January 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

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

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