Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 11.05.2017 pm, Sofia)

Question of Pavitra: I have a question about faith. The scientists for example invest their faith in the atom. What does faith actually mean and how to cultivate faith in the right direction?

Swami Tirtha: Very good question. Actually in the Middle Ages, the scholastic approach of Christian theology gave a very simple explanation. There is one absolute truth, God, and religion approaches that reality through faith, like a direct road; while science approaches in a zigzag way – a little longer, but ultimately reaching the same reality. And we can see something very similar in the recent years of scientific development. Slowly-slowly our scientific understanding reaches the limits of itself. For example, if you study physics or neo-physics you will find it’s almost philosophy. Or astrophysics – this is like a theological explanation of the reality that we perceive. And actually their understanding is quite proper. I don’t know the exact data, but they say that the obvious matter that you can perceive is like 20% of the Universe. The perceivable energy is like 20%. And the energy that you have no conception of at all, you cannot understand what it is – it’s 80%.  And how is it called? It’s called ‘Black energy’. This is what the yogis have been saying for ages! Lord Vishnu, from His black body everything emanates. So, this is the black energy behind the things. Even a few years ago the Nobel prize in physics was distributed to a theory – it is called ‘The black body theory’ in physics. Black body theory. That means we all can receive the Nobel prize, because we know of this black body.

But beyond the jokes, I really feel that recent science is very close to the edge of physics and reaching out to metaphysics. It’s only one little step ahead. One real scientific explanation for matter, how it exists is the following: “In an unknown way matter is permanently manifested from somewhere.” But wait a minute, is this science? Sorry! ‘We don’t know how, from somewhere, it constantly manifests.’ Why is it a better explanation than, let’s say, ‘God, or the supreme cause of all causes, manifests from His divine powers all this revelation.’ Why is the other a better explanation? Of course our business here is not to criticize scientific achievements. I just want to add that this edge of science is very close to the divine reality.

But your question is about faith. Even to reach the bus or go to your job you need a certain type of faith – this is part of our existence. Of course we want to understand faith in a religious or divine context. So, generally what is the tattva definition of faith? Tattva, I mean the truth. the spiritual, theological definition of faith is that by serving God you fulfill all other commitments. I see that you are not very satisfied. No doubt, this is a little dry. Is this my faith? We need something else.

All right, the rasic explanation of faith is the ever-growing bliss that you can perceive and derive from the understanding, or better I say, from the worship or the appreciation of meeting of the Divine Couple, Radha and Govinda. Rasic means essential or tasty. Sounds a little complicated, right? When we reach the end, we forget the beginning – what’s that? Nevertheless, try to remember: the ever-growing bliss that you can derive from worshiping the meeting of the Divine Couple. It’s beautiful! That means the unity of Beauty and Love – if we appreciate that, then we will be blissful. This is a rasic definition of faith. It’s not something that we don’t know and therefore we believe. No; but if we want to put it very simply: faith is a conviction that you achieve through love. Do you like that? Firm conviction that you can achieve through a loving approach.

What is philosophy? Philosophy is Sophia. Appreciation of Sophia, philo-sophia. So, here again it’s not dry theoretical, analytical knowledge. This is a loving approach: ‘I appreciate, I like this superior knowledge!’ This is the proper approach: firm conviction that we achieve through love. So, this is our understanding about faith. A perception of divine reality – for which you have the eyes only through divine love.

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