Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 24.06.2017 evening, Sofia)


(continues from the previous Monday)

Let’s discuss a little bit more about the lotus as a symbol. This is a symbol of ideal purity and spiritual intellectual perfection. This is one attribute of Lord Vishnu and with this He blesses His devotees. That means the creation is in the hands of God.

What about the other symbols of Vishnu? What are these? The conch is the other blessing instrument. Chakra is the third one. And the mace is the fourth.

Which is for whom? So, the lotus flower is definitely for His devotees, for some blessings. And also the conch is a symbol of spiritual wealth – an unlimited source of creation and wealth. So this is another instrument for blessing. Then we have this chakra; we know some stories concerning the chakra chasing after some future devotees. But actually this is a weapon to control the demoniac forces. And according to this logic you might think that the mace is also a weapon – to punish the rascals. This is one meaning of that instrument, but the other is that the mace is a symbol of supreme divine knowledge. So, if you take this weapon of divine knowledge in your hands, you can cross through the illusion.

But let’s focus on the lotus. There are different words in Sanskrit for ‘lotus’. One is abja. What is the meaning of ab? ‘Water’. That means ‘born from the water’. The other is pankaja – it’s ‘born from the mud’. There are some poetic expressions concerning the blossoming of the lotus. This is kairava – ‘blossoming at full moon’, this is the white lotus. And kumuda – kumuda is another type of water lily that blossoms when the moon rises. Another expression for lotus is aravinda; aravinda is one of the arrows of Kamadeva. You see, he’s got some flower arrows to pierce the hearts. Do you know that feeling? Aravinda is also very important because there is one beautiful expression: aravindalochan – ‘your eyes are just like lotus petals’. They say that motherly love is so great that even if her son is blind, she will call him Aravindalochan, the Lotus-Eyed. So this is the piercing of the heart. Kamadeva pierces your heart and then you will see even a shortcoming as beautiful, as an ornament. Gurudev said that if we have devotion, then even our shortcomings turn out to be ornaments. Therefore this is so precious for us – devotion, dedication. So precious!

Pushkara, another name for the lotus – this is the blue lotus. And another word is padma – you know that one; and this is not only the word for the flower, but also padma is an arrangement of an army. You see, it’s also the divine beauty manifested there. And also padma is a very huge number – ten to the twelfth power. I don’t know how big it is – close to unlimited. There are some other meanings of padma which I don’t mention now. And also this is one asana, right – padmasana, the lotus posture.

Now we can focus on one nature of the lotus flower – that it is born in the mud and it is growing in the water, but it’s always above the level of the water. Therefore it is said that the disciple is the lotus flower, Krishna is the sun, and the saints or pure devotees are the nourishing water. Without this water the lotus dies.

(to be continued)


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