Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Usually when people hear about yoga, they are very much attracted: “Ah, this tapasya is for me! I will sleep with open window during the winter! I will torture my body to half-death! I am a great yogi, ascetic type! I will meditate all the time…” Then the first little breeze comes and forgetfulness also comes. That kind of yogi is not really deep rooted.

Usually we all go through these different levels of practice. At the beginning you are very serious about your sadhana and you feel the results: “Ah, I am strong, I am protected, I am connected!” But soon these first days, first months of practice, are gone. Then, you see, your sadhana becomes just like a daily routine. And then you start to give up your sadhana: “Ah, we should not be so fanatic. I have understood by the philosophy that bhakti is higher than ordinary practices and it will come by her own pleasure.  Krishna does not like fanaticism. So better we wait until He comes.” What is the next step? The sadhu-sanga will become a film club – watching TV together. Nobody attends the morning lectures and arati, but at least in the evenings before the television we come together and we enjoy nice company. There is no fight while we are watching TV! That type of sadhu-sangha is not very elevated. Better return to the original practices of sadhana, then again you will feel the strength. Because when you give up and say: “We should follow the natural path, raga-marga,” then you feel “Ah, I have lost my power. Ah, I am missing my protection. I thought I had something, but now it is gone. May be there is something wrong with the process?! Because I have started to become non-fanatic and you see what is the result: I am just going down.” Anyway, take up the golden thread again – to find the way out from this material labyrinth. Be a yogi! Be connected!

When you are attracted to yoga or sadhana, it is very easy to be a yogi. But when you are out of this initial taste, then it is more difficult. Or if something dramatic is happening in your life, for example loss of job or some material problem, some disease is coming to you, change of dwelling place – you might think: “I have no time for sadhana now, I am too busy. I have to do this and that.” That means, you have forgotten about God. So, be a yogi in such a situation – when it is not easy, when there is no full taste. You should be a yogi in all circumstances.

Just to mention, if you do not mind, one personal experience. We were just at the beginning of a series of lectures in Budapest. And we were waiting for some devotees to come from Pécs. They should have been arrived already, but they did not come. I thought: as usual they are late. Because devotees are very flexible on time. Finally, they did not come, only the telephone rang. Two were to come: an elderly lady and a boy. And the boy was calling. He said: “I will not arrive at the program, because I was taken to the hospital. But she was not taken to the hospital. We had an accident.”

So, she died while traveling to the program. That was a shocking experience and shocking news. What to speak of the fact that I had to tell the news to the daughter of that lady before the lecture. And the topic of the lecture was “The eternity of the soul.” And you can imagine it was very difficult to open my mouth; I wanted to hide and just feel the pain. I did not want to speak about the eternity of the soul when one of my disciples is dying. But then this verse from the “Gita” came to my mind: “Be a yogi in all circumstances.” And I had to go and give the lecture, to fulfill the desire of people to study. And I can tell you that since that time my heart is crying. Because to lose your spiritual master is a big disaster. But to lose your disciple… I think this is a greater disaster.

Anyway, be a yogi in difficulties. Be a yogi in all circumstances, irrespective of good or bad happening to you – simple message of the “Gita”, but very elevated ideal to accomplish.



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