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March 2018
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We shall read from our book “The Loving Search for the Lost Servant” which so far helped us to understand the extraordinary features of krishna-bhakti. When usually people search after truth or God, from these teachings we can understand that the compassionate God is searching after the lost human beings. Religion means ‘we need Him’; and super-religion means ‘He needs us’. We cannot do anything else than let this invitation extended to us, work over us. And what is the way back? The way back is a path of faith. Therefore now we read about faith.

“Faith is the only means through which we can see, hear, or feel the higher world; otherwise it is all meaningless to us. To understand that plane, an inner awakenment is necessary. We can connect with the upper world only through a higher source. Therefore divyam-jnanam, knowledge of the higher plane, is not an ordinary knowledge; it is a transcendental, supramental feeling and sense. But to realize this, surrender is compulsory. After that, we may go on hearing and chanting, remembering and worshiping and praising the Lord, or rendering so many other kinds of service, but the first thing – the foundation of devotion – must be self-surrender. Otherwise nothing will be effected; our show of devotion will all be imitation. We must sincerely feel, “I shall be faithful in my service to the Supreme Lord. I am meant for Him. I am ready to die to live. I want to live for Him only, and not for fulfilling any separate interest. I want nothing less than the absolute. I want to be His completely.” This sort of intensity is an indispensable necessity for a devotee. A devotee has to conceive, to feel, that he is meant for Krishna. He is not an independent entity; He is dependent on Krishna – the highest absolute center – and nothing else.”[1]

So far two very important things were described. One is the nature of faith and the other is the nature of a devotee. Generally for some of our fellow human beings faith is only a belief – they believe what they don’t know. ‘I don’t know therefore I believe.’ What is that? This is not spiritual science. Shrila Prabhupad says that: “Bhakti-yoga is the method for scientific understanding of God”. Once I mentioned this on a lecture and all of a sudden a very bright young man said: “Scientific?!” He was surprised. Because usually people think that science and religion are two different things. And in most of the cases they are right. Unfortunately science doesn’t have enough faith and faith doesn’t have enough science, enough knowledge. But with blind faith we will end up in the ditch. Still, if we are blind, we cannot be enlightened, that’s for sure.

But here a different definition of faith is given, which is: “The only possible means of approach of a higher realm.” These days we agreed that the Vedas teach us very strictly like a father and Puranas teach us very softly like a mother, while the acharyas – the teachers, the gurus – they teach us very sweetly like a lover. Just imagine: if these first words – “there is no other way” – this is the sweetest essence, then how strict the Vedas or the Puranas must be? So, for Shrila Shridhara Maharaja faith meant the greatest power for a human being, which will bridge the gap between your present position and the divine reality. What is the source of faith?

Comment: Love.

Giridhari: There is nothing that is not given, or not coming from God, so it means faith is also coming from God?

Swami Tirtha: Do you see the beauty of bhakti? Two different approaches, both are correct.

Comment of Giridhari: As love and God is the same.

Swami Tirtha: Sometimes they have a schizophrenia, but that is divine. They are divided in order to be united again. If we want to be very concrete, we can say that faith comes from the faithful, from those who are faithful. Yet where does the faith of the faithful come? Objectively, on the tattva platform, we can say “Yes, the ultimate source is the Supreme Lord, God.” Or from a rasic point of view we can say that the source of faith, the origin of faith is love, divine love. But sometimes it is difficult to judge which one is first: love or faith. Whether God loves the souls so much that He injects faith into their hearts? Or whether humans have such a faith that the God of love cannot resist?



(to be continued)

[1] The Loving Search for the Lost Servant”,1st chapter, Planets of faith.


(continues from the previous Friday)

Question: Which is the best way to get rid of the ego?

Swami Tirtha: Serve others. Other questions?

Question of Sarvabhauma: As you said that although God is generator, operator and destructor, the most significant part of Him as Krishna is staying aside. Can we compare this somehow to our personal experience in the family, for example? When we are fulfilling our duties, but some aspect of ours is staying aside.

Swami Tirtha: Well, if you have your representatives who will make the generating, the operating and the destructive functions, then you can step aside. But don’t forget: to maintain something you have to dedicate yourself. There is no substitute for that. And this is one very general spiritual rule that you can only leave your present condition if you find your successor. For example a king – we know that the king should renounce the kingdom on time and go to the forest for meditation and purification. But you cannot do that until there is an inheritor. Without that you create a trouble and you will not help your own spiritual benefit either.

On the other hand let’s turn the question upside down. Would you be satisfied if your partner uses a substitute and doesn’t dedicate herself? That she preserves something from you? I think you wouldn’t be satisfied.

And at the same time I have to agree with you. Spiritual life has two aspects: one is the private, individual and the other is the community side. Community like sadhu-sanga. Or the very special type of sadhu-sanga – our family connections; this is sadhu-sanga also. So, definitely we have to dedicate ourselves to these different roles. At the same time we have to take care of our eternal ideals.

So, my answer is ‘yes and no’, or better ‘no and yes’! I wouldn’t be satisfied with a disciple who says: “Oh, yes, yes Gurudev, but…” How can I rely on such a person who always steps outside? I give the full freedom to step outside or inside, but with those who deliberately want to stay outside, I cannot dance with. I can dance only with those who are ready to dance. But if you deliberately say: ”I’m outside. I am here, but I am outside!”, then please don’t complain that “You don’t accept me.” Because you stay outside! In order to receive our portion of prasadam, mercy, we have to join fully. Then it’s harmonious. Little disharmony gives the spice of life, no doubt. But I think you all know what I mean.


(continues from the previous Friday)

Vishnu says: “Oh, I have all this court here in Vaikuntha. So many very respectful persons are around Me. And although I am on the top of the divine hierarchy, look at this Krishna! He is only a small cowherd boy, but He looks more happy than Me. His friends, His girlfriends are around Him. I have only one woman, He has got so many. So, He is better. His devotees are very close to Him. My devotees always respect Me, but His devotees – they love Him, they embrace Him, they play games. They eat together. Sometimes the boys steal the laddhus from His plate. Who will dare to steal anything from My plate? This majestic position is very official. Give me life! And finally My lila is Vaikuntha” says Vishnu.

Vaikuntha means no fear, no anxiety. So boringly peaceful! Look at Krishna’s pastimes – there is always happening something. Somebody is coming, some little talk, some little meeting here and there. It’s much more satisfying. So, this is where Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, the majestic God’s heart runs – Goloka. Therefore Shrila Shridhara Maharaja says: “To be hurled down to Vaikuntha”. We have understood that Vaikuntha means the best place! No fears, no anxieties. And Shridhara Maharaja considers this like an exile, like Siberia. Vaikuntha is like the spiritual Siberia. There must be something higher. So, therefore we should search what is higher.

We’ve made a little excursion, although we started from time. As Krishna says in the Gita: “I am time, destroyer of the worlds”[1]. And then we discussed the three different aspects of the Supreme: generator, operator, destructor. But fortunately there is another identification of Krishna with time in the Gita. Because He says: “And I exist as eternal time.”[2] So, for those who are not under the divine control, He exists as time as limited, destructive power; but for those who are under the divine control Krishna exists as eternal time.”

So, this is our approach to time. Therefore people fear time, time fears the pyramids, but we don’t fear time and we are not afraid of the pyramids.



(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 11.32

[2] Bhagavad Gita 10.33




(continues from the previous Friday)

What does Vishnu have in His four hands? A conch shell, a lotus, a chakra and a club.

The four weapons in the hands are divided: two for good purposes, two for chastisement, so to say. The conch shell is a symbol of fertility, of creation. This represents female power, female quality. And this is not simply a natural conch shell, this is a little worked up, a little change is promoted there because the end is cut. In this way you can use it as a sound instrument, you can use it as a horn. And this horn signals the victory of soul, of spirit over matter. So, it is a very auspicious sound. Therefore whenever we start a function at the altar, we sound the conch shell – to invite that divine power, divine protection, to propagate the victory of spirit over matter. It will invite the positive forces – it’s just like a repellent – and it will exclude the negative powers. And it also represents a cornucopia, that is in the hands of the Goddess of fortune. So all the divine treasures you can get, you can reach through its blessings. And as this is a sound instrument, it also signifies the importance of the divine sound. Therefore we can say that our chanting of mantras should respond to the invitation of Vishnu’s conch shell. Is that the ultimate sound? This is not the ultimate sound, the ultimate sound is Krishna’s flute. But anyway, now we are concerned with Vishnu.

So, the conch shell is the first – like creative power, wealth, blessings, victory, etc. The second is the padma, the lotus flower. This is the second blessing weapon, so to say, or attribute of Vishnu. The lotus flower is a symbol of purity. And usually in the hands of Vishnu you will find two different types of lotuses – sometimes it is open, sometimes it is closed, a bud. What does it mean? When it is closed it means that the creation is only potential, the universe is not manifested. When this lotus flower is fully open it means the creation is done, it is manifested. It shows that purity is so much necessary for our spiritual practices. Yet again, the lotus flower is not only the purity, but it’s also a great symbol of the creation, of the material sphere, as Vishnu is the Lord of this creation.

These are the very positive and the very inviting symbols of Vishnu. The other two – like the chakra and gada, the club – they are more difficult to understand. How is it that the protector God of love, of life, has very powerful weapons for killing? Because the chakra is like a disk, disk weapon – this is for killing. But killing what? Killing the demoniac tendencies, or the ego, as you say. So, whoever offends a vaishnava should face this chakra of Vishnu. This is fire, fire element. But it has got a special name – its name is sudarshana, “nice vision” – ‘Nice to meet you, chakra!’ If you meet the chakra of Vishnu and you are a demon, then it’s fearful. But if you are a bhakta, then it’s a very pleasant vision. Sudarshana also means “the perfect darshana, the perfect philosophy”. So, the perfect spiritual knowledge will cut through all the misconceptions. Because actually this is the greatest fight, this is the greatest struggle that we have to go through – to fight our misconceptions, to fight our ego. But su darshana, the perfect philosophy will help you in that. Therefore we have to study, my dear friends. If you don’t know the philosophy how can you apply that? First study, then apply. And sudarshana is revolving, it’s moving. So it’s an active power – not only chasing after the demoniac mentality, but also bringing the light to the world, the good philosophy.

So, there is only one more symbol of Vishnu left and this is the club. The club is for fighting the enemies – this shows the power. The king always has a scepter, which is the domesticated version of the club. It’s more tender, it’s more soft but it shows that: “I am in power”. The same with the danda of the ascetics. Power; if you have this stick, that means you have the power, you have the control. This is the axis mundi, the axis of the world, the center – you are in possession of the center, you are in the center. And also this is the tree of life. And also this is the cross.

We can go on describing this symbol for a long-long time, but why should we waste our time with the symbols? As Vishnu’s club is the symbol of knowledge – that gives you the power to destroy the enemies of life. So, you might think that Vishnu is a very sattvic personality, He is so tender, maintaining life, protecting everything, He is so nice and so sweet. Sorry, if you agitate Him enough, He will strike back. Smashingly! So, the enemies of the universal order must face this very powerful, majestic aspect of the Supreme. Therefore Vishnu says: “Oh, I have My four hands equipped with all these attributes. Krishna has only two hands and He’s got only a flute in His hands; yet everything dances according to His flute sound. Sometimes I have to use My club, I have to use My chakra. He is bigger, He is more powerful. He only plays the flute and everything happens.” But Krishna has some other attributes: like a stick – to take care of the cows and the small calves, you know walking here and there too much. So sometimes He also has to use the stick, but that is very sweet.


(to be continued)


(continues from the previous Friday) 

To break something down needs a special energy. This is called tamas. These three personalities – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – master these three types of energies: the creative power of rajas, or passion; the destructive power of tamas; and the peaceful and positive energy of sattva, or maintenance. What is the most difficult service: to break down something, to create something, or to maintain it? It’s obvious that maintenance is the greatest job. To destroy something is very easy, right. It’s very easy! And you don’t really have to make big efforts. Few words here and there, a little manipulation here and there and everything is destructed. To start something – it needs your efforts, no doubt. But to maintain something for a long time – it’s a permanent, constant support. It needs you, it doesn’t need your energy – it needs you.

And this is not a theory, my dear ones. Let’s check your families. To destroy your family connections is very easy! Very easy! One quarrel, and you break up. To start a family – well that’s also easy. It’s romantic and it goes very easily because you give all your passion: “I want this!” Yet if you act under this mood, very soon you will ask yourself: “Do I really want this?” But to maintain your family – how much effort it needs! How much time, how much patience, how much tolerance! When you have to submit, when you have to say: “Yes” although you feel: “No!” So, this is one of the best schools of spiritual elevation, because you have to learn to put your ego at the back. This is one of the best schools of adjusting to each other and maintaining you ideals for a long time. So, you see these energies of G-O-D pervade your life. God pervades your life, G-O-D.

And what about your spiritual life? To destroy – it is very easy. One great mistake and you can finish it. To start it – well, little more efforts have to be given, it’s a little more difficult, yet still it’s easy. But to maintain it for a long time – that’s difficult. Why? Because we cannot make that preservation by some external things. We have to dedicate ourselves, we have to give ourselves. Just like Vishnu is ready to divide Himself, to share Himself with the living beings. He is there in everybody’s heart, right. In the same way, if you want to maintain any structure that you create, you have to dedicate yourself.

Maybe now you can understand a little why Krishna is engaged in different activities than these. And all these personalities are aware of their relative position. Shiva knows that: ”Oh, I am only meditating!” because he is a yogi. Brahma laments that: “Oh, I am engaged in the creative functions of the universe and I am so busy!” While Vishnu knows that: “Although I am the closest channel, still I don’t have the extra qualities of Krishna. I am beautiful enough, no doubt. But He is more beautiful. I have all My weapons in My hands. I have four hands, He’s got only two. But what do I have in my four hands?” What does Vishnu have in His four hands? A conch shell, a lotus, a chakra and a club.


(to be continued)

time 3

There is a proverb: “People fear time, time fears the pyramids”. Sometimes buildings erected by human beings are quite long-lasting – six thousand years or something like this. How many? All right – five. After one thousand years we shall come back to this point. By the way, just to remark: the son of one fighter who was on the Arabs’ side and was very active in the crusades started to demolish one of the smaller pyramids. They were working hard for half a year – they could make a little scratch on the surface. Then they gave it up. I think after one thousand years we can truly come back to this point – it will stand there.

But there is another proverb: “People say: “Time is passing”; and time is only laughing and says: “People are passing”. So, we have a very special, very ambivalent relationship with time. Although we live in time – so, this is like a natural frequency for us – it’s got some sometimes painful, sometimes fearful aspects also. And there is a natural tendency in the human beings that they want to survive. Sooner or later we shall understand that we cannot survive bodily. Therefore we want to survive in something – maybe in our sons or daughters. Or ‘my creation; whatever I have created should go on.’ In something, by something we want to postpone this finishing aspect of time.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: ”I am the time, extinguisher of the worlds”[1]. Oh, that’s fearful! God – by this potency, by this power of time – will finish everything on this material plane. Therefore God is like a code for the three aspects of the Supreme: G-O-D – generator, operator and destructor. Generator means the source, from whom everything comes. Operator means the person who maintains, sustains the system. And destructor means who will finish it.

These three aspects are represented by three guna-avataras. Krishna is the ultimate source, the love of God. So, of course He is not concerned in creating the world and doing this and that – it’s very insignificant for Him. He plays His flute; it’s a much better engagement. To create the worlds and maintain all of them, to take all the trouble – He delegates these duties to others.

The generator is Brahma – the representative of the male energy, creative force. And he started the creation by meditation, don’t forget. Usually we have smaller duties in this lifetime than creating a whole universe, right? We have some duties, sometimes they look very complicated, but compared to Brahma’s duty, they are very insignificant. Still, he started with meditation. Then he ended up with prayers. We should follow his example. The first being in this universe started with meditation and ended with prayers. That means whatever you have to start, first please meditate over this. And when you will understand that this task is much bigger than you, then pray! Pray for the divine power to help you and to empower you to accomplish. So, this is the aspect of creation, creative power, passionate energy.

The second aspect is Vishnu, who is the maintainer of the Universe. The name of Brahma means “to grow over the brim”. So, Brahma means this gushing forth force. It’s creation: some energy manifesting, showing itself – Brahma. Vishnu is different. He is the maintainer and His name means “to pervade”. He is present everywhere. His duty is to maintain the creative order, to provide for the living beings, and permanently support and protect life. Therefore in the universal construction He is compared to Surya, Surya-Narayana. Like the sun helps, protects and nourishes life on Earth, in the same way God as the transcendental sun nourishes all living creatures. And we know that Vishnu maintains a very special state of mind. By His presence He takes care of the universal affairs. Yet, from time to time there is a need for little reconstructing the things; then He goes into a slumber. They say that this world is a dream of Vishnu. It’s a divine dream. We perceive it as a bitter illusion, but this is a divine dream for Him. So, this is the function of Vishnu – to maintain.

And the third aspect of G-O-D is the destructive power – this is called Shiva. What is the meaning of the name Shiva? “Blessings”. Wow! That’s a concept! End of the world is a blessing?! That’s interesting. How is it? Yes, because Shiva has a double character. Shiva is constructively destructive. That means he disassembles this universal order – in order to give chance to a new creation. Therefore this is a blissful act – after the end of the world a new chapter will come. Whatever is wrong, whatever has gone bad, just erase it and start it anew. So, this is a blessing over the world and the living entities, although some little suffering is included.

And what character do we have? Sorry to say, but many times we are destructively constructive. We construct so many things and then you will see the effect – it’s very destructive. Shiva is different – he is destructive, but for a good purpose; we are constructive, but for a bad purpose.


(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 11.32


Question of Giridhari: Gurudev, everything is provided to us by God, including the willpower. As it is given to us, so it could be taken from us, as everything else. God said to Arjuna that He provides him the chance to choose. And He described him the consequences from the two options. So, God confirms that He gave him the willpower.

Swami Tirtha: Do you believe everything that this God says? Because this is a very sweet topic. And actually this is one of my favorite points in the Gita. There Krishna takes the position of a teacher and Arjuna takes the position of a student. And if you examine the Gita from the psychological point of view, you will see that Krishna is so expert in using all the different possible motivations to activate Arjuna to act according to His desire. The majority of the verses of the Gita are spoken by Krishna – five hundred something; all through these five hundred verses He forces Arjuna to some understanding. And as you said, describing the consequences, He brings Arjuna to a certain point. Here Krishna is just like playing chess and He achieves such a position that there is only one step for Arjuna. And then He says: “Now choose as you like!” He has only one choice!

So, then what does Krishna give us, what does he give Arjuna? He gives Arjuna the illusion of free choice. And then Arjuna is very satisfied, he says: “I accept everything that You say!” So, using his free will he agrees with Krishna. You can see that Krishna is quite tricky. He brings Arjuna into the trap and then He says: “Now you can go!” And this is repeated many times.

But if Krishna gives this to Arjuna, it strikes back sometimes. The gopies can do the same with Krishna. You know, the gopies sometimes are a little upset. And they have some plans to retaliate. But they are very gentle beings, so, they devise a special way to retaliate Krishna’s cruel ways of dealing with them. Because you know, He is sometimes inviting them, they are ready to jump and give up everything, and then He says: “Oh, why did you come? Go back home, it’s not nice that you are wandering during the night alone in the forest.” Just imagine yourself: you are escaping from your family bed and then your lover will say: “Sorry, it’s a mistake you’ve made”. And it is said that men will never forget their friends, but they are easily forgetting their lovers. While ladies can easily forget about their friends, but they never forget about their lovers.

So, on the same night the gopies made a note: ‘Aha, Krishna, You behave like this!’ and they started to devise a method to retaliate, to strike back. So, next time they meet: “Oh, Krishna, You are here! Can we give a little massage on Your feet?” And Krishna, a romantic young boy, says: “Oh, yes, yes! Why not.” Again imagine yourself: somebody is giving a massage to your lotus… to your cactus feet. How much freedom do you have to move at that moment? When your feet are held very tight, there is no freedom. And then the gopies start with their message. First slowly, nicely: “Krishna, what is Your conception about love?” And then they press harder: “What kind of lover You are?!”

So, what is the free will? Krishna gives this ‘no choice’ choice to Arjuna and then He gets it back – the gopies give no choice to Krishna.

But this same free will, choice, freedom is also represented by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in a very beautiful way. Because at that time Krishna comes as a servant, as a bhakta. When telling the Gita Krishna had the position of instructing and He put Arjuna into that situation. When He came as Mahaprabhu He preserved the same mentality of that forced circumstances, showing that there is no freedom. But as this time He came as a servant, now He will exercise this power over God. So, in the Gita God uses this power over the devotee; now a devotee uses the same power over God. This is when He says: “Whatever You do – maybe You embrace Me, maybe You crush Me under Your feet – I am your unconditional servant”[1]. Right, so there is no escape for God from that catch. “Whatever You do, I am Yours and You are Mine!”

Could Arjuna escape? No, he couldn’t. And could Krishna escape from Mahaprabhu’s way? Sorry, no escape – not even for God. So, by this emotional approach – because Mahaprabhu’s “Shikshashtakam” is very emotional – although we agreed that emotion provides us some freedom, but even by this you can limit the freedom of God!

Please consider this point. Then we shall see that freedom is an illusion. But if we harmonize our illusion with the divine plan, then this is a sweet illusion.

Giridhari: Thank you for your explanation. Yet I can’t get rid of the feeling that God is not crushing Arjuna’s will, but He is crushing his illusion and giving him understanding so that he is not acting by his whims.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, on the tattva platform this is true what you say. But if you observe the same from the rasa platform, exchange of friendship – then it’s a different story.

[1] Shikshashtaka 8



Question of Ilko: We are often talking with my wife about the free will – to what extent it exists. Even a grass cannot move without the will of God, it is said. Is there such a thing as free will?

Swami Tirtha: In your family who says that there is free will? It’s your wife. And who says that there is no free will? You, yourself. You see, this is the beautiful and harmonious unity of the female and the male energies. Because the prabhus are more like intellectual. And if you think, if you analyze, you will see that nothing is by chance. So, in one sense there is no free will. Everything is determined. But the loving heart of a wife or a mother cannot agree with that. Why? Because ladies are not intellectually approaching the supreme truth. Their approach is emotional, and on the emotional side we have freedom. On the basis of facts there is no freedom, sorry. I fully agree with you. But on the emotional approach definitely you can give more, or even more to God. It depends on you.

I don’t know how much this point answers your question or helps this topic. But think, there is a big difference between these two approaches. And if we can also somehow catch on this intuitive approach of reality, then we might also find some freedom for ourselves.

But I like so much that you represent these two different ideas. Because usually on the golden middle point you can meet. Either we are determined by karma, action-reaction, which is like a secondary control of the Supreme, or we are directly under the control of Divine providence. I don’t see too much freedom here. And the closer we go, the more we are dominated by Divine love. We are not the subjects, but we are the objects – so it will embrace us, invite us to this dance.

Maybe in between, on Brahman, on this neutral platform, there is some little freedom – when you are beyond matter, and when you are in front of spiritual existence, active reality. But that is just like a vacuum, so again that is not real freedom.

The main problem is that in the material sphere, on the material plane we cannot agree with the loss of our free will. Why? Because we think subjectively: ‘I want to be the center, I want to be free.’ And when you observe that you are not free to do whatever you like, then you revolt. But on the spiritual plane we are dominated by the Divine will – again there is not so much free will. Because He plays the flute, it’s not you. And we dance, hopefully.

And just between you and me: when I was young I believed in free will. Not anymore.

Harilila: I think it’s logical to have some free will, because the material world is like a place from where the souls have to return to God. And how can they express their love without having free will?

Swami Tirtha: Therefore I said that in the emotional reality we have some little free will. If there is any chance for free will, this is on the emotional plane of reality. And again that shows the beauty and the greatness of devotion. So, bhakti will bring us to free will, but then we are ready to give up this freedom given to us. Because with our free consent we say “yes” to Krishna. Once you have said “yes”, can you say “no”? Again we have lost our freedom.

Harilila: The question is who says ‘yes’? ‘Yes’ means will.

Swami Tirtha: Very important point. Because if you observe and analyze the world a little bit, you will see that for the last few hundred years everything is dominated by the human willpower. We are so proud of our willpower that we want to resolve all the questions, all the problems – created by our previous activities. All the achievements that we can see are results of the human willpower. And by this we have come to the limit of this type of progress – material progress. Therefore this is time to exchange the dominating willpower with something. This approach worked so far and created the trap that all humanity suffers. So, we have to find a new approach, a new way. And the human mind has three functions. What are the three functions of the mind?

Hayagriva: Thinking, willing and…

Swami Tirtha: And?

Hayagriva: Feeling!

Swami Tirtha: Don’t forget about that, please – this is bhaktiyoga. So, thinking the first function of the mind, it had its place in human history. Willing, or the willpower, as the second function of the mind, has created this present condition on the planet Earth. We have to find the entrance to the third function. So, if you expect a shift in the poles, or the end of the world this December, then this is what should end – the era of willpower. And a new stage, a new phase should start – the era of feeling.



(continues from the previous Friday) 

“Om tad visno paramam padam sada pasyanti suraya diviva caksur atatam – this is a principal mantra in the “Rig Veda”. Before anyone approaches a new duty he should think about his own position. We have been instructed by this verse from the Vedas to think in this way: “You are under the vigilant eye of your guardian, and that great eye is as living as the sun; its glance is just like that of the sun which is over your head. Like a light that can pierce through to see anything within you, His piercing glance is upon you.” With this understanding of identity we should approach our duty. We are never encouraged to think that we stand firmly here on solid earth and that on the basis of a strong position, independent of His grace, we can carry out our dharma.

Actually, in our subjective relationship with divinity, we are just like the rays of the sun. Where do the sun’s rays stand? They stand on the sun – that is their source. In the same way, we should think that our stand is in the realm of divinity; we are so many particles of consciousness, and our motherland is that conscious area. God consciousness means Krishna consciousness. We are consciousness and we are meant for Krishna consciousness – that is our relationship. We should always remember and be conscious of this fact.

We are members of the Krishna conscious world. And we have come to wander in the foreign land of material consciousness, maya, misconception, thinking that we are units of this material world, but it is not so. We are units of the conscious world and somehow we have come within this material conception of existence, the world of matter. Matter is what we can exploit, the objective side of reality, and the subjective side is the element we should revere. Our relationship with the subjective is that of reverence and devotion to the higher entity, and not that of exploitation or enjoyment. Real enjoyment, divine enjoyment, comes from service – not from exploitation.”[1]

Swami Tirtha: This is so beautiful that we arrived back to one of our original topics – what is the source of happiness. If we are parts of that divine realm, that’s a very glorious origin. That means that you are transcendental.

Once there was training for healthcare servants in a hospital. And one part of the training was that they had to imagine and describe their death. The vast majority of the descriptions were of very painful death – suffering like this and dying like that. While there were one or two people who had deep faith. Their description was different: “Well, we just go back home, go back to Godhead” or “We just fall asleep and we are awakened in a different level of reality.” This is the difference between a materialistic point of view and a spiritual point of view. If you feel, if you think deeply that ‘I am completely taken from matter’, then you will return back to matter. But if we understand that we are citkana, conscious particles, then we shall return to this original conscious sphere. This means a glorious origin and a glorious destination.

If you meet some people who are well versed in the Vedas, they will say: “What is this Krishna? He is not mentioned in the Vedas.” And then if you are not well versed in the Vedas, you will be surprised: “Ah! Our God, our faith is not mentioned in the Vedas?!” And these experts will say: “Oh, the majority of the Rig Veda which is considered to be the oldest Veda, the majority of its mantras and hymns are dedicated to Indra and Agni, and this and that.“ – which is true, by the way. But if you are not well versed in the Vedas, again you will be baffled. Who has read the Rig Veda here? Not so many. Sometimes the devotees are very eager to establish like Vedic clubs, although they do not know anything about Vedas. It’s like a good word. So, why do you quote the Vedas, if you don’t know anything about them?

Therefore if you want to master the Rig Veda – which is quite a job – it’s enough to learn one mantra from there: “Om tad visno paramam padam sada pasyanti suraya diviva caksur atatam tad vipraso vipanyavo jagrvam sah samindhate vishnor yat paramam padam[2]. One verse is enough to stop all the criticism that Vishnu’s worship is not mentioned in the Rig Veda. Of course the Rig Veda glorifies the demigods. But here in this verse it says: “And all these demigods look up to the lotus feet of Vishnu”. Then why should we read all the hymns dedicated to Indra or Agni? There is a hymn in the Rig Veda dedicated to the frogs. There is another hymn dedicated to the dogs. Why should we read that? We should focus our attention to that point where all these different great personalities look up.

Therefore this is highly recommended to study the Rig Veda by learning this mantra at least. And it works, I tell you. If you quote the Sanskrit to an Indologist, you will win. It’s tested.

But how is it? What is Krishna’s position in this whole great divine construction of revelations and Vedas, and Vedic scriptures, and Puranas, and Vedanta, and Upanishads, and this and that…Where is Krishna? Where is our Lord? Well, we can say that the different shastras, the different scriptures, teach different kinds of people. Certain parts of the shastras are more like intellectual and theological constructions – like debates and textbooks. While others will tell us something different. Therefore they say that the Vedas are speaking to you just like a strong father. Because they will show you that the main method of worship is sacrifice. Then the Puranas, the old histories, will speak to you like a loving, gentle mother. We know in our life privately these two energies. Fathers usually instruct strictly: “Do this, do that! Otherwise…” While mothers are very tender, very sweet: “All right, all right. Come here, my dear son!” But the acharyas, the teachers, the gurus – they speak to you like lovers. We respect the father, we love the mother, but we are enamored with our beloved one. Therefore it is said that the guru is the living shastra, he is the living Veda – on certain conditions: if he follows the father and the mother and his beloved ones.

So, I hope you understand these points. Try to identify yourself not as a result, not as a fruit of material evolution. But we should understand that we originate from the spiritual conscious eternal world. And we are objects of the observation of the Supreme Lord. That also means we are never left alone. This loving-eyed, this tender-eyed God is always with us. So, we cannot hide either. And instead of exploiting mentality, by serving mentality we can come closer to the full satisfaction of the heart.

[1] From The Loving Search for the Lost Servant by Shrila Shridhara Maharaj

[2] Rig Veda 1.22.20


“The Rig Veda mantra says: “Om tad visno paramam padam sada pasyanti suraya diviva caksur atatam”. The divine feet of our holy Lord are like the sun above our heads. His holy feet are like the vigilant eye of a grand guardian hanging over our heads like the sun, and we are living beneath the glance of that vigilant eye. We are interested not in objective, but in subjective reality. We shall always try to live not in objective, but in subjective relativity. We should never think, “Under my feet I have firm ground to stand on; I am big, I shall stand erect.” Rather we should think “Above my consciousness is superconsciousness; the vigilant guardian’s eye is always watching me. I am living under the glance of that eye.” Our support comes not from below, but from above. He is our shelter. We are hanging from that substantial upper world wherein He resides; our support is found there. We must always be conscious of that.”[1]

Swami Tirtha: Here two very important topics are mentioned: the subjective and the objective reality. The wording of Shrila Shridhara Maharaj is very special, a little unusual. We have to understand properly what is what. Because usually we are trained to have the vision of objective reality: that is ‘I am the center and I observe everything that is around. That is the objective world and I am the subject to observe.’ But he puts it in a completely different way. Sometimes the technique of finding the opposites or observing the same situation from a different point of view brings a new kind of understanding. In the same way, having this shift of vision from the subjective and objective side gives a much more complete and comprehensive picture of the reality. Because here he says: “I am the object. I am to be observed. It’s not that ‘I observe God’, but He is the center. He is the super subjective reality, and He is looking around.”

Many times we discuss egotism. And you think that simply by bowing your head sometimes, it’s enough. But it’s not enough. Radically we have to change our vision, so that we can give up this false conception that we are the center of the universe and we are observing whatever happens around. Rather, we should understand that there is somebody who is observing. God is the subject. He is the person to look around. So, we and everybody else, and of course all the objects of the world, are the objects of His observation. This is a very delicate point, still very important. It is not that I will come to the temple to see God, but I will come to the temple to show myself, to be observed by Him. Because I am not the center, He is the center. In this way we can exchange our subjective egocentric feeling into something else – that He is in the center, and He is observing us.

And also it is mentioned that our support is not from under, but this is from above. The evolutionary theory says that material particles start to assemble and finally the mud starts to think and to feel. Sounds good! I think this is a little mind-blowing that by chance the particles come together to formulate you, for example. Just imagine, if by chance somebody starts to assemble different parts and elements in a wasteland. How long does it need to assemble a computer by chance? So, this means that you think that the support is under you – you are a fruit, you are a top of something big under you. We also believe in evolution, but we believe in spiritual evolution – that there is a source and we depend on that higher reality. Of course I am not criticizing the scientific theories, because this is the topic of the scientists. They say that the crude can manifest the subtle; but in the same way we can say: no, the subtle can manifest the crude. With the same reasoning, with the same background we can support this view also. This is called densification theory, becoming more and more condensed. So, the finer starts to coagulate and starts to become thicker, more dense.

Anyway, this is nice to depend on the material background. Because if we understand that our bodily self belongs to this cosmic matter, it will help us to adjust in a more proper way to this environment. But, if we understand that we depend on a higher reality, that background is much more enlivening.


(to be continued)

[1] From The Loving Search for the Lost Servant by Shrila Shridhara Maharaj