June 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2013, morning, Sofia )

“Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.“[1]

So, the classical schools of darshana – the schools of philosophy – always go in pairs. The school of logic is connected to the school of material sciences, or atomism. And yoga, as the path of mysticism, is always connected to sankhya – the analytical study of existence. While the ritualistic science, the sacrificial activities are connected to Vedanta – this is the ontological wisdom of the Vedas. So, they always go in pairs. And here Krishna mentions that: “One who dedicates himself properly to one path will achieve the fruits of the other path also”.

Again this is a proof of a transcendental process. On the material plane it doesn’t happen. You try to cook your lunch and the supper is also accomplished. No way! All right, for the ascetics sometimes it happens, breakfast included. But generally we do one thing and we achieve one fruit. We are engaged with other activities – we reach another fruit. It’s impossible to have this cross reference. Because the material world is a logical world – however illogical it is. While the spiritual sky looks very illogical, yet it is very logical. Because there by practicing one path you can achieve the results of both.

What is this analytical study of the world, sankhya? You select: what is superficial and what is essential; what is spiritual and what is material; permanent and impermanent. And forget about the impermanent and dedicate more attention to the permanent. And what is yoga? Yoga is a mystic path, establishing a living and loving connection between human and Supreme. This is a path to perfection. And this is a mystic path. Mystic doesn’t come from mist. But mystic comes from the Greek ‘to keep silent’. So, to keep silent – that is the real mysticism. Definitely yoga is a mystic path and we cannot really teach mysticism. It’s impossible to teach somebody of a mystic experience. So, it is not a verbal action. It’s not words transferred to a person, but real mystic masters can create such circumstances, such an environment that the practitioners will come to some mystic experience. So, what is your preference? Some analytical study of ‘this is good, this is bad’, or some mystic experience?

Hayagriva: For me mystic.

Swami Tirtha: For you mystic, one for mystic. Others? Also for mystic? Then please, practice sankhya! Select what is proper, what is improper; what is material, what is spiritual. And then you will reach the mystic experience also. Because these two schools always go together. And as Krishna says here: “If you dedicate yourself properly to one of these two schools, these two paths, you will reach the results of both.”

Once a new devotee complained to his master: “Oh, master! You told me how to offer incense to Krishna – make two circles at the feet and this and that… But while I am counting I cannot focus my attention on the Lord.“ And the master said: “Oh, my dear son, if you focus on the Lord, you will count how many circles to do.” You see, by dedicating yourself to one, you will reach the results of both. Because counting the rounds, the circles, how to offer, all the formalities – this is like sankhya, analysis. Of course this is not part of the sankhya school, but it’s just like analysis – counting, selecting, doing properly. But establishing a living and loving, a mystic connection with the Supreme and loving offering with my incense – that is real yoga.


[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.4

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