Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



six goswamis

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 05.01.2016, morning, Sofia)

We continue our readings from this very important book – The Ocean of Bhakti-rasa. What do we expect from an ocean? To be big. And also? It must be deep; with some living animals inside; to be an ocean of nectar; to be secret. And also to have waves. So this book is divided into waves. So you can see how innovative our Rupa Goswami was. Not simply following the pattern to divide the book into chapters, but waves. One of the features of the vaishnava is that he is poetic. And how can we describe the nectarean ocean of bhakti-rasa in a composed or in a boring manner? Chapters, subchapters and this and that – no, impossible! Waves! You can see that even from these very simple contents of the book we can learn a lot.

Our goswamis, our teachers are of very diverse character. One was very strict on the rules, regulations and all the necessary elements of the practice. Hari-bhakti-vilasa – this is like the law-book, the code of the conduct of the practitioner. I tell you, it’s very difficult. There it is mentioned something like this that if you follow varnashrama-dharma for 25000 lifetimes without a mistake, then you can qualify yourself to go further. According to that standard we have had 24999 lifetimes before and now we have to qualify ourselves fully. And also all the details of the ritualistic part of our process is described. All the necessary qualities of a prospective disciple are described; what is the meaning of initiation, etc. So, you can see that Sanatan Goswami gives very detailed information on the rules and regulations.

Then Rupa Goswami, who is another top senior of the goswamis; sometimes he starts with very simple instructions. Like vacho vegam manasa krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam[1] – those who have controlled the speech, the tongue, the genitals, they are qualified to be like masters. And then what are the necessary elements of practicing bhakti, like enthusiasm, some knowledge, some renunciation, etc[2]. Or what are the features of the relationships between the devotees, like exchange and opening up the mind, etc[3]. Then from the very basic information he quickly jumps to some very ecstatic topic – to describe the Radha-kunda: “If once you immerse yourself into Radha-kunda, then ecstatic prema is provided.”[4] What does it mean? Is he a spiritual tour-operator? If we visit Radha-kunda as a tourist and if we jump into it – shall we get it? You will not get it. We have to have the proper mood. Taking a sacred bath purifies not only the body, but the subtle body where your karmic action-reaction data is kept. So, in order to be purified and to receive something higher, we must have the proper mood. Therefore Rupa Goswami describes the preliminary steps, like control and practices, dos and don’ts, and things like this. Nevertheless this is just like a very difficult discipline for him – to speak about ABC. Because he wants to speak about XYZ. He wants to tell the secret; but in order to provide the secret, he wants to prepare us to be able to receive it. And in many other books Rupa Goswami describes very essential points. Just like here in this Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu.

But let’s take some other goswamis. Let’s take a neophyte from them – Jiva Goswami, the young one. Jiva Goswami is a very high class philosopher. He is not only an eloquent speaker and the best person in arguments, but he is a very profuse writer. So in case you have any trouble in philosophy, you can refer to him. His famous books – the Sandarbhas – are like containers of essential philosophical points and debates and arguments, etc. He is describing the glories of the Bhagavatam and establishing it as the ultimate scriptural authority. And he defends the dignity of his senior teachers and of the whole sampradaya with these philosophical points.

Let’s take another goswami – Raghunath Das. The title of one of his books is Vilapa-kusumanjali – the Bouquet of Flowers of Separation. Now we have reached the pinnacle of titles.

So, these scriptures are very important for us. These books contain not only very delicate information, but very delicate insights into spiritual reality. And some of the books of the goswamis can be found online in the 21st century. But you will find some of the books of the goswamis buried in Vrindavan. Because they are so high that the followers decided to bury them, to protect the content from being widespread. There is a grantha-samadhi – samadhi for the books of the goswamis, buried under it. So we can understand from this that there is some very high class information concerning our process. And therefore we should appreciate Rupa Goswami’s books also in the same manner.



(to be continued)


[1] Upadeshamrita, verse 1

[2] Upadeshamrita, verse 3

[3] Upadeshamrita, verse 4

[4] Upadeshamrita, verse 11


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