May 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2012, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday)

“Meanwhile Bhanu, the wife of Hiranyaksha, experienced great suffering due to separation from her husband. Feeling helpless in her grief, she loudly lamented her sudden widowhood. The sons of Hiranyaksha were also desperately grieving the death of their father. After completing his brother’s funeral ceremonies, Hiranyakashipu tried to pacify them. With a comforting voice he said: “Ah, sister-in-law, dear to me like a mother! Ah, children of my valiant brother! You should not grieve like this for such a great hero, who has surrendered his life without fear after an open fight on the battlefield. Warriors and heroes actually inspire for such an honorable death, considering it to be their most desirable achievement.”[1]

This is just like happening in the 21st Century. Here he says that “such an end is a heroic death”. But wait a minute – he died opposing God! Is that a heroic death? Is that a glorious death? Just like today’s media: from the most insignificant thing they can create some very big event and for the most glorious thing they can prove that it’s very bad. So nothing is new under the sun.

Kripadham: It’s very interesting because for so many years we repeat these stories and actually all the time Hiranyaksha is in devotees’ discussions. So maybe in some way he is glorious, because he is in the story?

Swami Tirtha: Yes, because still we are talking about him. But originally Jay and Vijay were good servants of the Lord and their demoniac births are only like a side track, so there are some merits behind. And also their goal – back home, back to Godhead is glorious. But actually there are two ways to achieve glory in this world. Either you become a very great devotee or you become a very great demon. Because then everybody will talk about you.

“In this world – Hiranyakashipu continued – we are like travelers, who stop for some time at a resting place on the road. Why should we lament if we have to leave this place? We all come from different places, we meet for a short time and then leave, each for a different destination. Actually the original form of the self is the soul, which is different from the body and is never destroyed like the body. The soul is eternal and is not subjected to the change of transformation. He is pure, omnipresent and omniscient. The soul does not actually enjoy or suffer material experiences, but perceives pleasure and suffering due to being covered and contaminated by ignorance. For this reason only the self loses his original knowledge and feels loss and lamentation. When the water of a lake trembles, the trees standing on the bank of the lake also seem to tremble in the reflection of the water. Likewise, someone who is moving around will see also the world around him as moving.” Right – if you ride on a boat you might think: ‘All the trees and the hills are moving.’ No, actually you are moving. “Consequently the mind becomes agitated by the three qualities of material nature, but this is actually due to material contamination of identifying ourselves with the mind and body.” You see, he knows the philosophy. You cannot find a mistake here. “To those who identify with their bodies, pleasure means obtaining what is dear to or desired by the body and avoiding what they don’t like. And suffering is inability to get what the body likes or having to experience what the body does not like. This identification with the body is the prime cause of karma, which causes us to take birth in a womb and begin the process of suffering. Karma, or selfish activity, is the root cause of material existence, creating birth, death, ignorance, anxiety and many other sufferings. Although sometimes in the cycle of karma we may gain some understanding and knowledge, we unfortunately tend to forget it all as our material sojourn evolves. This is nicely illustrated in a conversation between Yamaraj, the lord of death and the relatives of a man recently desisted. Please listen as I will narrate this ancient story to you.”


(to be continued)

[1] Swami Tirtha continues the reading from B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The Holy Life of Prahlada

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