March 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Monday)


“The soul resides within the gross and subtle bodies, but it is not born. It does not undergo the same changes as the body, because the nature of the self is very much different from that of the body. As the owner of the house is different from the house itself, the self is the proprietor of the body and is therefore different from it. It is only out of material attachment that people think: ‘I am this material body.’ Earth, water, fire and air form the human body in the beginning, yet by the laws of the nature they will dissolve and the body will disappear. The soul however is never destroyed.”[1]

Try to remember this. The body was taken from matter, it will return to matter; we as spirit souls are taken from Spirit, God, and we shall return to God.

“You may find it difficult to understand how the self is separate from the body, because you are accustomed to seeing them together. I can enlighten you with the example of fire. Fire is inherent in wood. But only during combustion can we easily observe the difference in the nature of wood and fire, which is very powerful and brilliant. Similarly the soul resides in the body and the senses of living entity, but we can observe that he is different from these.”

I think we can agree on these points. But we are used to see the soul and body together. Usually we don’t observe dead bodies for a long time – for God sake! And unfortunately we don’t observe spiritual souls separately from the bodies, because we are blind in that sense. So we think that they are always together. And sometimes we mistake one for the other. But then the small boy says:

“Ah, foolish people! You are lamenting so much for this body even while it is lying dead in front of you! It has not gone to some other place – why are you lamenting? The body is still here, so you lament for the body? This person used to listen and reply to your words, but now he does not. Please, do not lament for that. The person, who was actually listening and replying, was never seen by anyone. The body you used to see is still here for you to see. It is exactly the same as before. Therefore there is no need to lament for the body

The soul animates and protects the body, but if the body can no longer listen and reply, it means that it is devoid of consciousness. The soul interacts with all objects through the senses. But he is different from the senses of the body. The soul is made of consciousness only. The five gross elements and the ten sense organs form the gross body, which covers the subtle body, made of the mind, the intellect and the ego; and also it covers the soul that relates to all these things by acting in ways both good and bad. This understanding is possible for those who worship God.”

This means that now we understand the way how to get rid if the greatest lamentation. Because losing our beloved ones is a great pain, right? But if you understand that the body comes from matter and returns to matter, and the soul comes from God and it returns to God, why should you lament?

And sometimes we lament on the death of others. But sorry to remind you a little-little thing: we all have to face this, sooner or later. So this also means we should not lament about our death. You can lament about your life, if you miss this opportunity. But those, who worship God they can have this understanding.


(to be continued)

[1] from B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The Holy Life of Prahlada, the conversation between Yamaraj, the god of death, and the relatives of a person who recently died


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