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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

gopis 1

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

Question of Krishna Premi: You mentioned that we are carrying our package of karma from before. Is this interrelated with our gender? If we are women or men, if it depends on our prarabdha-karma?

Swami Tirtha: So, if our gender is determined by our karma? Yes. How it is determined and why? Those men who are very passionate next time will take birth as a woman. I can go into more details if you like. Of course everything is determined by previous activities and also by divine blessings. Why? Because the human body is compared to a tree, and the heart is compared to the main branch of this tree. And there are two birds sitting on this tree. One is the soul who tries to enjoy the fruits of the tree. Sometimes you pick sweet fruits, other times you pick sweet and sour fruits, the third time you pick some bitter ones. But as this small little bird is stupid it will go on picking the fruits. Hope against hope. While the other bird, the Supersoul, the divine representative, the inner guide only observes. Until the individual bird doesn’t pay attention to the master, he has to go on enjoying and suffering the dualities of material life. But when he turns his attention to his inner guide, Paramatma, then all the troubles are finished. So, Paramatma, this divine representative, guides you throughout all these experiences, He will bring you to such conditions that you can go through the specific experience that you need. And under His guidance we are forced to take a man’s body or a woman’s body. But actually the soul is neither man, nor woman. It is not young, not old; it is not human or animal. This is sat-cit-ananda, soul.

Yet this division of genders is there in the entire created world, therefore many think that by uniting the genders they can be happy. As in the old Greek tradition Plato said that originally humans were one globe and then they were cut into half – and one became the man and the other became the woman. Then certain pieces and parts of the body were arranged here and there – something in the front for the ladies up, something other in the males’ body down. And then they think that by uniting these two parts they will be happy. The Indian tradition gives it in a different way. There is one very special form of Lord Shiva when he is divided – he is in one body, like human form, two hands, two legs, but divided vertically. The right hand side is male, Shiva, and the left hand side is Parvati, female. It is called Ardha-nari-ishvara. Ardha means ‘half’, nari means ‘lady’, ishvara means ‘Lord’. So, this is the Lord who is half way a woman. This is how this iconography unites the male and females poles. And the general mystic symbolism uses the androgyny.

Still what is our version after all these different versions? Well, there is nothing wrong if a husband embraces the female energy in the form of his wife; but strictly his own wife, not somebody else’s wife. All right, it is easy to achieve this unity of the genders for a family guy, but what will happen with the ascetics? How they can embrace the female energy? Very difficult job! If the ascetics start to embrace ladies, it’s not nice – they shouldn’t do that. ‘This is only a spiritual practice to achieve a higher unity!’ No, this is not proper. While even an ascetic has to achieve that complete unity. He shouldn’t embrace the ladies, but he should embrace the female principle. Therefore it is said that without Radharani’s mercy no sannyasi can become successful. The female principle is there for helping the progress of spiritual success.

Of course this division, male-female, is important and we have to handle it properly. If males are too passionate, they will become simple ladies next time. But if they are passionately practicing bhakti-yoga, they will become again ladies, but on a higher octave – gopis. This is our ambition. Show me any other religion where men are ready to take birth as a woman!? Impossible! That proves that bhakti-yoga is highly divine, transcendental.

But this is not a joke. Yet, this is true for both ladies and men that we should overcome our bondage given by the bodily gender. We should become like the angels – not affected by material entanglement, only divine glorification and service. So, follow the angels!

Question: Then how we will be able to have children?

Swami Tirtha: There are many different ways. There is biological multiplication; there are other types of multiplication. For example, a man can have children in a biological way, right. A preacher can have children in a spiritual way. That is also a kind of multiplication. And if you elevate yourself to quite a high platform, then you will be able to create with your thought. That is called cephalogenesis. Just like Brahma can create sons from his mind – no problem. So, there are many different ways of multiplication. Don’t stick to the general way too much.

Question: Is it like this that one takes birth as a woman when the person has to understand something through the feelings and as a man when the person has to understand something through the mind?

Swami Tirtha: I think that’s quite a good explanation. Because usually men are burdened with their mind, while ladies are disturbed by their feelings.

Question: Can you please give us some advice how to get rid of this heavy head that men have?

Swami Tirtha: The blockhead? Well, heartify your brain and brainify your heart – unite these two capacities that we have, the intellectual and the emotional. If we achieve a higher unity, a higher synthesis of these two capacities, then we are closer to some ideal situation. But you asked a method to control this heavy head, right? It’s very easy; we have to bow down to God. That’s the proper use of our head. We have to pay respect to the Supreme authority.


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