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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

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


(continues from the previous Friday)


We all had taken our lessons in meeting imperfect people; therefore we want to be pure souls. This is not a very big job. All right, it takes a little effort, a little time, a little patience. But it will come, originally you are pure. Your ontological purity is only hidden by the cloud of illusion, still it’s there.

Once my dear spiritual master asked one of his disciples: “What is your conception, who you are?” And he said: “Oh, Gurudev, I am nothing!” Gurudev was very upset: “No, this is against our philosophy! You are somebody, you are something!”

So, who you are originally? You are spirit souls possessing the divine qualities – sat, chit, ananda. You are eternal souls, you are fully cognizant, and you are blissful by nature. So, the spiritual path means that from our false identification we return to our original identity. It’s very simple. From death, from ignorance and from suffering we return back to eternity, to full knowledge and to bliss. And that immediately happens if you are a pure soul. What is the way to achieve that position? We have to live in dedication as it is mentioned in the verse. “One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.“[1] Dedication to God. If you live for yourself, you don’t live for anyone; if you live for God, you live for all.

And the third necessary prerequisite is to control the mind and the senses. Then something will happen, some result you will face – you will be a dear person to everyone and everyone will be dear to you. What do you think – which is easier? To appreciate, to love everybody; or that everybody loves you?

Answer: ‘I love everybody!’

Swami Tirtha: That’s easier. I think you are very realistic. Well, I am an idealist and an optimist, but I agree with you. That is easier – if we play the humble side, if we keep a very low profile. Because I think only on special divine mercy it happens that everybody starts to like you. There will be critics for anything. If you achieve something, there will be some criticism: “Oh, just look at this guy, he is collecting so much!” If you don’t achieve anything, there will be some criticism: “Oh, this guy is so lazy! He didn’t achieve anything.” Whatever you do remarks will come.

So, somehow I also agree: it’s easier that we change our approach to people, in a very loving and a very humble way to appreciate others; and wait, then we have to wait. Wait until others will share your opinion. Material sphere, material life means that everybody wants to dominate. Everybody wants to stand in the front line. Spiritual atmosphere means the opposite – everybody wants to stand in the last row.

Once there was a debate in a temple and the matajis handed a petition to the temple president. There was a list and one point was: “We also want to stand in the front row in the arati”. You see, because usually men stand in front and ladies stand in the back while the arati, the worship is going on – this is like a general formality. When I heard this I said: “Wait a minute, somebody doesn’t preach properly in this place!” Because if somebody has this very fortunate and dignified position to stand in the back row – which is according to our philosophy, we want to be the last – and if somebody has this position: ‘I can stay back!’, but they want to come to the front, there is something wrong. So, think twice what your desire is.

From these teachings you may understand that ‘Maybe it’s better if I sit at the lecture in the last row. Because I am a humble soul.’ Then finally everybody will sit in the corridor, right, because ‘I am a humble person.’ But one very much respected master said: “Well, some sit in the front line, because they deserve it. Others sit in the front line, because they don’t deserve it. Some sit in the back row, because they deserve it; while others sit in the back row, because they don’t deserve it.” ‘My God! It’s so complicated – so where should I sit? If I sit in the front, maybe it’s correct, maybe it’s wrong! If I sit in the back, maybe I will be blamed.’ But before being embarrassed totally, don’t pay too much attention to this front and back – just sit and listen.

And we should cultivate this ambition in our heart – to appreciate everyone as better than us. Because if you are pure enough, then this mood will emanate from you and others will follow your example. So, if we try to appreciate everyone sincerely and if we treat everyone in a very gentle and a very dear way, then, although this is not a business, still we can expect that others will also treat us nice.

[1] “Bhagavad Gita”, 5.7

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