Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Monday) 

“To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kusha grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should be neither too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yogī should then sit on it very firmly and practice yoga to purify the heart by controlling his mind, senses and activities and fixing the mind on one point.”[1]

As these classic requirements are quite difficult to perform and to achieve in a big city, therefore there are some other methods to control the senses, the mind, the thoughts. And therefore in the Brihan Naradiya Purana it is said that in Kali-yuga, the present age, when people in general are short-lived, slow in spiritual realization and always disturbed by various anxieties, the best means of spiritual realization is chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha “In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” Why three times it is repeated? Because this is important. If you hear only once, you forget. If you hear twice, you forget. If you hear three times, you will forget the message, but you will remember: “Ah! There was something important, but what…?” isn’t it? We work like this! We are so stupid. Therefore it is said that the Kali-yuga people are a little dull in understanding, slow in realization. Just imagine how patient our God is! He tolerates all the nonsense that we provide. At least a little patience, a little tolerance we should also reflect. Sometimes to ourselves, more times to others. It’s all-important.

Therefore this way to come closer to God by calling out His names is so direct. And Mahaprabhu says: there are no hard and fast rules concerning chanting. If you are down, then you will know which way is up. If you are really in trouble, you know how to pray. Until our life is going nicely, we easily forget. But when we are in trouble, we know: “Ah my God, please, help me!” – this is a natural exclamation.

Once a group of young people were talking. And few of them were discussing some divine topics – about God, faith, religion. While another friend, listening to their talk, exclaimed: “My God, you believe in God?!” So, what was the natural reaction – “O, my God!” And what was the intellectual question – “Do you believe in God?!” From this we can understand that in the heart even the atheist is a worshiper. Right, because what is the main slogan of an atheist? “God doesn’t exist.” First they say: “God…”, then “…doesn’t exist.” That means, in order to express themselves they have to announce what they want to denounce.

So, in the core of the heart every human being – and every living being – belongs to God. That means potentially everybody is a vaishnava, belonging to Vishnu, who is the Lord of life, maintenance, protection. Therefore we should have this vision: “Ah, here is a potential vaishnava!”

Question: Once we heard that by meditation we can gain more intellectual capacities or powers. Can you comment on that?

Tirtha Maharaj: What does it mean meditation? Refrain from negative activities and be connected to the Supreme. Therefore we should sit on the asan – to control the mind, senses and activities and purify the heart. If the heart is pure, if the activity is pure, then the brain and the intellect will also be pure, consciousness will be pure.

Krishna says: Those, who are not focused, whose attention is widespread, they cannot reach the goal. If you remove impediments, distortions or illusions from your consciousness, then it will function better. Simply by eliminating the negative, automatically the positive will gain more power.

So we don’t gain more intellect, but we decrease the proportion dedicated to wrong and in this way we increase the positive. Well, I would not say that you will not be more clever. That is possible.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 6.11-12

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