Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 30.07.2016 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

So, pray as Arjuna did. But then what did he receive? You might expect a teacher to be always very soft, very serene, very wise, and like this, and like that. We have a long list of expectations: ‘He should pay attention to me’, etc. But then what did Arjuna receive after he expressed: “I am willing to learn.”? In a very polite manner Krishna said: “Oh, my dear friend! You are depressed for something that usually intelligent men are not affected by.” What does it mean? ‘You are a fool number one’ – to put it more directly. But Krishna is a polite God. So, He will say that ‘you are stupid’ in a very nice manner.

Yet this is what you will receive, if you express your willingness to learn. Why? Because a real teacher will never miss any opportunity to correct your shortcomings and mistakes. What kind of professor do you want? Who will let you wander in darkness and cherishes your shortcomings? Or somebody who will cut through the illusion, even if it is painful? Guru is not necessary for those guys who want to stay here. Better they don’t follow, they don’t accept. Guru is necessary for those who don’t want to stay here. Who are ready to go, at least willing to go. And then of course Krishna started to educate Arjuna on the divine knowledge.

So, in the Gita you can see Krishna as a supernatural divine being. You can see Him as a teacher, a guide. You can see Him as a philosopher because He will analyze and describe everything perfectly. But also ultimately you will see Krishna as a beggar. Because all the time He shows His real face – even if He wants to act as a teacher, as a philosopher, or as a God. Practically at the end of each chapter He will say what? “You can capture Me with bhakti”. When He describes for example yoga – the different types of yogis like this, that type of school like that – what does He say at the end? He says: “From all this different kinds of yogis, the best one is who is very intimately united with Me in prema, in devotion.”[1] Even at the end of this 11th chapter, this cosmic revelation, He says: “But you can know me as I am through bhakti[2]. In this way you can meet Krishna even in the Gita as a beggar of love, as a beggar of your affection. Why does He suggest that “Through devotion, through love you can come to Me”, why? Because He needs your attention. He invites you in this manner: “Come to Me! If you come with Me, I will go with you”.

So, there are so many different ways to meet the Supreme – as God, as a teacher, as a well-wisher. But ultimately you can come very close to Him and He might come very close to you. And when that meeting happens – that is the encounter with the divinity. That is the victory of the truth over the illusion. That is the celebration of the spirit over matter. That is the Ekadashi day for a devotee.

Be prepared for the encounters with divinity. Try to follow, to perform these activities like self-control, sharing and sacrifice. But the best performance, the top accomplishment of all these different spiritual activities, our teachers say is condensed, united, unified in the pure chanting of the holy names. This is the best sacrifice. This is the best self-control. This is the best sharing. And if divinity manifests through some pure representative, then Narottama dasa Thakura’s song applies, when he prays to Shri Rupa Manjari: shri-rupa-manjari-pada, sei mora sampada… sei vrata, sei tapa, sei mora mantra-japa, meaning “The lotus feet of Shri Rupa Manjari – this is my tapa, this is my self-control, this is my vrata, my vow, this is my mantra, my meditation, and this is my japa, my chanting.” So, this is the accomplishment of all these different spiritual practices.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 6.47

[2] Bhagavad Gita 11.54

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