May 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 24.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

Encounters with Divinity. This is what we have to discuss, this is what we are searching for. And sometimes this is what we are afraid of. Right now we are conditioned by illusion so much that we feel at home. Just observe your life. We have a life of comforts, you know how to move in your environment, you know some pros and cons of your life. And therefore we feel like at home, we know this environment. It’s a kind of conditioning. As soon as you have to visit let’s say another country or a new city, you are exposed to an unknown environment. Immediately a kind of desperate feeling comes: ‘I don’t know how to move here. I don’t know the language. I have forgotten my mobile at home. Where is my security? I don’t know this environment.’ Although we never know what we can expect in a new environment. Maybe the greatest blessings are coming to you in this new place. But as it is an unknown environment for us, it makes us little frightened. You understand what I mean? Just imagine that all of a sudden you are removed from your present environment and as a parachute jumper you are thrown into some totally unknown environment. You are exposed to unexpected things. Of course you are worried. So, don’t be so quick in rejecting your present environment. Because you might end up in a new world all of a sudden. In my humble understanding we have to appreciate what we have. Maybe it’s not much, but still you have a starting point for your journey.

At the same time we must have a proper observation: what is what. ‘What is the reality of my present material conditioning, or what is the reality of my spiritual ambitions?’ Because we might expect to exchange the present material conditioning into another conditioning – spiritual, let’s say. Life means you express yourself. In a known environment we already know how to express ourselves. In a new world, in a new environment we have to learn a new language, a new way to express. For example if you join the devotional circles, you start to learn a new language. It’s a new type of conditioning. You put on different clothes. Before, ladies, you were walking in jeans, now you start to have your saris. Or you, men, put on your dhotis, totally unknown for you before. Or you start to express yourself by jumping and dancing in the kirtan. You start to imitate Sanskrit, you behave just like you know it. And many other ways to express your new condition – to learn, to show the new language. But what is the essence? Did we change some formalities? Bulgarian folk tradition have been exchanged for the folk tradition of Uttar Pradesh, India. One set of dress has been exchanged for another set of dress. Change the form or change the essence? Start to learn a new language but have the same mentality, or start to acquire a new mentality? Although mentality is not you, it’s something that you posses.

We shouldn’t misunderstand – changing the formalities is not equal to reaching some essential points. Don’t exchange one conditioning to another conditioning. Exchange your conditioning to freedom. Make one step closer to the truth.

(to be continued)


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