May 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

We shall read from Shrila Shridhara Maharaj’s book called “The Golden Staircase” – the staircase which leads us from the present position that we take to the highest possible stage of existence. And it is made of gold; this elevation is made of gold. The first chapter is entitled “The conscious sky”.

“The original substance is spirit, soul, consciousness, and matter forms a part of that conscious portion, that conscious substance. It is not that matter has produced consciousness, but it is in one part of consciousness. Consciousness is infinite, and everything is in that ocean. Somewhere there is ice, somewhere moss, somewhere iron – they are all in that ocean, these different conceptions. But consciousness is all-in-all, and everything has its shelter there. Just as you find patches of clouds in the sky, or so many specks of dust in the air, so the material conception is there in the sky of consciousness. It is a sky – the conscious sky – and somewhere there are patches of clouds or dust. You can’t see the air, but the dust is in the air! You can’t see the sky – the actual ether – but the clouds are in the sky! So the background is consciousness, and therein we find somewhere is dust, somewhere is a cloud. Darwin and others have proposed that consciousness was originally generated from material elements, but my response to that is, “Fossil fatherism? Crush it, and establish a spiritual infinite!” It is all spiritual: the “fossil conception” is a part of so many conceptions in the spiritual plane. Consciousness is in the background and there are developed positions, gradations, within consciousness: bhur, bhuvar, svar, maha, jana, tapa, satya, brahmaloka” – all these are different levels of the material world, creation – “and when service is added, it is enhanced. A sweet structure begins from the point when service is added to consciousness. Service can construct a beautiful capital, a beautiful country. It is there, and you have only to feel it, enter, and take up your appointed service. You will think, “This is my home! This appointment feels very friendly to me. Now I have come home. This is the innate capacity or substance, innate nature – svarupa – which is presently covered by ignorance, by misconception.”[1]

Here something very important is mentioned: that it is not the matter which is original or primordial, so that everything should evolve from that source; but rather matter, or whatever material experience we have, is just like a little dust in the air. While coming here I stopped at one place and all of a sudden a huge cloud came. So huge, that I had the feeling I have to escape, because it was approaching with such power. And you see, Shrila Shridhara Maharaja says: “It’s only a false conception in the air.” So, don’t forget, we live in a world of experience. And sometimes experience is very strong, looks very real! ‘I’m so happy!’ But it’s like a little dust in the air. Or ‘I’m so depressed!’ It’s another cloud in the air. What is the meaning – it’s not real. Practically most of the things that we experience are not real.

Then where is reality? Should we live in an amusement park that makes you artificially happy? Or shall we take some pills in order to help our change of consciousness? Sorry, this is only chemical ananda – this is not real. So, where is reality? What is reality? If we realize that all that we believe so concrete and so real, if we understand that it is all false, then we might feel a little embarrassed. You lose control, you cannot hold on things, because they just slip out of your fingers. Then what can we do? We try to grab them more. I am sure you all have visited the seaside. When you take the sand and when you try to hold it in your fist, what happens? Starts to escape, if it is dry. Then you try to hold it more – the more it will escape! It’s the same with all other experience that we have. If we feel that we lose something, we try to hold on strongly, more strongly. This is the sure way to lose it completely. Completely.

But then how and where to find our reality?

(to be continued)


[1] “The Golden Staircase”, by Shrila Shridhara Maharaja, Ch 1


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