s desires and then you will be able to appreciate all. Then wait a little bit more and then everybody will appreciate you. A few lifetimes.

[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.10

 



woman-bird

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, evening, Sofia)

“A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping, and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.”[1]

This verse describes a mystic experience. You observe the functioning of your body, yet you are fully conscious that this is not you. It’s only the senses, the mind, the bodily elements react on the impulses of the external world. So please, try to observe your functions sometimes, your activities. If there is a challenge, you will react and maybe then you will think. Please, think first and then react. It will be better.

It is very easy to quote this verse as an excuse if you make mistakes on others. Then you can say: “Oh, no, this is not my fault. It’s only your senses, it’s only your mind reacting on the impulses.” Does it sound good? Not very much – neither to hear it, what to speak of telling it. Yet mystic experience in that sense means that we have a little distance while we can observe life, while we can observe the experience that we go through, while we observe the function of the body and the mind complex. Because actually our soul inside this body-mind complex is pure and perfect. But as it is covered with the veil of illusion, therefore we identify with the bodily movements, feelings and activities.

This is a very sensitive topic somehow, because nevertheless we feel happiness and pain. But if you analyze a little bit – if you use your sankhya, your analysis – then you can see: is it the body who feels the pain or the happiness? Just try to give any pain or any happiness to a dead body – it will not react. So, this is not the body who feels the pain. Then is it the soul who feels the pain and the happiness? Well, any material impulse is impossible to reach the soul. Then where is our happiness and where is our pain?

Yamuna: In the mind.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, this is in between the two – beyond the body, but before the soul experience. In between the two – this is the mind platform, the astral platform. Therefore those who are uncontrolled in body and mind, they will feel the pain and the happiness. Those who are controlled, well I wouldn’t say that they feel no pain and no happiness, yet their entanglement is different. They don’t identify with the pain or happiness. We can say a pure soul doesn’t identify with the bodily feelings.

 

[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.8-9

 



двама

(continues from the previous Monday)

 

“The soul resides within the gross and subtle bodies, but it is not born. It does not undergo the same changes as the body, because the nature of the self is very much different from that of the body. As the owner of the house is different from the house itself, the self is the proprietor of the body and is therefore different from it. It is only out of material attachment that people think: ‘I am this material body.’ Earth, water, fire and air form the human body in the beginning, yet by the laws of the nature they will dissolve and the body will disappear. The soul however is never destroyed.”[1]

Try to remember this. The body was taken from matter, it will return to matter; we as spirit souls are taken from Spirit, God, and we shall return to God.

“You may find it difficult to understand how the self is separate from the body, because you are accustomed to seeing them together. I can enlighten you with the example of fire. Fire is inherent in wood. But only during combustion can we easily observe the difference in the nature of wood and fire, which is very powerful and brilliant. Similarly the soul resides in the body and the senses of living entity, but we can observe that he is different from these.”

I think we can agree on these points. But we are used to see the soul and body together. Usually we don’t observe dead bodies for a long time – for God sake! And unfortunately we don’t observe spiritual souls separately from the bodies, because we are blind in that sense. So we think that they are always together. And sometimes we mistake one for the other. But then the small boy says:

“Ah, foolish people! You are lamenting so much for this body even while it is lying dead in front of you! It has not gone to some other place – why are you lamenting? The body is still here, so you lament for the body? This person used to listen and reply to your words, but now he does not. Please, do not lament for that. The person, who was actually listening and replying, was never seen by anyone. The body you used to see is still here for you to see. It is exactly the same as before. Therefore there is no need to lament for the body

The soul animates and protects the body, but if the body can no longer listen and reply, it means that it is devoid of consciousness. The soul interacts with all objects through the senses. But he is different from the senses of the body. The soul is made of consciousness only. The five gross elements and the ten sense organs form the gross body, which covers the subtle body, made of the mind, the intellect and the ego; and also it covers the soul that relates to all these things by acting in ways both good and bad. This understanding is possible for those who worship God.”

This means that now we understand the way how to get rid if the greatest lamentation. Because losing our beloved ones is a great pain, right? But if you understand that the body comes from matter and returns to matter, and the soul comes from God and it returns to God, why should you lament?

And sometimes we lament on the death of others. But sorry to remind you a little-little thing: we all have to face this, sooner or later. So this also means we should not lament about our death. You can lament about your life, if you miss this opportunity. But those, who worship God they can have this understanding.

 

(to be continued)

[1] from B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The Holy Life of Prahlada, the conversation between Yamaraj, the god of death, and the relatives of a person who recently died

 



Replica Terracotta Warriors near Xian in Shaanxi province, China.   Original Warriors - [url=file_closeup.php?id=4597152][img]file_thumbview_approve.php?size=3&id=4597152[/img][/url] [url=file_closeup.php?id=4484726][img]file_thumbview_approve.php?size=3&id=4484726[/img][/url] [url=file_closeup.php?id=4597176][img]file_thumbview_approve.php?size=3&id=4597176[/img][/url] [url=file_closeup.php?id=4484566][img]file_thumbview_approve.php?size=3&id=4484566[/img][/url]

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, evening, Sofia )

 

(continues from the previous Friday)

 

We all had taken our lessons in meeting imperfect people; therefore we want to be pure souls. This is not a very big job. All right, it takes a little effort, a little time, a little patience. But it will come, originally you are pure. Your ontological purity is only hidden by the cloud of illusion, still it’s there.

Once my dear spiritual master asked one of his disciples: “What is your conception, who you are?” And he said: “Oh, Gurudev, I am nothing!” Gurudev was very upset: “No, this is against our philosophy! You are somebody, you are something!”

So, who you are originally? You are spirit souls possessing the divine qualities – sat, chit, ananda. You are eternal souls, you are fully cognizant, and you are blissful by nature. So, the spiritual path means that from our false identification we return to our original identity. It’s very simple. From death, from ignorance and from suffering we return back to eternity, to full knowledge and to bliss. And that immediately happens if you are a pure soul. What is the way to achieve that position? We have to live in dedication as it is mentioned in the verse. “One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.“[1] Dedication to God. If you live for yourself, you don’t live for anyone; if you live for God, you live for all.

And the third necessary prerequisite is to control the mind and the senses. Then something will happen, some result you will face – you will be a dear person to everyone and everyone will be dear to you. What do you think – which is easier? To appreciate, to love everybody; or that everybody loves you?

Answer: ‘I love everybody!’

Swami Tirtha: That’s easier. I think you are very realistic. Well, I am an idealist and an optimist, but I agree with you. That is easier – if we play the humble side, if we keep a very low profile. Because I think only on special divine mercy it happens that everybody starts to like you. There will be critics for anything. If you achieve something, there will be some criticism: “Oh, just look at this guy, he is collecting so much!” If you don’t achieve anything, there will be some criticism: “Oh, this guy is so lazy! He didn’t achieve anything.” Whatever you do remarks will come.

So, somehow I also agree: it’s easier that we change our approach to people, in a very loving and a very humble way to appreciate others; and wait, then we have to wait. Wait until others will share your opinion. Material sphere, material life means that everybody wants to dominate. Everybody wants to stand in the front line. Spiritual atmosphere means the opposite – everybody wants to stand in the last row.

Once there was a debate in a temple and the matajis handed a petition to the temple president. There was a list and one point was: “We also want to stand in the front row in the arati”. You see, because usually men stand in front and ladies stand in the back while the arati, the worship is going on – this is like a general formality. When I heard this I said: “Wait a minute, somebody doesn’t preach properly in this place!” Because if somebody has this very fortunate and dignified position to stand in the back row – which is according to our philosophy, we want to be the last – and if somebody has this position: ‘I can stay back!’, but they want to come to the front, there is something wrong. So, think twice what your desire is.

From these teachings you may understand that ‘Maybe it’s better if I sit at the lecture in the last row. Because I am a humble soul.’ Then finally everybody will sit in the corridor, right, because ‘I am a humble person.’ But one very much respected master said: “Well, some sit in the front line, because they deserve it. Others sit in the front line, because they don’t deserve it. Some sit in the back row, because they deserve it; while others sit in the back row, because they don’t deserve it.” ‘My God! It’s so complicated – so where should I sit? If I sit in the front, maybe it’s correct, maybe it’s wrong! If I sit in the back, maybe I will be blamed.’ But before being embarrassed totally, don’t pay too much attention to this front and back – just sit and listen.

And we should cultivate this ambition in our heart – to appreciate everyone as better than us. Because if you are pure enough, then this mood will emanate from you and others will follow your example. So, if we try to appreciate everyone sincerely and if we treat everyone in a very gentle and a very dear way, then, although this is not a business, still we can expect that others will also treat us nice.

[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.7



single-lotus-flowers

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, evening, Sofia )

Thank you for coming. I feel honored and as I have been visiting Sofia since 1988 I feel like an honorable Bulgarian. I hope this is not offensive for you. But this is a very special chance for me to come here and meet you, because many times we speak about being engaged in service. And actually this is the duty I got from my spiritual master. So, whenever I come here it is also a very sweet memory of him. And you all remind me of my eternal duty. That means you are my saviors. So, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to repeat what I have heard, to share with you what is given to me. Because this is the way to multiply our treasures.

We started a discussion about the art of work, the art of activities. Of course we cannot reach the end of this question, because activities are always there. But we have to purify our activities, harmonize them with the divine desire, try to use them as a service for humanity and also try to serve our own ultimate spiritual benefit. So, if we can act on these three platforms – for our own benefit, for the service of others and for the glory of God – then this is a very glorious life. I think that is simple, right. Yet many of our fellow brothers and sisters don’t know about it. Maybe we have to tell them: “Hey, there is a higher goal of our life! We are not born to die!” This is the way, this is the reason why very few people die in a wise way, but many live in a very stupid way. So, choose whether you want so to have a glorious death, or a stupid life.

But to understand our duty better again we focus our attention on the Bhagavad Gita, the Divine Song. As we discussed, action will always bring some reaction. There are many consequences of our activities, and if you want to get rid of the consequences, it sounds logical that you stop the activities. If there is no input, there is no output. Yet if you feed your body up here, some consequence will come down there. Don’t blame the system. If there is input, there is output. It’s logical. Therefore we have to find a way how to eat without passing excrement – how to act without bad reactions. The solution is not stopping the activity, but harmonizing it with the divine desire of the Supreme.

We also understood that activity, action can bring us to liberation. But without establishing a loving and living contact to the Supreme this theoretical liberation is not satisfying the soul. While those who are engaged in devotional service to the Supreme, they can reach Him without delay. So, here we continue with the verses of the Bhagavad Gita. Please, pay attention, because these are the words of God Himself. And if He is ready to share His wisdom with us, then we should also be ready to listen to His advice.

“One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.“[1]

This is a very demanding verse. Because three requirements are mentioned: one who works in devotion; one who is a pure soul; and who controls his mind and senses. So, do you want to become a pure soul? Definitely, yes. Yes, we all want to become pure. What is purity? We all know what purity is, because we all know what impurity is. Sometimes I meet people, just imagine, who don’t believe that perfection is possible. It’s horrible! Then I always say: “No, no, no! Please, don’t say like this! Maybe you didn’t meet such a person who has accomplished perfection, but don’t deny the chance, the possibility that it exists.” Who had met perfect people? Oh, so many?! You vote with both hands. Yet I think everybody should raise the hands if I asked who had met imperfect persons. If we meet the imperfection, then we shall recognize perfection.

Once I met a teacher, he was a mystic teacher. And you know, good teachers speak in such a way that, for example, they speak to one if they want to teach another. So, if I am a good teacher, if I want to instruct you, I will speak to him in such a way that you also understand. The indirect way is more interesting. So, we had this meeting and this respectable gentleman was instructing me in such an indirect way. During the two hours discussion he was fully paying all his attention to my friend, but I felt that he is exactly talking to me. Anyway, he told him: “If there is a fake saint, if there is a false saint, pay attention, because that means there is a real saint also. Have you seen a fake 75 dollars bill? No, because there is no original 75 dollars bill. But if you meet a fake hundred dollars bill, then you have to be very attentive, because that means there is an original one.”

So, if you meet imperfection, pay attention – that means perfection exists!

 

(to be continued)

[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.7

 



Shyamasundara

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia )

“Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.“[1]

Question of Giridhari: It looks like there is some opposition between the two paths represented – the analytical knowledge and the mystic experience. Do we need to take only one of those paths, or we can harmoniously combine the both?

Swami Tirtha: Well, I think the best is to take the devotional path which is even beyond this general mystic path of yoga. Because what is the special contribution of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the general history of theological understanding? This is the love mysticism, spiritual love mysticism. That is beyond the general mysticism of yoga.

But I think we can agree: if you properly analyze the impermanent and permanent, the material and the spiritual, you will come to some spiritual vision. That is a mystic experience – you will see beyond the material forms. If somebody has this mystic approach, then he will be able to select nicely between proper and improper – so, again reaching the fruit of the other paths. While the real devotional, the direct devotional mystic experience means:

 

premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilochanena
santah sadaiva hridayeshu vilokayanti
yam shyama-sundaram achintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami[2]

 

“The eyes of the dedicated souls are anointed with the ointment of devotional love and as a result they will always see the beautiful Shyamasundar form of the Lord in their hearts.” That means direct God experience in your heart, in your innermost existence. “Therefore I will worship the primeval Lord Govinda.” So, this is the devotional alternative. Don’t waist too much time with analysis. Don’t worry about your mystic experience being a little late. Just go on chanting the names and you will reach your goal. I don’t see the contradiction. Because there is a higher conception which embraces everything before.

Giridhari: Maybe we have to read this text in another way: as each of the two paths gives the results of the other one, it’s impossible to take only one of those.

Swami Tirtha: Very good that you remind me, because if we have this devotional surplus, then our karma will become karma-yoga – our activities will become spiritual activities; then our knowledge will become like gyana-yoga. If you add devotion to karma, it becomes karma-yoga; if you add devotion to your knowledge, it becomes gyana-yoga. So, what happens if we add devotion to our yoga? Then it becomes yoga-yoga? Yoga on the square, correct. It’s the higher grade of yoga, multiplied by itself – connection multiplied by connection. Yoga-yoga.

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.4

[2] Brahma Samhita, 5.38



Srila-Sridhar-Maharaj-Praying

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia )

“Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.“[1]

Question of Ramvijay: Gurudev, in the Second and Third Chapters of the Gita are discussed the topics of sankhya-yoga and karma-yoga. Yet we see here Swami Prabhupad puts an equal sign between karma-yoga and bhakti-yoga, which is still not mentioned in the Gita at that point. Can you please explain us why this happens like this?

Swami Tirtha: Well, maybe I have a different edition, but my Gita on all the pages says: “Dedicate yourself to God”. So, maybe my Gita is wrong, I don’t know.

Ramvijay: May I have a copy of yours then?

Swami Tirtha: But apart from this remark… Ultimately everything depends on the school of interpretation that you belong to. Once a remarkable Indologist in Hungary said that: “All the conclusion of Bhagavad Gita is nirvana!” So, maybe her edition was also different, but then I had to check. I made a research, an analysis, so to say. And no doubt nirvana is mentioned in the Gita. Of course in the Gita everything is mentioned, nirvana included – I think three times it is mentioned in the context of brahma-nirvanam abhigachati[2] – “he will achieve liberation in Brahman”. But to put this as a conclusion – not only ultimate, but theoretical conclusion of the Gita – it’s impossible, it’s not true. This is not the conclusion. Because if you check how many times bhakti, dedication to God, is mentioned – it’s 36 times! And it is the conclusion of practically all the chapters.

Usually the outsiders prefer the Eleventh Chapter from the Gita – this is “The universal vision” – where Krishna shows His unlimited faces and arms, and majestic beauty, and universal conception beyond all human conceptions. This is so revolting and so embarrassing to Arjuna that he says: “Please, stop that!” Right, and outsiders say: “Oh, show me more! Give me more of this!” While devotees will say: “Let’s skip this chapter!” But even if you check the Eleventh Chapter – what is the end conclusion there? “Only through bhakti you can come to Me!”[3] Right, so this is not nirvana, this is not the universal conception – this is devotion which is the ultimate conclusion of the Gita. Because especially in the Kali epoch this devotional path is the most direct contact to perfection.

Therefore a teacher who belongs to this devotional school will see only devotion – practically in all chapters and all verses. Because for example, as Gurudev mentioned, when Shrila Shridhara Maharaja discusses the price of cement for building, for construction of a temple – that is pure prema-bhakti krishna katha. Because there is no other conception there!. In the same way we can talk about dhyana, we can talk about gyana, we can talk about the universal form – but we use this only as an alibi to speak about devotion.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.4

[2] Bhagavad Gita 5.24

[3] Bhagavad Gita 11.54



 

лодка

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia )

“One who knows that the position reached by the means of analytical study can also be attained by devotional service and who therefore sees analytical study and devotional service to be on the same level, sees things as they are.”[1]

I think this is very clear, it doesn’t need any more explanation. But the next verse gives us a very substantial advice: “Merely renouncing all activities yet not engaging in the devotional service of the Lord cannot make one happy. But a thoughtful person engaged in devotional service can achieve the Supreme without delay”[2].

This is the art of action. It’s not that you renounce, you stop your activities; but you dedicate your activities to the Lord. And serving others means that ‘I act as He likes’. It’s not that ‘I do as I like’. The next question is: What is the desire of God? How He’d like it? This is the fine tuning of the problem, but we can discuss it later.

Also it is mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam that those who think they are totally liberated, but don’t serve God, don’t establish this living and loving connection with the personality of God – they should return. Therefore this kind of impersonal perfection is not enough. Why? Because you cannot embrace a purple haze, right. We cannot fall in love with some energy. So, all those impersonal concepts try with the impossible. They want to think about the unthinkable – but it’s impossible. Or they want to explain the unexplainable. They want to reach the unreachable. It’s frustrating. You try, you try, you try – but you end up with: ‘No, it’s impossible!’ And think on the other side also. If you are God, and somebody says: “Oh, You are only a purple haze!” It’s a little offensive if somebody tells you: “Oh, you are a manifestation of energy!” No, you feel something more. That is true, you all have an aura, a manifestation, an emanation of your energy – that’s true. But you are also there. Same with the Supreme: everything is His manifestation, but He is beyond.

Therefore if you analyze what is spiritual, what is material – sankhya – if you can do it properly, you will finally reach the mystic experience. Because – according to the sacred teachings – we have to reach there, where everything is reached. “By reaching what we reach everything. By knowing what we know everything.”[3] Otherwise the Supreme is so much beyond all expectations and all understanding that yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasa saha[4] – “from there the words and the thoughts return because they are unable to reach”. Yato vacho nivartante aprapya – non reaching – manasa sahawith the mind.. Yet, we are very ambitious. Because we want to reach Him – and by reaching Him everything is reached; by knowing Him everything becomes known to you. That’s a mystic experience.

So, this is the art of action – dedicate all your activities to the Supreme, not according to your taste, according to His taste. And then, as it is mentioned here: “you can reach Him without delay”. What is the best action? The best action is to glorify the Supreme through His divine names.

 

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

 

“In this age of Kali, of conflicts and hypocrisy, there is no better way, no other way, no other way of reaching the Supreme than glorifying the Holy names.”

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.5

[2] Bhagavad Gita 5.6

[3] Mundaka Upanishad, 1.1.3

[4] Taittiriya Upanishad, 2.9.1



9daccd0b80e662a600a2df74859201f0

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia )

“Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.“[1]

So, the classical schools of darshana – the schools of philosophy – always go in pairs. The school of logic is connected to the school of material sciences, or atomism. And yoga, as the path of mysticism, is always connected to sankhya – the analytical study of existence. While the ritualistic science, the sacrificial activities are connected to Vedanta – this is the ontological wisdom of the Vedas. So, they always go in pairs. And here Krishna mentions that: “One who dedicates himself properly to one path will achieve the fruits of the other path also”.

Again this is a proof of a transcendental process. On the material plane it doesn’t happen. You try to cook your lunch and the supper is also accomplished. No way! All right, for the ascetics sometimes it happens, breakfast included. But generally we do one thing and we achieve one fruit. We are engaged with other activities – we reach another fruit. It’s impossible to have this cross reference. Because the material world is a logical world – however illogical it is. While the spiritual sky looks very illogical, yet it is very logical. Because there by practicing one path you can achieve the results of both.

What is this analytical study of the world, sankhya? You select: what is superficial and what is essential; what is spiritual and what is material; permanent and impermanent. And forget about the impermanent and dedicate more attention to the permanent. And what is yoga? Yoga is a mystic path, establishing a living and loving connection between human and Supreme. This is a path to perfection. And this is a mystic path. Mystic doesn’t come from mist. But mystic comes from the Greek ‘to keep silent’. So, to keep silent – that is the real mysticism. Definitely yoga is a mystic path and we cannot really teach mysticism. It’s impossible to teach somebody of a mystic experience. So, it is not a verbal action. It’s not words transferred to a person, but real mystic masters can create such circumstances, such an environment that the practitioners will come to some mystic experience. So, what is your preference? Some analytical study of ‘this is good, this is bad’, or some mystic experience?

Hayagriva: For me mystic.

Swami Tirtha: For you mystic, one for mystic. Others? Also for mystic? Then please, practice sankhya! Select what is proper, what is improper; what is material, what is spiritual. And then you will reach the mystic experience also. Because these two schools always go together. And as Krishna says here: “If you dedicate yourself properly to one of these two schools, these two paths, you will reach the results of both.”

Once a new devotee complained to his master: “Oh, master! You told me how to offer incense to Krishna – make two circles at the feet and this and that… But while I am counting I cannot focus my attention on the Lord.“ And the master said: “Oh, my dear son, if you focus on the Lord, you will count how many circles to do.” You see, by dedicating yourself to one, you will reach the results of both. Because counting the rounds, the circles, how to offer, all the formalities – this is like sankhya, analysis. Of course this is not part of the sankhya school, but it’s just like analysis – counting, selecting, doing properly. But establishing a living and loving, a mystic connection with the Supreme and loving offering with my incense – that is real yoga.

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.4



B.A.Narayan Maharaj

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia ) 

“One who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is known to be always renounced. Such a person, free from all dualities, easily overcomes material bondage and is completely liberated, O mighty-armed Arjuna.”[1]

Very important advice is given here – be independent! Renunciation doesn’t mean destruction of the objects. But it means to achieve a neutral, an unattached position. To be in such a renounced state of mind doesn’t mean that you change the color of your dress and you enter a monastic order. But it means that you develop an inner attitude to the dualities of life. Whether the external circumstances are favorable or unfavorable – you are equal, you’re in the state of equipoise. Is it easy to achieve? I think we all have some experience concerning this. But this is full renunciation.

Just to mention one practical story, because sometimes we might think that: ‘Oh this is too much theoretical’. Once in the old times Gurudev visited us. And ‘the old times’ means under police surveillance. Those were little risky times. Usually he was travelling in disguise, appearing in very unexpected moments – he knew his ways how to penetrate the system. And he gave us some very good, longstanding lessons. For example: “Don’t stop your car in front of the house where you give the lecture!” This is a very practical advice in conspiracy. Because if the police comes and you have to escape through the windows, it’s very difficult to reach your car if it is in front. Right, it’s very practical. You see, gurus give theoretical and practical knowledge at the same time. It’s still with me. I don’t park in front of this house. Of course it’s little difficult to jump from the window here, but believe or not, it happened on our farm – that when the police came devotees were escaping through the window.

Anyway, that’s another story. But once Gurudev was leaving and with one devotee he was approaching his car. And what did he see on the next corner where his car was parked? A big crowd around the car, two police cars standing beside, because his car was broken. Somebody broke the window and tried to rob it. And Gurudev with some bags was approaching – actually he was supposed to come here, to Sofia from Budapest. So they were approaching, approaching and he said to this devotee: ”Hey! There is a little trouble!” and they went aside and parted. Not to put the devotee into danger. But he was absolutely neutral. Just imagine, like a dissident, entering the country under danger; and he was totally undisturbed.

So, this is dedication, total dependence on God, on Krishna’s mercy and protection. This is the practical definition to be neutral, renounced. But he was very intent and very focused on the mission. Because after two-three hours of formalities, he could start and reach here in Sofia. “Such a person, free from all dualities, easily overcomes material bondage”.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.3