Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

We are never kings and never servants – because it will change very quickly. From this sweet sixteen we very quickly become a dried sixty. So, why pay so much attention to the environment, to the circumstances around this body? Better we focus our attention to the eternal part. Therefore from time to time we need to come together to remind ourselves. ‘Oh, wait a minute. I am not simply my environment. I am not my false identity as a king of the situation.’

But how did Jada Bharata have this very strong conviction? Shrila Prabhupada in the purports mentions one mantra for that, like a condensed teaching – it’s a mahavakya actually, the great words of the Upansihads: aham brahmasmi, ‘I am a soul. I am a spirit soul.’[1]

Aham brahmasmi. It’s one great sentence. Aham – ‘I’, brahma – ‘spirit’, asmi – ‘am’. ‘I am a spirit soul.’ So condensed! There are such great sentences coming from the teachings and it’s good to remember them. Especially if we are exposed to some material influence or some lapse of consciousness. When you forget your identity, then you have to remind yourself: “No, no, no. I’m not the body, I ‘m not the king. I’m not the palanquin carrier, but I’m not the king either. I’m the soul.’ It’s very useful, especially in a turbulent situation, to be fixed in your conviction.

And I like so much these expressions, like “beating the dead horse”. Not so much use, it will not move. Sometimes our laziness is like a dead horse. You try to use the stick, but no results. And also there is another point here: that when a madman is punished, his madness will not stop. Maybe the action is there, but no reaction is coming. “Teachings for a foolish person are not for his benefit but for his anger. A foolish person will be angry if you teach him.” Correct, it happens like this? Exactly. Sometimes it happens to us also. Somebody tries to teach us, (and we say): “Ah, shut up!” But then you should remember this very important thing: ‘Oh, now I act as a fool.’ So, I don’t know which is better – to act like a fool or a dead horse. Sometimes it’s better as a dead horse. Because at least there is no bad reaction, no stupidity. Better we become a live horse, ready to take the good instruction. Then there is no need to use the stick. I think this ‘dead horse’ will be like something to remember.


(to be continued)

[1] Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10

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