March 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


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

“A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping, and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.”[1]

This verse describes a mystic experience. You observe the functioning of your body, yet you are fully conscious that this is not you. It’s only the senses, the mind, the bodily elements react on the impulses of the external world. So please, try to observe your functions sometimes, your activities. If there is a challenge, you will react and maybe then you will think. Please, think first and then react. It will be better.

It is very easy to quote this verse as an excuse if you make mistakes on others. Then you can say: “Oh, no, this is not my fault. It’s only your senses, it’s only your mind reacting on the impulses.” Does it sound good? Not very much – neither to hear it, what to speak of telling it. Yet mystic experience in that sense means that we have a little distance while we can observe life, while we can observe the experience that we go through, while we observe the function of the body and the mind complex. Because actually our soul inside this body-mind complex is pure and perfect. But as it is covered with the veil of illusion, therefore we identify with the bodily movements, feelings and activities.

This is a very sensitive topic somehow, because nevertheless we feel happiness and pain. But if you analyze a little bit – if you use your sankhya, your analysis – then you can see: is it the body who feels the pain or the happiness? Just try to give any pain or any happiness to a dead body – it will not react. So, this is not the body who feels the pain. Then is it the soul who feels the pain and the happiness? Well, any material impulse is impossible to reach the soul. Then where is our happiness and where is our pain?

Yamuna: In the mind.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, this is in between the two – beyond the body, but before the soul experience. In between the two – this is the mind platform, the astral platform. Therefore those who are uncontrolled in body and mind, they will feel the pain and the happiness. Those who are controlled, well I wouldn’t say that they feel no pain and no happiness, yet their entanglement is different. They don’t identify with the pain or happiness. We can say a pure soul doesn’t identify with the bodily feelings.


[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.8-9


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