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English issues

Mar

21

Golden!

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.01.2013, evening, Sofia)

(continued from the previous Friday) 

Shall we discuss faith a little bit? So, what is faith? If faith is a belief – we don’t know, therefore we believe – this is a hope. We hope against hope, in most of the cases we hope for a better turn, but usually we don’t do anything about it.

Yet faith is an active principle. So, if we want to enter deeper – what is faith proper – then we shall understand: all the different theologies will tell you that ”Faith is to accept the will of God”. That sounds more serious, right. This is not only my belief, my hope. This is something coming from above. If we want to specify a little bit more, in our tradition faith is defined in a following way: ”Faith is the firm conviction that by serving Krishna all other services are performed.” That means, by serving God you perform all your duties. Although we have many duties – to our family, to our body, to our tax office, etc. Many different duties we have. How to accomplish all? Plus you are indebted to the ancient sages and the great well-wishers of all times to practically all our teachers who taught us how to write, how to read – unlimited. So, on the practical level and on the mystical level we are indebted much more than if you take a loan from a bank. Because if you have a loan from the bank, probably you can pay it during your lifetime. But this debt cannot be paid in many lifetimes. So, faith means by serving God we pay all our debts, we perform all duties.

Now, please tomorrow don’t tell this to your boss: “My dear boss, I have performed my duty for today, because I served God.” So, don’t misuse this. But try to understand the deeper levels of faith – faith is that by serving God we can practically serve everyone. Because not only the human body is compared to a tree, but God is also compared to a universal tree. And all the leaves and flowers and fruits are us – all the different living entities. And if we water the roots of this tree, all the tree will flourish. So, if we dedicate our service to God, then through His roots, through His system our little insignificant service, these little drops of water that we can give, will be distributed to everyone, to the whole creation proportionately. If you want to water the fruits and the flowers, the tree will die. Therefore it is suggested later on in the Gita that you should search out the roots of existence and give your service there.

So, this is another definition of faith – “By serving the root you can serve all.” Are you satisfied with this definition? Shall we stop enquiries here, without entering deeper and higher recesses of the spiritual science? Or shall we go on? We should not stop in our enquiry. It’s not a joke. Why do I make jokes sometimes? Just to show you that many times we have doubts and we want to stop half way. This is when our shadow tells us: ‘Oh, why do you run so fast?’ When the circumstances or your inner weakness will tell you: ‘Ah, take it easy!’ But don’t stop in your search; go on, because this divine knowledge is endless. We enter one room and there are unlimited rooms waiting for us.

So, the next definition of faith, which is a little more astonishing, is: ”Faith is that happiness that you draw from the ever-increasing spiritual bliss of Krishna and Radha’s meeting”. Sounds different, ah? It’s not a belief. It is not our mental construction, but it’s something very divine. And the basic nature of faith – according to this definition – is bliss. It’s not suffering, it’s not torture – it’s bliss. And what is the feature of this spiritual bliss? That it grows. It’s not a stagnant one. And what is the source of this? Union of the Divine Couple – if Beauty and Love meet, that gives happiness to their followers. Just imagine, if Divine Beauty and Divine Love meet – that’s an eruption. That is the Golden Avatar, like golden volcano. So, this is a very high class definition of faith – spiritual bliss coming from God and His lilas.

But this is a little difficult definition. You will hardly remember it tomorrow. Therefore if I may help you to sum it up, an all-inclusive definition of faith is: ”Faith is a conviction acquired through love.” Do you agree? ”Faith is a deep conviction in our heart achieved through love”. Here everything is described in this one little sentence. Faith according to this definition is not a belief, not something that I don’t know. But this is something that I deeply know, deeply feel in my innermost existence! Therefore om means ‘yes’. If there is any meaning of om, this is ‘yes, what you are searching for it exists.’ In your temples how do they say the om? Amen, but the meaning is the same. ‘Yes, what you are searching for it exists’. So, it’s a deep conviction that ‘my home, my shelter is there’. How can we achieve that firm conviction? The method is also described here – through love. Not material, but divine love.

 

(to be continued)

 

 



thirst

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.01.2013, evening, Sofia)

I’m very happy to be here together with you. I feel honored that you take the time and trouble, and I’m sure that our Lord appreciates your efforts very much. There is a lot to say, but even more is impossible to be said. And what we cannot say by words, it’s very easy to express by emotionally surcharged words – that means divine song.

So, please allow me to quote a few verses from the divine scripture Bhagavad Gita. During the last days we discussed the perfection of activities, and actually the best supreme activity is to glorify God together through the holy names. This starts a very subtle and a very effective change in our life. Divine energy enters our consciousness and we start to use our lips for a different purpose than before. The function of our ears also transforms and instead of listening to the news of the world and repeating that insignificant material information, we start to be able to pay attention to the divine sound. And this transformation is very powerful over our system. Before we were searching for independent happiness and contentment, yet we felt ever incomplete. Before we were searching for comforts, yet we always felt uneasy. But now due to this change you start to pay attention to the divine message, and all of a sudden you will feel: ‘I’m satisfied. It doesn’t matter if I have something, if I don’t have anything – I’m satisfied.’ This change is like a turning point and we all need such turning points in our lives. So, let’s help each other to let it happen – from our selfish egotism we should come to our good self.

So, we read from the 5th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. This is about “Karma-yoga – Action in Krishna Consciousness”: “When one’s intelligence, mind, faith and refuge are all fixed in the Supreme, then one becomes fully cleansed of misgivings through complete knowledge and thus proceeds straight on the path of liberation.”[1]

This is the way to get rid of misconceptions, although it is very difficult to catch the truth. Yet, if we have our attention, if we have our faith, and if we have our intelligence fixed in the Supreme, then this change is starting. It doesn’t accomplish, it starts.

What is the most important part of a human being? What do you think?

Answer: The soul, the heart.

Swami Tirtha: Soul, heart – yes, correct. Once I asked a very young man, and he identified a different part of his body as the most important. But you know it changes from time to time. And finally after some consideration, we come to our inner self. And we find that here, in our bosom. So, you are residing there in this body. The body is like a tree, and the heart is like a main branch of this tree. And two birds reside on that tree. One is you, trying to taste the different fruits of the tree. How many times have we found a sweet fruit? Many times it happens, but they’re small ones, like berries. Have you ever found some sour fruits also, or bitter ones? Unfortunately they are bigger, like water-melon. Bad luck, this material life is arranged like this – little sweetness and big bitterness. That means this little bird, we, try to enjoy the fruits of our activities. And we are very busy enjoying these fruits, although they are sour and bitter, and sometimes little sweet. Yet, on the branch of this tree another bird is there, observing. This is Krishna’s presence in our heart. That Supersoul is the observer, your inner guide, ready to provide all the necessary circumstances that you need for enlightenment. Good and bad experiences come under divine supervision. So, nothing is independent from the divine surveillance. It’s easy to accept this when something nice comes to us ‘Oh, finally God recognizes my greatness!’ But when something difficult or unexpected comes, then we revolt. For example some suffering, some disease comes to you – what is the first question? Why? Although we have to remember that ‘why?’ as a question is not approved in spiritual enquiries. ‘Why me? Why not you?’ – It’s a wrong question. And we have lots of other questions. But better we try to focus our mind, intelligence, knowledge and faith on God.

 

 

(to be continued)

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita, 5.17

 



sadhu-sanga

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question: Why does the faith have to be tested? I believe that Krishna knows very well how much faithful you are, how much dedicated you are. Why is this happening?

Swami Tirtha: Guru puts the faith on test. Don’t blame it on Krishna! Blame it on guru! He is the main troublemaker.

Comment: He should also know.

Swami Tirtha: Therefore he does it. The question is whether you know. Don’t worry these tests are sweet. Sometimes we die, but it’s sweet.

Question of Paramananda: What is the biggest test, the ultimate test for the faith?

Swami Tirtha: Are you ready to listen to the answer?

Answer: Yes.

Swami Tirtha: The ultimate test of faith is not losing the vision of God. Because usually people don’t have a vision of God. So, there is nothing to lose in that respect. But when you lose your vision of guru – that is one very good test about your faith. Whether this is a personality cult, or a divine culture? Which is a big difference. Therefore I would never support a personality cult, but we should come to a very high and very elevated platform of cultivation. And definitely we need realizations. Not only beliefs, but realizations – about divinity, about reality, about my position, about the position of others, about divine power dominating over my life. This is one good test.

Question of Pavitra: You mentioned before that we have to be mild and tender towards everybody, because we don’t know who the chosen one of Krishna is. What do you exactly mean by this?

Swami Tirtha: Be mild and tender – this is what I mean. Other things are maybe complicated, but this we can understand. Of course mild and tender is not a material quality. Many times we mistake one for the other. Material goodness is not spiritual consciousness, but of course it doesn’t mean that you should be materially bad. It is not that ‘We practice material badness in order to be spiritual. As material goodness is not spiritual, therefore we practice material badness’. First, please, come to the level of goodness and then you can go further.

Mild and tender. Sometimes we are not mild and tender. Who is a good friend – the one who is always mild and tender? Or who is strong sometimes? The real friend will tell you the truth, which is usually hard to swallow. But a real spiritual friend, having a master’s degree,will tell the bitter truth in such a way that you are happy about it. Therefore the spiritual master is our good friend also. Because he will tell us the truth, and officially we have to be happy about it.



Feb

28

hand by hand

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

We should dedicate ourselves to some very high goal. We have to be fanatic about it. Usually we don’t appreciate fanaticism too much. But how can we reach anything without a big dose of fanaticism? It’s impossible! We have to dedicate our efforts to achieve something. If you are not fanatic about your faith, what will you reach?

Take the example of a sportsman. How much time does it take to achieve a gold medal at the Olympics? Minimum 10 years of heavy efforts day and night, every day. Although this is only a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Really they give their lives for their purpose. And our goal is not a gold medal. Our goal is the Golden Avatar. And how many crises a champion had to go through? You cannot imagine! Failures, mistakes and then the trainer comes and says: “No, run more!” When you feel like dead, he says: “Now continue!” What happens at the end? Everybody is crying when they stand on the highest platform and hear their national anthem. And what they will think and feel on that platform; ‘Oh, forget about the past. This moment is worth having all the troubles.’

So, in order to become a saintly person we have to go through all these difficulties. This is not a competition first of all. Spiritual life is not a competition. And there is a very nice example for that. Usually the most interesting athletic competition is the hundred meters run. What is the world record? 9.58 – so, in less than 10 seconds they are able to cover 100 meters. It’s incredible! And they say that the runners are not aware of the situation. They say that it is not sure that they breathe during these 10 seconds. They don’t know. They ran in a trance. They are just beyond the ordinary level of consciousness. So, the present day champion – I don’t know the name – he said: “Well, today there live more than 6 billion people on Earth. In the past there were some 4 more billion people, let’s say. And I am the fastest of all these 10 billion people!” Just imagine, that is something! I mean really, I don’t make it as a joke. Of course a rabbit can run faster than you, so it’s not a big thing, you are not faster than the 20 billion rabbits. But anyway, if you can be the best in all humanity, that is something great! Therefore all these 40 or 50 thousand people come together in the stadium to see who is running best. And you know for the last few years after the Olympic Games they always organize Paralympic Games. And they also have the 100 meters run. They had the starting shot and they started to move. After some moments one of them fell over. Fell over – that means he could not continue the run. And the person who was running at the front somehow noticed this. Then he stopped. And he returned. And everybody else stopped and returned. They joined their hands and they were walking the 100 hundred meters. All together. Spiritual life is not a competition. Who is best, who comes first, who comes last?

There are many examples how to approach the saintly qualities. Don’t worry if sometimes you stop and you go back to your friend, to your brother. Because this is not a one man show. And Krishna doesn’t need only the great ones and the good ones, and the super ones. We need the small ones also. We need the little slow ones, and the little stupid ones. Because you can never know who is the dearest to Krishna.

What is my vision of the Sofia ashram? Although here I see only champions… but when the time comes, hand in hand you walk. This is my vision. What is your vision? Please, adjust your vision if you have a different one.

So, to remove the cover of ignorance and to come to real vision we have to improve ourselves. Raise the level of awareness, and if we have a very high ideal, a very high goal, then it will be very easy to raise our level of awareness. Because compared to these ideals – selfless divine love, rapture, ecstasy of spiritual trance – compared to that everything is insignificant. Therefore it is suggested: always observe the Lotus feet of God. Raise your vision, don’t look into the mud. Always perform dharma and nothing irreligious. Look far, not close and pay respect to those whom we have to respect.

(to be continued)

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Obtaining your food – all the living entities are fighting about that. If you have a dog, a very obedient dog, and you give him to eat and you try to take away the plate from him, he will bite you. At least he will be disturbed very much. So, don’t interfere too much into these basic instincts of humans either. Let them have their privacy to a certain extent. Give space to each other. Don’t interfere into every little detail, if you want to become a real pure, saintly personality.

How to overcome these basic instincts, especially in spiritual life, when we want to be aware of the supreme reality, not the secondary reality of material life? The supreme reality! Very simple, you have to become a saint! And who is a saint? A saint is a person who is ready to dedicate his or her life for some higher, divine goal. This is a saintly personality – who is ready to give his life for a divine goal. Do you agree? Do you want to become a saint? Yes, we have to identify this as our goal: ‘I want to become a pure, dedicated servant of the Supreme!’

I think I told you one joke. There are some monastic orders which are very strict in the western Christianity. One of them is based on silence. The monks in the monastery have to keep silent. And the joke says, once a year they have a chance to speak up. So, a young practitioner joined. First after one year when the time came for speaking up, he said: “It’s very cold in my small cell.” Next year passed. Then the abbot said: “What do you say, my dear son?” And he said: “And my bed is very hard.” All right, and next year passed. On the third occasion the abbot said: “Well, if you only complain all the time, you can go home“. So, there are some strict orders. If we use our only chance per year for speaking up, giving such contribution, who will be happy about that? Don’t blame the cold. Don’t blame the hard bed. Don’t blame the environment. You see how it is a universal message there in all traditions? Shrila Shridhara Maharaj says: “Don’t blame the environment.”

So, ultimately these are very difficult verses actually[1]. It’s a very difficult topic, because first we understood that ‘Oh, it’s only the gunas working. It’s not me’. Therefore it’s very easy to blame the gunas. If I make a mistake, I might easily say: “Oh, this is shastric: it’s not me! It’s only the gunas, Prabhu! Why are you upset on my behavior? It’s not me! It’s only the modes of material nature.” I think you all understand. We shouldn’t blame the gunas, we shouldn’t blame Krishna: “You had created me like this, so now You should tolerate!” Don’t blame others! We should always raise our level of awareness. And that means we dedicate ourselves to some very high goal.

 

(to be continued)

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.14-15



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Yet another field where usually we lose control is defending ourselves. There are three types of people: one is generating conflicts, the second is avoiding conflicts and the third one is solving the problems. This is the rarest – who can solve. To generate is very easy! To avoid – not so easy! But to resolve – that’s practically impossible if you have enough players. Therefore, as one of our respected senior brothers and teachers said: “You have to decide whether you are part of the problem or the solution.”

 So, defending means that I reject everything concerning me and I try to push everything over the others. But these defense techniques are also very basic and connected to a kind of selfishness. Until we want to prove ourselves or to establish ourselves privately, independent of others, we can call this a selfish game, a one man show. But as we take birth in this material network of entanglement, therefore we play this individual game.

Therefore we can say that spiritual progress means from your selfish ego you come to your good self. From the false you come to the real. So, practically all different symbolic systems describe this progress – how to overcome the problems coming from the selfish and distorted identity. And especially in this very basic defending technique of survival we usually blame others. ‘I am happy due to my efforts – this is for sure. But I am unhappy because of others – because the government raised the taxes, because there is a crisis in the world, because we have lost Dobruja 100 years back, etc. Because I have a husband. Because I don’t have a husband’. So, everybody else is blamed. Not me. ‘I am so pure, I am so great, I am so nice, but the others…’

And finally, as we had studied religion, we know that God is the ultimate cause of all causes. So, it’s obvious that ‘ultimately He is the cause of all my troubles!’ Which is actually true, because He wants to show a mirror to you. Until we are not tested… Once I met a priest. We had a very nice discussion concerning faith and he said: “Well, until your faith is not tested you don’t know how strong it is.” So, if I sit at home in my armchair I might think: ‘Oh, my faith is so strong! My dedication to God is so perfect! What else can I offer? I had surrendered everything! Until nobody enters my room. As soon as somebody enters my room, my life, my pile of garbage – my peace, my dedication and my meditation is broken into pieces. Because others disturb me!’

So, half of the cycle of material life is passed in this ego principle – going through the experience of existence, the experience of possessions, and the experience of intelligence, the experience of faith, of service, and finally love. So, half of the cycle are all these different stages that are there on the ego principle. And then in the other half you start: ‘We exist, we love, we serve, we are intelligent, etc.” – so, this is the unity principle, the community principle. Nevertheless we all have to take this different experience and be ready in all positions to overcome these basic instincts. How to achieve that? Raise your level of awareness. As I told you, here in this very important verse Krishna says: “The Supreme Lord does not assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities”.[1]

So, we cannot blame God for our fortune or misfortune, because He is independent. Maybe we are not independent, but He is! So, by raising our level of awareness we can get rid of the ignorance covering our real knowledge.

 

(to be continued)


[1] Bhagavad Gita, 5.15

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

Discussing the chapter of proper action so far we have heard a very gentle message. We have heard only that proper action is without reaction; if you are a pure soul, you are under divine protection; activity of a dedicated person brings no entanglement and if you practice action or renunciation properly, you will reach the fruit of both. And we discussed how to be peaceful in the city of the material body. But the next verse gives a very serious message:

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.” [1]

This is a very important verse, 5.15, please remember! We can never blame our activities on God – neither good nor bad. The responsibility is not His. And we cannot say that the responsibility is not ours either. Somehow by entering this network of material illusion we are forced to go through different experiences. If we have entered this system of illusion, we are forced to act – most of the time unconsciously. Most of the human beings are not aware of what’s going on. Even if you examine yourself, we work on very basic impulses and instincts. It’s very difficult to control our reactions. If something violent comes to us, usually we react automatically violently. This is a very strange law of nature. For example, if you criticize or note something in others, this is because you are sensitive to that.

Other times you project your problems on others. And you think: ‘Ah, I represent the truth!’ Sorry, you are not aware of what is going on. Those who shout usually they are very weak. We have a proverb in Hungarian: “Those dogs that bark don’t bite”. So, choose your level of awareness. These basic functions and these basic instincts can be traced back to some very few elementary factors. One is how to maintain and protect yourself. Practically the whole nature works under this principle. Living beings try to survive, maintain their lives and try to protect themselves. Therefore all these fights are going on. Because, people included, they want to support and defend themselves. Usually we are accustomed to dominate over something, over anything. If this is a pile of garbage, at least this is my place to dominate. Nobody should enter this pile of garbage.

So, these very basic instincts are there. And we have learned from our scriptures and from our saints that the four basic principles of life are: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. If we perform only this, then what is the difference between a wolf outside and a ‘lamb’ inside? In order to start to be real human beings we have to overcome the basic instincts of material life. So, awareness. What is this awareness? We have to be present. Have you met people when they are really in anger? They lose control totally, you can see in their eyes they are not themselves. They are not aware of what’s going on. And then a certain pattern of activities starts to overpower that person like an avalanche – total loss of control.

This tendency to dominate is there in us. And usually we exercise this through fight. The western European societies try to culture themselves – for the last 50 years they didn’t enter a war with each other. Wow, such a great achievement, ah! But where is their fight now? At the football stadiums; sport is like an alternative for war. Yet the principle is the same: who is the best, who is stronger, who is the world champion. It’s the same – ‘my pile of garbage’.

The other big field where we exercise our basic instinct is sexuality. Who will dominate this female? Right, it is a big fight! The male ones are ready to forget everything, just to get the female. Again you can see – total loss of control if any of these basic biological instincts are harmed or disturbed only a little bit. Lack of awareness of what’s going on. Just like the deer outside, they are ready to fight and clash over the females – who is the alpha-male in the forest, whose genetics will dominate. You are not aware of what’s going on, it’s only the functions of the biological nature. Total absence of control and awareness; some very basic subconscious or deeper code of material entanglement starts to work.

(to be continued)

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.15



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.01.2013, evening, Sofia)

 

Question of Yashoda: You mentioned in some previous lectures the one-pointed devotion? If you could elaborate more on this type of devotion?

Swami Tirtha: One-pointed attention… Once there was a discussion between saintly personalities. The question was: “How many Gods are there?” And the answer was: “33,306”. “All right, but how many Gods are there?” “Thirty-three”. “But how many Gods are there?” Then it was said: “All right, three”. “But how many Gods are there?” “Two”. “Thank you, but how many Gods are there?” So, what do you think, what was the next answer? “One and a half”. “Thank you, but how many Gods are there?” And then it came to one.

What is this? Maybe the scientists are correct – this Hinduism is a polytheistic mess? It’s not, because soon it turns out that the 33,306 – these are only the emanations of the 33 main divine personalities – the different aspects of the Sun god, different aspects of the Moon god, adityas and this, and that – they are the 33 main personalities. Indra is mentioned in this list, Prajapati is mentioned in this list… And if you focus your attention, finally you will find the ultimate source, the ultimate personality.

I think you are interested in this one and a half God. This was God Supreme plus the life energy, prana – this is the half. Because this is so important that it is worth to be worshipped. So, life is a worshipable object! This is our one and a half God.

But for us who is the One? Ishvara parama Krishna – this Supreme controller is Krishna. Ishvarah paramah krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahaha – His body is eternal, fully cognizant and blissful. Anadir adir govindaha sarva-karana-karanam[1] before anybody else there is Govinda. He is the first of the first, the ultimate cause of all causes.

So, if we preach generally, we should say that Krishna is the ultimate. Do you want to hear some other opinions? Shall we enter a little deeper into this? Otherwise we can stop. So, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati – who was a sinha-guru, fighting all the misconceptions like a lion – once in one of his articles said: “Oh, this whole religious world is obsessed by this monotheism. They think that there is only one Supreme Lord. But that’s a major mistake. They are two. We are dualists. There is a predominant aspect of the Supreme and a predominated aspect of the Supreme”. Who is the predominant aspect of the Supreme? This is Govinda, Krishna. Who is the predominated aspect of the Supreme? Radha!

You might think that this is the end: Radhe-Shyam, Radha-Krishna. Once there was a very famous maharaja in India, and he visited Radha Kunda. And he circumvallated the Radha Kunda by dandavats. You know how it works: you stand, you bow down fully with your body, then you stand up again, you leap forward to the place where you reached before with your fingers and then again you bow down – this is the way how you go around the Radha Kunda. So, the devotees said: “Oh, this person has such a huge dedication to Krishna that he performs this dandavat parikram”. While Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said: “We have a different concept. We don’t have respect for Krishna. We pay respect to Krishna only because He is dear to Radharani. We pay all respect to Radharani. And Krishna is included in the picture because He is dear to Her!” But of course generally we don’t speak about that.

So, thinking that religion is the worship of 33,306 different demigods; polytheistic system or monotheistic system, or a dualist system… no, reduce! Only one! As there is only one personality mentioned most of the times in the maha-mantra. The great saints say that ultimately there is only one power. Therefore we have to be one-pointed in our worship.

And many times we discussed that some of the devotees are focused on the dark Lord, our Krishna; other devotees are focused on the bright Goddess, Shrimati Radharani. And those who cannot decide, they can choose the Golden Avatar, because in His personality they both are combined.

[1] Sri Brahma-samhita 5.1

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.01.2013, evening, Sofia) 

Question: When does the soul enters the body? Before the birth, at the birth, at the time of conception – how is it?

Swami Tirtha: There are many different conceptions. Some for example say that there is no soul. There is nobody to accept this body, there is nobody to enter. Other religious concepts say that with the birth of a new body a new soul is born also. But this is against our philosophy; our philosophy says that the soul is eternal – no beginning and no end, no birth, no death. And it has got a quality of spiritual energy that enters the body and starts to formulate the body at the time of conception. So, this spiritual energy, transferred by the seed of the father, enters into the ovum, and then by this energy surplus the material background of the mother is activated. And then if the energy is there, the body starts to formulate. If the energy is not there, no body starts to formulate.

Therefore fathers are very important, because they carry the seed. Of course mothers are also very important, because they carry the egg. This is the material background. All what you will have in your body later on is contained in this egg. Therefore we don’t eat eggs, because in the egg the whole chicken is included – with bones and feathers, everything. Would you eat chicken with bones and feathers? You would not! So, therefore don’t eat eggs! It’s very simple.

But apart from that, both sides are necessary. The energy, the soul, is not the seed, of course, because the soul enters the body of male beings through foodstuff. Through that foodstuff this spiritual energy enters your body and then it is injected into the womb of a mother. Therefore Krishna says in the Gita: “Everyone’s body is nourished by grains”[1]. Because it brings the seed into the body of a male being. But of course the soul is not the grains. It’s only connected, attached to the grain.

Where does the soul come from? The soul comes from rain. What is rain? Rain is water and water means life. Therefore the primordial ocean is called Garbhodaka Ocean – the water in the womb of a mother. In order to deliver a baby, you need an ocean in your womb. Although I’m not an expert in this field, but when your water gushes out, this is a signal: ‘Oh, the baby will come soon’. So, we are all born in the ocean of our mothers’ womb. In the same way this whole world is born in the Universal Mother’s womb. Life means water, and the water means life. If there is no water, there is no life. So, the souls come to the planet Earth through the rain and then they are transferred into the grains. But of course the soul is not equal to the raindrops. It is only attached to the rain drops. Where does the soul come from?

Answer: From the light?

Swami Tirtha: Kind of light, but it comes from silver light, the light of the Moon. Souls come to the planet Earth from the Moon. Therefore the Moon is diminished sometimes – when the souls come here. This is not a joke! And then the Moon starts to grow – that means all those who are passing from this Earth enter the Moon, they enter the sphere of the Moon. Then if more jivas join there, the Moon is growing. What does it mean? The Moon is like a transfer zone. Some go there, others return here. Yet others go further. So, the Moon is like a gate to the higher realms – this is the Sun gate we can say. The Moon is the Sun gate, gate to the Sun. But from the Sun there is no return, from the Moon there is return.

So, this is the path of the soul. From the Moon, this transfer zone, by the rain, through the grains, through the seed of the father, through the womb of the mother you start to develop your body, you take birth and at the end you give the final exam. Then it is decided what is your destination – the Moon or the Sun.

Try to understand this beautiful integrated vision of nature. Many people think that human beings are coming from the stars, that aliens manipulated human genetics. We are all born from the Sun and the Moon. That means you are all aliens. We belong to a different sphere, we come from the stars. Just like angels. So don’t forget about that you are being an angel. Show your wings sometimes. That means we belong to the divine world and we have to use this body in order to reach that divine realm.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 3.14

 



Jan

17

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.01.2013, evening, Sofia)

Question of Paramananda: A question about chanting. Once during initiation Shrila Shridhara Maharaja said that chanting without counting on a rosary means lack of service to Radhika. No service. Would you like to explain what does it mean and why is it like this?

 Swami Tirtha: Oh, that’s too high. This is complicated, I don’t know. Shrila Shridhara Maharaja is too divine. I am happy if I can receive some morsels from his chapatti, not to take part in the feast.

But you asked about chanting and I was very happy about this topic. Because what is chanting? At the first time a neophyte devotee might think: ‘Oh, I am chanting the holy names. And I can use the maha-mantra for my purification.’ Or ‘I can use, take advantage from the maha-mantra to achieve my spiritual goals.’ Which is a grave misuse. If there is anything that is higher than ourselves we should not use it, we should serve it, appreciate it. So, later on you will understand that: ‘Well, I cannot use the maha-mantra. There is only one reason why I can chant this mantra and it is to glorify God.’ That’s a better conception, but still not the end of the story, because later on we shall understand that chanting is like glorifying the unity between Radha and Krishna.

So, chanting this maha-mantra is not a simple function of the mantras in general. This is like an introduction into a very special and high type of spiritual mysticism. Although this is an open mantra, it’s a public mantra.

But the ultimate version is when the mantra wants to be chanted. From that very beginner stage that ‘I chant the mantra’ we should come to the other side that the mantra wants to be chanted. The maha-mantra needs persons who glorify it. So beautiful that there is an invitation from above! It’s not that you use or misuse a spiritual chance, but somehow you are invited and engaged in a very delicate and very high type of service.

And the maha-mantra is a very simple mantra – only three words. So, these are not the eighteen thousand verses of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Only three words: Hare, Krishna, Rama. If we ask what the most often repeated word by the vaishnavas is, some devotees might think: ‘Oh, Krishna’. But it’s a mistake, it’s not Krishna. Hare! Hare is much more times mentioned in the mantra than either this Krishna or that Rama. From this you can see who is this more important in this mantra. Who is stressed more, more, more.

At the same time this mantra is actually the essential compendium of our philosophy. Why? What is the top platform, the supreme conception in our philosophy?

Paramananda: Radha-dasyam?

Swami Tirtha: Mahaprabhu would say: “Go further!” It’s not radha-dasyam, not the service of Shrimati Radharani. What is the feeling of Shrimati Radharani? Separation! The general religion simply means: ‘I want to come closer to God! I want to be in the company of God! I am searching for Him.’ That’s good. But the upgrade of that spiritual search, when the feelings are much more intensive, is when you are separated from Him. When you are with somebody, you take it very easy. Familiarity breeds contempt. But if somebody is missing, then you feel the need.

But then how is separation contained in this mantra? How this hidden way is contained in this mantra? It’s very easy – Radharani is not mentioned directly there. In other main mantras of other sampradayas for example there is this Radhe-Shyam mantra: Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe. Radhe Shyam Radh Shyam Shyam Shyam Radhe Radhe.[1] Radhe-Krishna-Shyam. Here Hare-Krishna-Rama. So, Radharani in our maha-mantra is hidden, not directly mentioned. That is a very high conception. This is not the direct mention of our beloved, but indirect mention – svakiya and parakiya. Radhe Krishna Radhe Shyam – this is svakiya, official. Hare Krishna is beyond these limitations. So, this is an open mantra, non-secret. Yet, this is highly secret, top secret! And our acharyas give their understanding of the maha-mantra. Some I am ready to repeat here, some I am not ready to repeat.

Question of Kripadham: Gurudev, you mentioned that in chanting there are a few stages. I am interested in the second part in connection with worship. What can be done by a person who realizes that he has to worship, but he cannot. The theoretical understanding is there, he knows that this should be done, but he cannot do it in a proper manner within. And his chanting turns to offence.

Swami Tirtha: Well, once a young devotee asked Gurudev: “I feel if I offer my food to Krishna, this is offensive. Therefore I feel uneasy to offer my food.” Then Gurudev said: “Then do you want to eat bhoga[2]? Maybe this is a ritualistic formula for you today; nevertheless you have to do it! In order it becomes a pure devotional service.”

So, I think it’s very similar with any type of service, including chanting. Even if we don’t feel the high ecstasy that is described by the acaryas, we should perform it – trying to avoid the mistakes, trying to improve the quality of our chanting. Because this is the way to come to deeper realizations. Don’t worry, Krishna listens to your prayers! The divine sound is a direct link, local call.

[1] The maha-mantra of the Nimbarka Sampradaya

[2] Unoffered food