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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

darkness is lack of light

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

Question: First I want to apologize for the question to the master and to the audience. I want to ask whether evil exists. Whether there is such a personality as arch-devil, Satan? And in the divine sphere is there such a contradiction between good and evil, or it’s only in the human world, here on Earth?

Swami Tirtha: It’s a very proper question, don’t excuse yourself. But devil in that sense, in the classical, so to say Christian sense, does not exist. That devil is not externally there, that devil mentality lives in us. Because who is the devil – a rebel against the divine order. We are these rebels, we didn’t accept God’s conditions. And He said: “All right, you can have your private opinion, but then try it there.” So, the devil is not outside, this rebel is inside. Therefore in the spiritual sky there is no disharmony. It is a place of harmony. Dualities – like good and bad, devil and angel – exist only on the relative platform, not on the absolute platform. On the absolute platform there are only angels and seraphs and arch-angels. Of course now I use a different language, different names for these different classes of divine or semi-divine beings, but over there, there is no disharmony.

So, actually devil or an anti-God doesn’t exist. Yet illusion exists. But the nature of illusion is that it doesn’t exist. Something is there to show you what is not. Sounds a little complicated. Aristotle said: “Anything that doesn’t exist, exists like non-existent.” You can chew on that. But that showed that he is very positivist, he is life pro, he is existence pro, because he said: “Non-existence doesn’t exist.” The only thing that doesn’t exist is non-existence. Everything exists! And if you think that something doesn’t exist, it exists as a non-existent entity for you. This is like a mind-game, but it’s not. Because what is darkness?

Harilila: The lack of light.

Swami Tirtha: Correct, you cannot give a positive definition of darkness, there is only a negative definition of darkness – ‘lack of light’. So, darkness doesn’t exist. If darkness is there, it is a non-existence of light. In the same way, what is the real existence of devil? Depends on your vision. Many are so much afraid of the devil, that they develop a devil consciousness. They see the trick of the devil in everything that happens to them. In this way you can create your devil. But if you want to see everywhere the divine mercy, then you will have a different vision.

So, nevertheless if we call devil like a mistake, or like a function that separates human beings from the divine consciousness, of course that power exists, but this is called illusion. This is a personified energy and at first glance you might think that: “Oh, this must be the devil!” because this separates the souls from God, so that is the devilish program. But actually she is – because this is a feminine power – she is like the directress of the jail of material existence. And although the directress of a jail stays inside the jail, she lives there practically, she is there under a different principle. She is not a criminal. You see, it’s her function – to accomplish that service, to take care of those who want this criminal way, who have this criminal approach to the Supreme.

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