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August 2017
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Extra English Issues issues

Krishna talks to Arjuna

Question: I know it’s not possible to explain it in brief, but could you please mention what are the spiritual practices that will help us to purify our consciousness?

Swami Tirtha: Very good question, thank you! We have one very beautiful book here, this is the Bhagavad Gita. This is so important in the Indian philosophy just like the Bible in our country. And here we find some suggestions concerning your question in the Twelfth Chapter.

This book is like a discussion between God and one of His beloved servants. Krishna, God is speaking here and His friend Arjuna – Arjuna is a fighter and they are in front of a war. Arjuna, the fighter, inquires: “What to do? What is the proper action?” Then Krishna explains him everything about the proper action, eternity of the soul, about karma – the action-reaction law. And later on Krishna will say what the perfection of life is: “Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.” As you asked what the best spiritual practices are, here you will find the answer – the best is if we can always think of God, always be united with Him, always live in Him. Is it easy?

Answer: It’s very difficult.

Swami Tirtha: It’s very difficult. Krishna knows this, therefore He gives a second alternative: “My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.” So if you cannot permanently focus your consciousness in deep meditation and deep absorption in God, then follow the regulative principles. Shall I tell you some?

Answer: Yes!

Swami Tirtha: Ah! It’s a long list. Avoid violence. We can practice it if we have this very nice, very healthy vegetarian diet – there is no violence in your energy input. Then try to avoid intoxicants. Then try to be fateful to your partner. And try to avoid mental disturbance – like speculation and hazard. Fortunately there are four positive principles also that should be followed and these are satyam, daya, tapa, shaucham. Satyam – tell the truth, be truthful; daya – be merciful and compassionate; tapa – lead a simple, renounced life; and shaucham means purity, be pure – in your body, in your mind, in your actions, in your words.

Is that easy to do? Our God is omniscient, He knows that even that is very difficult for the human beings, therefore He gives another alternative:  “If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.” So, if we dedicate all our activities to the divine cause, if we want to work for the happiness of God Supreme, then it will automatically bring you to a higher level. But all activities should be dedicated to the Supreme.

Shall I ask you again: is it easy or not? The next verse says: “If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.” That means selfless actions. Be ready to help others, share what you have, be a real human being. This is a very nice feature – if we learn to share what we have.

But to be selfless, again, if we have no motivation, it’s very difficult to act in a selfless way. Therefore the last verse says: “If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”[1]

So here we have a beautiful structure – how to practice, where to start. You can start with knowledge. And spiritual knowledge means that you differentiate between material and spiritual. It’s very important to distinguish what is what – this is permanent, this is impermanent. Then the next step is meditation. Meditation is very popular these days. If a young man sees a beautiful young woman he says: “Ah, I meditate.” But this is not meditation, my dears. Meditation is when you connect your consciousness to the supreme consciousness, to charge yourself with these spiritual powers and vibrations. Then selfless activity is the next step. And then dedicate your activities to God directly. Then the higher plane is to follow these very important principles. And finally you can reach your permanent absorption in divine consciousness.

But if we want to be more practical… for maybe this is too general for you – I tell you what I do in the mornings, good? We rise early, we have a little ceremony in front of our altar – we offer some flowers, some incense, some other articles to God – then we sing spiritual songs – this helps you also to come to that higher platform; and then we have our private personal meditation – like prayers and chanting mantras. And if you have Bhagavad Gita at home, it’s very good to read at least one verse every day. If you can find, let’s say, half an hour in the morning, this is very good for spiritual practices – to pray, to read, to study, to meditate a little bit. Then you can start your day and you will see the difference. If we can start our day in this mood, it will be a very peaceful and very fruitful day. And if you want to check yourself whether you have maintained your consciousness during the day, in the evening again you should look into yourself: what did you do, what you didn’t do, what did you miss and what did you gain. This is enough to start.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 12.8-12





Question: We have heard that in India there are yogis who live only by taking sunshine. Can you tell us what foodstuffs can bring more spiritual level of consciousness?

Swami Tirtha: Thank you for this question. Yes, sometimes yogis have these very unique and very magical capacities. But other yogis don’t have such magical capacities, nevertheless they are yogis. What is important is the energy input into the body. So, foodstuff is energy. By birth we are determined to take foodstuff. If you see a small boy, he is ready to eat permanently. So human beings are very connected to foodstuff. This is one level of consciousness. Our consciousness is covered by different layers, and foodstuff or this type of energy is one of the basic layers over our consciousness. You know the human body – and the human intellect! – is a very precise and a very sensitive instrument. And you can supply this instrument with different energies – you can give negative type of energies and you can give very purified, very pure energies to this body.

So those yogis, who take only the sunshine, they take very high class energy. Very fine, very delicate energy – it’s more like a vibration, it’s more like radiation that they absorb. And they can maintain the body like this. With all my humility, I don’t suggest that you try this. Because without the previous training it can be very dangerous.

But we can understand that the fuel to our body is the foodstuff. What do you do at a petrol station if you have a diesel car? Do you put petrol into your car or diesel? Of course you will put diesel, right, otherwise it just blows up or it does not work. And what is more complicated structure – a car or your body? I think the body is much more complicated, much more delicate. Therefore we also have to be very careful about the energy input into our vehicle. The more positive, the more living, the more pure energy we give to the body, it will reflect on our consciousness – and on our health, of course.

Therefore for the yogis it is suggested that they should refrain from meat. Usually the yogis follow a vegetarian diet, which has become the most fashionable diet in the West. So, you see, the western civilization follows the East maybe few thousand years later, but it will come also. Because if we supply this very tender, very pure energy coming from the plants – like wheat, fruits, vegetables, etc. – then it will help the body to become healthy and will purify the consciousness. I myself also follow a vegetarian diet and I can tell you that this is very good!

And you know, nature is very much taking care of all the living entities. God has arranged this world in such a way that He provides for everyone. But all the wealth is not enough to satisfy the greed of only one person. So, we have to develop a proper attitude.


Question: Do you accept the theory of Krishnamurti?

Swami Tirtha: Jidu Krishnamurti is a very famous personality on the Earth. And he was very supportive, very positive on the human capacities, on the human prospects.

Question: He says: “Never search for happiness, you have no chance unless happiness finds you.”

Swami Tirtha: That’s good.

Question: Is it good? Then?

Swami Tirtha: Then what to do?

Question: Yes.

Swami Tirtha: Thank you for this upgrade question. Because the subtle know-how of perfection is very close to your idea. Usually we think that ‘If I search, then I will find.’ Or ‘If I start to learn or study something, then I will know.’ We are trained like this – you do something and then you acquire, you capture.  But there is a little more subtle and more delicate knowledge about the working of the spiritual laws. Actually we should understand that everything descends upon us. It’s not that we build up from the ground level to something high, but everything descends to this world from the higher, divine realm. And in this way your remark is very relevant, because happiness comes, happiness is given to human beings. It’s not that ‘I will catch it’. We are part of a descending process. We do believe that everything starts in the divine realm and everything is just vibrated out, or spread out from that original source. And our duty is to prepare ourselves to receive these gifts. So when I say that from the external direction we have to turn inwards, this is what I mean. We should apply the proper method to find happiness. And as soon as our vision is purified, we shall see that only blessings are around us. It’s a very remarkable change of vision.

Once they asked a master: “How to achieve this very elevated, spiritual state of consciousness?” And he said: “To achieve what? Don’t you realize it’s all around?” Then the next question was: “Can you tell us what the best time for spiritual practices is?” And then he said: “Time?!” So those who are on the purified level they have a little different vision than us.

Nevertheless, if we are realistic a little bit, we should purify our perception, our existence so much that we could receive, accept what is given to us. The sun is always shining. But sometimes the clouds hide it. This is the only thing that we have to remove – the clouds of misunderstanding, the clouds of ignorance. Then you can enjoy the full benefits of the sunshine.



the two birds

Swami Tirtha: It is said: you cannot really understand yourself without parallelly understanding the Supreme Lord. May I ask you where is God?

Answer: Somewhere here.

Swami Tirtha: Somewhere here? Maybe closer than we expect. There is a beautiful verse in our tradition: naham vasami vaikunthe… – “I don’t live in My divine realm. I don’t live in the meditation of the yogis. But I live in the heart of My pure followers.”

Of course God is not only there on the inside, He is there on the outside also. If we have the eyes, we shall see His creation, we shall see the result of His beautiful actions everywhere. And also we shall be able to perceive His presence in our heart.

In our secret teachings it is described that the body is compared to a tree. And the main branch of this tree is the heart. And on this main branch two birds live. One is the individual soul – we ourselves – and the other is this divine presence, this divine soul. The first one is picking the fruits of this tree. And you know, the fruits are sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour – different. So until we are engaged in trying to enjoy the fruits of our body, of our bodily actions and we don’t come to a spiritual platform, we have to reap the harvest, we have to take the consequences of our actions. But as soon as this bird who tastes the fruits turns its attention to the supreme presence, immediately all the suffering is finished.

Actually this is our only duty in this lifetime: from the external go to the internal, from material come to the spiritual. “From the unreal lead me to the real; from the darkness lead me to the light; and from death lead me to eternity.”[1] This is a beautiful general prayer, which will help all of us. And as soon as we get rid of the material contamination, we shall have a personal realization of the higher truths and the higher happiness.

Now you can say: ‘Ah, again empty words.’ Or ‘Now I am suffering; maybe in the heaven I will be happy. You say that now I am in limited consciousness; when my consciousness is purified, then I will be happy – but it’s so far away!” So, don’t believe in promises! Try it for yourself! It’s free, this process is free. And this is not a joke, although we sit here in the House of the Satire. So, if we try the spiritual process of self-realization, then we can come closer to our original identity of being an eternal, conscious and happy living being.

Our meditation or our prayer is focused on a very ancient mantra. Mantra means a kind of prayer for the liberation of your consciousness. There is unlimited number of mantras, but there is one special mantra, this is called the maha-mantra, or the great mantra of liberation. This mantra consists of the names of God. You see, in the Gita Krishna is speaking – so He is God Supreme. And the words in this mantra are: Hare – which is divine bliss or the love energy of God; then Krishna – Krishna is the Supreme Lord; and Rama – which is, let’s say, the happiness that you can feel if you are connected to the Lord. So, this is a very ancient mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare – and you can find it in unlimited places in India also. There are some temples where they have sung this mantra for five hundred years permanently. And this is a very direct way of connection with God.


[1] Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28


If we want to put it very simply: we are eternal souls. We are not the perishable body, but we are eternal souls. And this is a very important scientific and theological fact that existence is there. So, we don’t come from nothing, the manifested world does not come from nothing. Because if something comes from nothing, then it will return to nothing. But as we come from something, the whole creation comes from something, most probably it can return to the source. Again to put it very simply: if man is created by God, then we can return to Him. Because we are eternal souls, belonging to that divine realm. This is the first feature of the soul.

What is the second? The second is consciousness. We are all conscious living beings. Sometimes it’s not so obvious with some fellow human beings, but basically we are called homo sapiens, right – knowledgeable beings.

And what is the goal of consciousness? Existence has any meaning only if it is conscious. If we did not have our consciousness, we would not be called human beings but cucumbers, walking on two legs. So, consciousness makes living worth. It gives a meaning to existence. And if we are conscious living beings, what shall we do? We shall search for happiness. Intelligence means that you become happy.

Do you feel these features manifested in your life – eternity, knowledge and happiness? Comsi-comsa[1], yes and no. We hope that it is like this, but we are always limited. Our eternity is limited by birth and death; our knowledge is limited either by young age or by old age. And the definition of happiness given by Sigmund Freud, the great psychologist, is as follows: he said that when you don’t suffer too much – this is happiness. You know, it’s very close to the truth, but nevertheless I was not satisfied by this definition of happiness: when you don’t suffer. I wanted something positive. Give me a positive definition of happiness! As we are living beings, existing here on this planet Earth and we have our consciousness, we should search for happiness. Practically every living being, every living entity is doing that. The plants are reaching out for sunshine, the birds are trying to find some foodstuffs for themselves, everybody is searching for happiness. Especially in springtime human beings are motivated by search for a partner for a romantic love affair, but soon winter will come.

So our happiness always comes and goes. We have to be intelligent enough to search for some happiness that will not leave us. And the know-how of eternal happiness is very easy. So far we were searching outside and we thought that by possessing certain things we shall be satisfied. Did it happen to you? I think the collecting period started, but the result is not fulfilling yet. So, the solution is, instead of trying to search for happiness outside, try to search your happiness inside – this is an internal path. And if we elevate our consciousness to higher and higher levels, even the same conditions we can perceive from a different point of view.

Shall I tell you a story about it? The same reality – different visions. In the ancient times three great personalities met – Lord Buddha, Kung Fu Tze and Lao Tze. They came together and they started to examine a jar with vinegar. We all know the taste of vinegar. First was Kung Fu Tze. You know, he was a very realistic philosopher. So he put his finger in the jar, licked his finger and said: “This is sour”. All right, the next person was Lord Buddha. And you know, some people consider Buddha a little pessimistic – he says that life is suffering. So, he was also tasting the vinegar and he said: “This is not sour, this is bitter!” The third was Lao Tze. And you know he is a very peaceful guy. He is not really realistic because he is so peaceful that is beyond reality. And definitely he is not a pessimist, because somehow his wisdom gives him some satisfaction. So, he also tasted the vinegar and he said: “No, this is not sour and this is not bitter. This is sweet!”

So, here is our life – a jar of vinegar. What is your opinion about your life? Sour, bitter or sweet? If we are realistic, we shall say: “Ah, come on, this is sour a little bit here and there.” If we are pessimistic, we shall say: “No, it’s very bitter!” But if we are optimists, we shall say: “It’s sweet.”

So, yoga will help us to find the sweet taste even in bitter or sour. Therefore we can say that this is a mystic process that will help you to improve your vision. Only this we should understand very deeply in our hearts – that we are eternal, knowledgeable and blissful souls. The only problem is that these original qualities of us are little covered by the body, little covered by ignorance, little covered by illusion. So, if we remove the illusion – this identification that we are the bodies – then we can come to the spiritual platform.


[1]  “Comme ci comme ca” (French) – means “Like this or like that”




Swami Tirtha: Let’s examine who we are. Can you help me with answering this question? What is your first reflection, if you are questioned ‘Who you are?’ what would you answer?

Answer: Bulgarian.

Swami Tirtha: This is true. Others?

Answer: Part of the whole.

Swami Tirtha: Ah, very nice! Yes? Let’s go one by one, let’s try this – it will give very interesting results. Can we start with you? Who are we?

Answer: Part of the divine consciousness.

Answer: Students of this world.

Answer: Servants.

Swami Tirtha: Ah, very high conception! Jay! Please, help us!

Answer: I am what I am.

Swami Tirtha: Very mystical! Nice answer. Yes, please?

Answer: I will tell you privately after the lecture.

Swami Tirtha: Thank you, I’m waiting for your answer. Yes, please? Others?

Answer: I’m European.

Swami Tirtha: Good. Yes, please?

Answer: We are made of love, so we are love, this is my opinion.

Answer: We are witnesses of a wonder.

Answer: We are beings of light.

Swami Tirtha: Very nice! These definitions, these identifications are very nice and very bright. You know, many times people give answers as: “My name is this and this, my profession is this and this and my family status is this and this.” Because these are the normal conditions of our lives. But these can change any moment. Once in a similar very nice circle we discussed this topic and one very tender, very soft young man was answering this question ‘Who are you?’ and he said: “I am a wild animal”, although he was a very soft, very tender young man. But I also had to ask: “And is it possible to tame you?”

So, we have different conceptions about ourselves. I made a little research into the answers of people in general. And I can tell you that the majority of people have some kind of spiritual answer to this question. More than 80 % gave opinions as ‘I am a human being. I’m part of the whole. I am a searcher’ – some very positive answers. Very few gave answers like ‘I don’t know.’ And also very few gave negative answers like ‘I’m worth nothing. I’m just empty. I’m zero’ – very marginal number gave this kind of negative or nihilistic answers. That means that the majority of us have this awareness that we are great, we have a mission here on this planet Earth. Maybe this is not quite clear yet, but we have to find a proper answer to fulfill this mission.

But if we try to examine ourselves according to our tradition, for example, then we shall understand – please try to remember, a very simple word – that we are not the bodies. We all feel a little more precious than these bodily elements. About 75% of your body is made of water. And although the price of water is also going up, nevertheless this is not so precious, right? Plus you have some bones, some different other elements – so if we put all this together, it’s let’s say maximum 100 lev. But you feel a little more precious than 100 lev, isn’t it?

So, to understand that we are not these bodies, immediately means that you come to a higher level of consciousness. Because the body has taken birth, so it will perish anyway. Still our feeling of identity remains the same. When we are young we say ‘I’, when you are older – the same, when we are old – the same. Your feeling of identity is the same. Although it’s very difficult to see that this is the same body, age has changed you a lot. Although the body from these material elements will die, our feeling of identity, our consciousness remains the same. Therefore from the impermanent we have to come to the permanent. We have to search for our permanent identity, something that will never change in you.

Question: Could you please share with us your answer to the question you asked in the beginning?

Swami Tirtha: My answer? We say it in Hungarian: “This is the hanging of the hangman.” Well, my answer is that I try to be a servant of my spiritual master. And therefore I am very happy that somebody mentioned here that “We are servants” or “I am a servant”. Because that is a very high position. Although everybody wants to be a master in this world, those who have refined understanding, they know that to serve is much better. To receive gifts is good, isn’t it? But to give – it’s much more pleasurable! In the same way, if we can give something, if we can give our life, our energy, our services to the Supreme – or to the representative of the Supreme like a spiritual master – then we are very fortunate. So, very shortly – this is my answer.

Usually people answer to this question: “I am a searcher.” Many times they say this: “I’m very open and I am searching.” This is popular, isn’t it? But I don’t like that answer. Because if you are a searcher, that means you haven’t found anything yet. So from a searcher we have to improve, we have to upgrade ourselves to be a finder. And if you have found something, then you have to become a practitioner. Because if we want to achieve a higher level of our existence, we have to do something about it. And spiritual practices help us to come to this higher platform.




Why did we come together this evening? In order to celebrate the happiness of the soul and to find the way of our personal bliss. To put it very simply: if we live for others, our life will be blissful. And although we gathered here in the House of Humor and Satire[1], nevertheless we all feel how much suffering and how much need is there in this world. If we are alone, it is nice to meditate or pray for the welfare of all living entities, for the perfect life of all, for the peace for all, but if we are united, then our meditation and our prayer is much stronger. I think we all have the experience of this during our lifetime. When struggling alone with the difficulties of life, somehow you get along, but if there is help, if there is a shelter, it’s much more easy.

Although I’ve known that your Bulgarian nation is so strong and survived so much trouble during the last millennia, yesterday I learned something about this. I met a brother-monk and when I asked: “Do you do your service here alone?” he said: “Yes, I am alone, but a fighter alone is a fighter.” So even if we are alone, we should go for the highest ideals we have. And this very ancient tradition, yoga, can help us very much to find the way to ourselves and to find the way to happiness.

Yoga means connection. But connection between what? Yoga is a connection between our self, our real inner identity and the Supreme. It’s little more than simple religion and it’s definitely more than physical exercise. We can say that yoga is a mystical inner path leading you from your false egotism to your good self.

There are many different schools of yoga. Some of these schools prefer ascetic practices; others concern more like the proper action, or ritual action. Still others try to improve the knowledge of a person, divine knowledge. And one very special school that I also belong to concerns the emotional being of a person. This school is called bhakti, bhakti-yoga. Bhakti is divine love, the path of divine love.

So, if we agree that yoga generally is a mystical path, leading the human being to God, then let me ask you a question: what is the most proper and the most intensive way to understand another fellow human being? Is it knowledge, is it action? Or is it love? Most probably this is love. Ah, there is another factor – through hate we can also come very close to a person. You will always think of that person and you will find many unlimited qualities of him. But unfortunately this connection is not very positive.

So we can say that the most intensive contact, the most proper vision can be achieved through affection. Therefore we try to search for God in a very intensive contact through divine love. Wise people say that if somebody is searching for the Absolute Truth, he should do it by love, with love. Of course, as we are different human beings, we have different understandings about what is love. But at this point it does not matter, we all understand that this is something very precious for us.


[1] House of Humor and Satire is a museum in this town Gabrovo, where Swami Tirtha is giving this open lecture.




Question of Neli: What is the reflection of ‘I, me, mine’ and ‘You, you, yours’ in the spiritual world?

Swami Tirtha: Very nice question! In short, because we can elaborate on that for another week, this is the conflict or the harmony – depends on the point of view – of philosophy and dedication. Because for a very long time philosophy concerns these three topics – ‘I, me, mine’. Many different aspects and schools of philosophy, like ontology and aesthetics, concern these topics – what about the human being, what is the goal, what is the reason to exist, what are the dimensions, what is the use. So ‘I, me, mine’ is focused on the personality. And if we apply this to spiritual life, or religious life generally, then ‘I, me, mine’ means that I know myself and I dedicate myself.

So, this is the philosophy part of devotional service: ‘I am Yours’. It is very nice if people understand that they belong to God. It’s a first step. But this is not the ultimate step. Because beyond philosophy, beyond tattva there is rasa. Beyond theory there is happiness and feeling. So beyond philosophy, beyond conclusion, beyond tattva there is the rasa answer of this, and that is “You are mine”. So ‘I’m Yours’ as a first level – this is only philosophy, you submit yourself. But later on you can come with your demands: ‘But You are mine!’ Do you feel the difference between the two?

Of course again, we should not mix. First we have to say ‘yes’ to Krishna. Then maybe on some higher stages of your spiritual development you can have some demands, some requirements. So philosophy means ‘I am Yours’ and divine religion, or prema, means ‘You are mine’.

And from another point of view we can examine this – that the subject (ashraya) and the object (vishaya) are searching for each-other. Who is the subject? The subject is the devotee; and the object is Krishna. So the subject tries to search and serve God, while a little later we should understand that the object starts to behave like a subject – Krishna as a merciful God is also searching for His beloved servants. So, this is the ashraya-tattva and vishaya-tattva searching for each-other. If we hear only this – ashraya and vishaya – it does not say anything to us. But if we understand that we search, we have some emotions, we try to give it to Krishna – so we are like subjects and He is like an object of worship – this is nice, this s like ‘I am Yours’. While the higher stage is when we understand that He is also inviting, attracting and searching for us. In this way He will say: “But you are Mine.” So the counterpart of ‘I am Yours’ is ‘You are Mine’. What is the answer to this expression: “I am Yours’? The only answer is that ‘You are Mine’. This is just like one offering starting from the devotee: ‘I am Yours’ and then Krishna says: “Yes, you are Mine’. Maybe these expressions meet halfway. But what happens if they don’t meet? Then they fall in the opposite party. And then you will say: “You are mine!” and Krishna will say: “I am yours.” This is the chase after each-other.


garland for the Lord

Question: I’d like to ask about the stage of steady devotional service – I have heard that it comes after one is purified of contaminations, am I right?

Swami Tirtha: Yes, steadiness comes after purification, when nothing can drive you away from the devotees. This is steadiness. Who is a servant? Servant is a person who is always ready to serve you. If we take one example – a dog; a dog is always ready to serve the master. Sometimes he gets food, other times not. Sometimes he is caressed, other times he is bеаten up. It does not matter, he always stays with the master and is always ready to serve – dedicated. A real dog has this permanent dedication.

What about us? Until Krishna takes very nice care of us, we are very good devotees. As soon as there is some little difficulty, we start to complain about Him. In that sense we can learn even from a simple dog to be really committed to the master. But of course, to be a servant of God is much more demanding and much more yielding. And our commitment is not based on fear or aggression or any ambitions of material kind, but it is based on the attractive power of Krishna.

This is the secret – everything moves by the power of attraction. Krishna is the magnetic power. Actually Radhika is the magnetic power, but anyway, it is manifested through Krishna. Just like you, you have two hands, right? What is your right hand? Your right hand is the electric power. And what is your left hand? This is your magnetic power. Active – passive. Active like working hard; passive like attracting. In the same way, whatever we have, we have to surrender, submit this to Krishna and then it will be fulfilled to the utmost level. There is perfection to all what we have. The perfection of the eyes, for example, is to see Krishna’s beautiful form. The perfection of the ears is to listen to His sweet message. Whatever we have can be used for perfection. But we have to be committed permanently. And this is not like an official routine or a demand, but a natural expression of the soul. Because the original function of the soul is to serve Krishna lovingly. If you can do that, you are very close to your original position. And what will drive you away? These are the imperfections, the impurities. Therefore to be committed fully, we have to be purified enough. But these permanent ecstasies – vibhava, anubhava – they come on a very high stage. This is like the second nine practices of bhakti on the higher stage.




(continues from the previous Monday)
“All these stages combined are called sthāyibhāva, or continuous love of Godhead in devotional service. In addition to these stages, there are vibhāva and anubhāva. When the higher standard of ecstatic love is mixed with the symptoms of sāttvika and vyabhicārī, the devotee relishes the transcendental bliss of loving Kṛṣṇa in a variety of nectarean tastes.”[1]

Here is a description of vibhava, sthayi-bhava and anubhava. Vibhava is like the preliminary reason, the cause of ecstasy – to generate the feelings about Krishna in the heart of the devotees. What elements can invoke these divine feelings in you? For example the name of Krishna. When we hear the name of Krishna, then a certain emotion reflects in our complex. Or when you see a picture of Krishna you are trembling, you are stunned. You remember that doctor who served the king and when he saw a peacock-feathered fan around the king, he fainted, because he immediately remembered the peacock feather on the head of Krishna. So, if something connects you to your beloved God, that will invoke these feelings. The name, the form, something dear to Him, something connected to Him will help us to remember, to be connected to Him. Like a mother – when the child is grown-up and she sees the small little toys he was playing with at home: “Ah, my dear one!” – immediately she will remember. “Now my dear son is playing with big cars; when he was small he was playing with this small car.” So, something connected to your beloved one makes you remember, makes you connected. This is yet another reason why we should associate with the devotees – because if you see a devotee, immediately you remember Krishna: “Yes, he has devoted his life to Krishna. Yes, she is such a nice member of the gopi-group of Krishna.” In this way we can enhance our permanent meditation on God, permanent connection to God.

And if you have these impulses, then you can have some reflections, some secondary symptoms, that were described, these thirteen types – laughter, rolling and things like these. There is a big question if we can have these ecstatic symptoms in a well-tempered way. If there is a controlled ecstasy? I think there is a controlled friction of the atomic particles – it’s called the atomic energy plant. But if it is working in a bomb, then it just blows up. So we have to be careful about these energies. And I have to tell you, these thirteen types of ecstasy are not the ultimate symptoms – there are much more devastating symptoms also. These are called a very special type of ecstasies or feelings, like devastating symptoms.

But anyway, don’t be afraid. Because Mahaprabhu is called the Golden Avatar and He is just like a Golden Volcano, erupting these divine feelings in such an intensive way that they burn like lava, but at the same time are so sweet like nectar. So you cannot live without them and at the same time you are being consumed by them.

But until we read of these different types of vibhava, anubhava, sthayi-bhava, vyabhichari-bhava, etc. only in the books, this is only a theory. As soon as you will have a glimpse, you will understand what it is. And then you start to worship these symptoms and this process generally even more, because it will lead us to some very beautiful, very high and very permanent results. The three symptoms, the three results that you can achieve by practicing yoga generally is friendship, or a friendly mood, approach to all; second is compassion; and the third one is your inner peace of mind.

So please, keep on going like this, control your ecstasies in order not to embarrass others and practice these high types of spiritual ecstasies only in a proper place.


[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.180-181