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English issues

rings

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

“The idea of renouncing the world and taking karma-sannyas is compared to silver. Even higher is if you renounce all material activities.”[1]

This is when you don’t give only part of the fruits of your activities, but you engage yourself totally in devotional service, you dedicate everything to devotional service. This is the silver. Shall we stop in a silver age? You are not satisfied with a simple silver age. You want something more. What is beyond the silver?

“The idea of devotional service mixed with empiric speculative knowledge, gyana-mishra-bhakti, is compared to gold”.

So, if your connection to the Supreme is tinged with some knowledge that is even higher than simple renunciation. But when we try to understand Krishna or we try to analyze the Supreme – it’s illusion. It’s not possible to understand. Therefore even gold doesn’t satisfy fully the heart. But if you are knowledgeable, if you have this gyana-mishra-bhakti, if some speculative knowledge is also included in you devotion, then you become wise. Here this knowledge type of devotion is called the gold. And silence is golden. So, if you are wise, you keep silent. But to speak is silver. If you have less, you want to speak. And this is very much true in spiritual knowledge. In another way spiritual knowledge is compared to the butter. What happens if you have enough butter? You cut some slices and you put it over your sandwich. But what happens if you have less? You don’t cut so thick, you cut very thin slices. Your knowledge is like the butter, because the less you have it, the more you spread it. The less butter you have, you have to spread it so nicely that it covers the whole slice of bread. Therefore silence is golden; and to speak is only butter-like silver.

Yet even gold will not satisfy our heart, our inner hankering. Because finally devotional service, unmixed with any empirical knowledge, gyana-shunya-bhakti, is compared to touchstone.

So, if somebody approaches you with a copper ring, you are happy. If somebody comes to you with a silver ring, you are happier. If somebody comes to you with a golden ring, then you are even more satisfied. But if finally you get a ring of touchstone, yоu are completely satisfied.

The main question is where is our priority? Simply to become a nice person – that’s the copper ring. If we are ready to give up the fruits – this is the bell metal. If we are ready to renounce the world – this is like the silver. If you become knowledgeable – that’s golden. From the material point of view we can say that this is the top – like a golden ring, with a nice cut brilliant. Hopefully more than two carats. But what goes beyond this empirical knowledge? This is the mystical knowledge, mystical realization – and this is a touchstone. This level has got the power of transformation. On the previous platforms all our achievements were on their respective platforms. But if you reach this pure devotional service, pure love of Godhead, it’s got a great transforming power. And by simply touching the touchstone will turn the iron into gold. So, it’s got power over all previous stages. In the same way this pure devotion has got power over all other previous stages of our existence.

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 



Discussion-between-Sri-chaitanya-mahaprabhu-and-ramananda-raya-660x400

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 evening, Sofia)

We are reading about the ultimate goal of life. This was a conversation between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His very dear devotee Ramananda Raya. After concluding this exchange with the divine revelation, now we continue the story.

“The Lord has thus enjoyed the company of Ramananda Raya while discussing about Shri Krishna continuously for ten days. Those conversations were very, very confidential talks about Vrajadham, the place where the transcendental pastimes of Shrimati Radharani and Shri Krishna eternally manifest. In those conversations the ecstasy that flows in Vrajadham was thoroughly discussed. There were also many other talks between Ramananda and Lord Chaitanya which are impossible for anyone to understand. In short, the whole topic was just a mine of gemlike information, which produced one gem after the other for the benefit of all humankind. The mine of that conversation is compared to an unfathomable deep metallic reservoir. As the mine was being excavated, precious metals of different categories came out in the form of copper, bell metal, silver, gold and lastly touchstone. Precious metals were excavated both in the preliminary as well as the concluding discussions between Ramananda and Chaitanya. In the preliminary talks in the search of the ultimate goal of life the idea of following the moral and social divisions of society is compared to copper – the mother of metals.”[1]

So it concerns following the rules of society this is precious, this is important. This is the platform where we understand how to be a nice gentleman or gentle woman. The social platform is so important today, because hardly the general population see any further platform of existence. But at least on that platform we have to be nice. So, this is the copper.

“The idea of offering the results of one’s work to Shri Krishna, karma-yoga, is compared to bell metal.” So, the next stage after how to become a nice member of society is: offer the results of your work to Krishna. This is called karma-yoga, where action is the means of communication. Why is it higher than the previous ideal? Because usually if you become a good member of society, you will enjoy the benefits. Yet why selfless dedication or renunciation is higher? Because then you contribute with something; that is higher. For example once we organized pada-yatra on the hundredth anniversary of Shrila Prabhupada’s birthday – we were walking, a big group of devotees. It was a very remarkable offering. On the second day one friend who also came with us said: “Oh, wait a minute! The expenses of those services that we receive are much higher than the fee that we contribute to the whole affair. We had to contribute with something to the expenses, but what we receive was much more than what we contributed.” And then I said: “Welcome to the club! Come to this side and then you will be able to give more than what you receive. Because on the other side you receive more than what you give”. So, this was the first level – where you enjoy the benefits. The second level is when you contribute, so that others enjoy the benefits. This is higher, this is a more precious metal than the previous one. 

(to be continued) 

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Question of Paramananda: Could you please help us to understand how can we be able to make the distinction between direct and indirect knowledge? Because sometimes the inspiration is whispering with a very soft voice. While what we experience with our senses from the world is very loudly imposing on us.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. There are three kinds of basic help for humanity today. One is the sacred tradition, the second is the polished and refined intelligence and the third one is the inspiration. Actually these are the paths to reach some reliable results. Therefore it is very much recommended to belong to a sacred tradition, to a school. Because they preserve the ancient knowledge and conclusions. Human intelligence is a very powerful instrument, but as it’s been mainly misused for the last 500 years, the results are not so favorable. Right, 80-90% of human intellectual capacities are used for military purposes. This is a misuse of intellect and therefore we see so many bad reactions in the world. But the proper use of intellect is a help. And the third way is inspiration, which is very underdeveloped these days. Intuitive capacities of human beings are very much underdeveloped, they are in decrease. It looks like in ancient times people were more able to use this capacity properly, but not so much in this time. Therefore this direct knowledge through inspiration or intuition – we should be also careful about that. As we are not in an advanced stage of consciousness, therefore this might be also distorted.

Then what to do? Let’s try to combine these three elements. If we commit ourselves to a spiritual school, to a spiritual sacred tradition, use our intellect properly, and slowly, slowly we purify the heart and consciousness so much, that the intuition might happen properly – then we can trust more and more our direct perception. Actually direct perception is always started from the other side, from the divine side – because it reveals. Our job is only to purify the screen, so that this divine revelation is reflected nicely in our consciousness.

But here was the second element of this list – the intellect. Usually men are cursed by intellect, knowledge, brain. We, men, always try to explain and analyze things. Usually ladies don’t analyze, but they know. They have this intuitive capacity more. Usually they come to right conclusions without too much analysis. I mean, without this intellectual dissection of the situation and then finally being lost in all the details – because this is our way.

So, we men, we are usually cursed by our intellect. Too much brain, especially concerning spiritual topics, doesn’t really help. Therefore, of course, as it is a gift of God to have some clear understanding, we have to use it properly. Therefore we have to become knowledgeable first. It is said in the shastras also: “First become like a wise man, knowledgeable. And then become like a child.” The child doesn’t think, the child feels. This is his or her approach to the world. Until we start to become spiritually intellectual, it’s a long path. But to cross beyond intelligence – this is the real task. If we can cross the limitations of the intellect, then we can enter the realm of mysticism. And mysticism means revelation. Such a person is able to perceive revelation, mystic experience. It’s not mystic data or mystic knowledge, it’s mystic revelation. Therefore we have to follow the example of Shrila Shridhar Maharaj, who was a very intelligent person. And he said: “Now I understood I have to use all my intellect to understand where its limit is and then go beyond that.”

So, direct knowledge means the ability to perceive the revelation.
 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Question of Lilavatar: You mentioned that the outer way is to associate with saints and the inner is the chanting. Could you please give us some instructions and advice concerning the chanting?

Swami Tirtha: Chant more. Do you need more advice?

Well, if we accept the holy name as non-different from Krishna Himself, then I think we will be able to pay more attention and more dedication to this process. To associate with the majestic Supreme Lord is not easy. Therefore we don’t chant om namo narayanaya, because to associate with Narayana it’s a challenge. But we chant something else: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare/ hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare, because it’s very easy to associate with your good friend. It’s very easy to glorify the meeting of Shrimati Radharani and Krishna. When glorifying this you don’t tremble due to fear, but due to ecstasy. Because if you glorify the Supreme Lord with all His majesties, you will tremble a little bit. But if you serve somehow the divine unity of your cowherd friend and His beloved one, that trembling is due to ecstasy.

Many times we have heard that this is like a question and answer: hare krishna – ‘Who are you?’ Hare krishna – ‘Is it you?’ Hare rama – ‘I am here.’ Hare rama – ‘So nice that you are here!’ Etc, etc. This is not only a repetitive formula, but the maha-mantra is an instrument of deep communication. It’s also an item of worship. And it is a source of happiness for Them, and for us also. It is said: “If somebody only once pronounces the holy name, he is considered to be a devotee”. But this is not a sound formula, but this is some essential touch. And there are no hard and fast rules concerning chanting. Nevertheless we should try to follow all recommendations to be successful in our spiritual practices. If we can surcharge our chanting with more dedication, then this is the best type of chanting. And also all the other mystic practices are included here. A devotee doesn’t have to do some extra meditations for prefect control of the body. Or for enlightenment, as for the yogis; or perfect brahmacharya for 12 years. Because by chanting we accomplish everything.

So, it’s a great science, but it’s a question of taste. If you have the taste, if you have just a little introduction to the taste, then you can do it very nicely. If we don’t have the taste, then we have to do it by self-discipline. Then chanting is on the sattvic platform as a kind of dharma exercise. But this is not enough; we always have to go beyond the ritual formalities and fill our chanting with extra dedication. And we should find inspiration in our chanting.

There are some stereotype situations concerning the different phases a devotee perceives while doing spiritual practices. There are times when you are very enthusiastic about your chanting and there are times when you are very unenthusiastic about your chanting. And then comes the next time when you are a little less unenthusiastic and when you will be a little bit more enthused.

We need certain humility also for proper chanting. It’s not that: ‘Oh, today I have accomplished 85 and a half rounds’. It’s not a competition. Of course it’s good to understand, to have the feeling that ‘If I perform, it happens, it works’. But the goal of chanting is to make Radha-Govinda happy.

And how can we judge what is the level of our chanting? Is it good, is it proper? Is it useful, or is it not? How to judge? It’s not easy. Well, can you see Radha-Govinda smiling? You can see Mahaprabhu – if He is satisfied or He expects some little more attention. But there is another feedback also – whether our spiritual master is satisfied with our chanting. Again this is not very easy to judge whether our master is satisfied with our chanting. But you have an inner instrument to measure. Because while you are chanting, if only good and positive and nice spiritual thoughts or mood come to you – then your chanting is proper. When you can find your inspiration – then you are in a good direction and then you can improve your chanting more and more. Because chanting is like putting the invitation on the door “My dear Lord, please come!” Don’t be surprised if He arrives.

(to be continued)

 

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued to speak “You have deep regard for Radha and Krishna and as such you can perceive Their presence everywhere.”[1] So, this was the answer of Mahaprabhu without duplicity. But Ramananda Raya was not satisfied. “He was not satisfied within His heart although the words of the Lord were certainly correct. Therefore finally Ramananda Raya said: “My Lord, please, give up this roundabout way of revealing Your true personality. Do not try to hide Your real identity. I know who You are. You are Shri Krishna Himself, covered by the complexion of Shrimati Radharani. You have descended to relish the ecstasy of Your transcendental pastimes with Her. The main purpose of Your appearance is to relish the feelings of Your devotees’ love for You and simultaneously to distribute that love throughout the three worlds. You have come to me out of Your own accord, so how is it that You want to hide Yourself?”

Here Ramanada Raya describes the three main reasons why God came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the last place He mentioned that: “You wanted to distribute divine love.” This is like a duty – duty of God or duty of an avatar. It’s a divine function – that somehow the pure religious principles must be maintained. But this is like a general reason of appearance. In the second place it was mentioned that: “You want to taste the nectar that devotees enjoy”. Therefore we understood that to be a devotee is a very prestigious position. So much so that even Krishna wants to taste the nectar that you taste. But ultimately the main reason for His appearance was to enjoy the pastimes with Radhika. So, Ramananda gave these three secrets about Mahaprabhu’s appearance. And then finally he said: “You came to me, now why do You want to hide? Don’t hide!”

“At this Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and revealed Himself as Rasaraja, the king of all divine rasas, and also as His other self, Shrimati Radharani, who is Mahabhava, love of Godhead personified”. So, one aspect of Mahaprabhu is the enjoyer of all divine mellows – Rasaraja. And He is never without the source of all the happiness that He can enjoy and this is Mahabhava, the greatest feelings of divine ecstasy. Then He revealed Himself in one form, as the unity of the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, appearing with the sentiments and color of Shrimati Radharani. And then there is a quote from the notebooks of the personal secretary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – Svarupa Damodara: “The loving affairs of Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They separated themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental personalities have again united in the form of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. I bow down to Him who has manifested Himself with the sentiments and complexion of Shrimati Radharani, although He is Krishna Himself.” Internally black, externally silver – and this mix gives golden. Inside Govinda, outside Radha and when They combine – it’s Goura.

Then what happened? When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His real identity – one aspect Krishna, other aspect Radhika – another transformation came. “Ramananda Raya fainted in ecstasy upon seeing the unique manifestation of the divine form. In a swoon he collapsed to the ground. At that moment Lord Chaitanya touched the body of Ramananda and brought him back to his external senses. Ramanada was again astonished to see Chaitanya in the form of a sannyasi. Then the Lord embraced Ramananda and pacified him by saying: “Except you nobody has ever seen this transcendental combined form”. Lord Chaitanya said that nothing is unknown by Ramananda about His own pastimes and therefore He showed him this unique manifestation.”

Therefore we try to follow the example of the great ones, because nothing is unknown to them about the divine pastimes. It is a very long path until we reach the other shore of reality. But you can cover this distance in a shot.

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

 



слънчев поглед_n

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

It is this vision we have to acquire – to be able to see the connection of the things with the Supreme Lord. How to achieve that change of vision – what is your suggestion?

Paramananda: To associate with devotees of the Lord.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, that’s very important. And what is our private, personal effort to accomplish this change?

Paramananda: To devote ourselves to the holy name.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. Don’t forget the example of Gurudev. He told us that when he was very young and joined the the ashram in Sweden, he went for a japa walk in the park in the morning. He was absorbed in his chanting very much and all of a sudden he saw that, ‘Wait a minute, this bush has changed! It’s not the same bush anymore.’ All of a sudden everything started to change in his vision. Before it was just a stupid bush and now it started to be a living entity, fully surcharged with spiritual powers. So, if you want to see yourself when you look into the mirror – chant, chant more. Or if you want to see the better version of the present environment – chant more! And you will see a different world. Also if we want to see the divine reality – this is the way. Be connected; if we are not connected, we don’t have entrance. But as soon as we give ourselves and we are connected through our prayers, through our chanting – the doors open up. So, this is our hope – that our vision will change. Therefore we chant the holy names.

So, the first class devotees perceive the presence of Shri Krishna everywhere. “The jungle trees and creepers full with the fruits and flowers bowed before the Lord with feelings that Shri Krishna is their vital life. In a mood of transcendental cheerfulness and ecstatic joy the trees and creepers poured forth large amount of honey in His presence. This was possible due to their pure love of Godhead.”[1] This is a quote from Shrimad Bhagavatam; and many times the scriptures describe how everything changes when Krishna appears. When He passes by, all flowers are thrown to Him, even the trees bow down. The moving entities stop and wait and the non-moving entities like the trees start to tremble. And they pour large quantities of nectar.

If we want to apply this verse in our life, how can we bring out the best from our present moment? How can we pour large amounts of nectar? Only if it is due to our pure love of Godhead. If we have that, only nectar will come. If we have something else inside, then not pure nectar will come. Then you will have a mixture, you will have a cocktail. Some drops of nectar, other drops of something very bitter, etc., etc. So, please, cultivate this divine knowledge so that whatever comes from you it’s pure nectar.

 

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 



Golden Avatar

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Then Ramananda Raya says to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “My Lord, I have one doubt within my heart and I hope You will kindly remove it by Your grace. At first I saw You appear like a sannyasi. But now I see You as Shyamasundar, the cowherd boy. Now I see You appearing like a golden doll and Your entire body appears covered by a golden luster. I see that You are holding a flute to Your mouth. And Your lotus eyes move very restlessly due to various ecstasies. I actually see You in this way and it’s so wonderful! My Lord, please tell me without duplicity what is the cause of this?”[1]

What happens here? Ramananda Raya is perplexed. Before he saw a sannyasi. All right, in India you are not perplexed to meet a sannyasi. Although Mahaprabhu was a very exceptional sannyasi. He was very tall. His feet were very big. In Jagannath Puri they preserve the sandals of Mahaprabhu. And just between you and me, recently I met a young man: the number of his feet size is fifty-two, or something like that. And the devotees were very much ready to see all the divine signs that ‘he is a great personality’. And he is! And Mahaprabhu was a very beautiful person. You don’t expect a sannyasi to be charming and beautiful, because he is a renunciate. ‘Poor guy, he was not successful in material activities, so finally totally frustrated he turned to renunciation’ – sometimes people have this understanding about sannyasis – that they failed materially and therefore they go spiritually. But this is not proper, especially for Mahaprabhu; He was a very, very charming personality. Therefore many were afraid if He would take sannyas. They said: “Oh, You are so nice! You are such a prosperous young man! Sannyas is not for you. Everybody will be hurt by the feeling that You take trouble and ascetic practices. How can we tolerate that You lack some comforts of life?” But nevertheless He was very determined to take sannyas, because people pay more attention to sannyasis. This was one of His purposes.

Here it happened in the same way: Ramananda Raya was happy to meet a sannyasi. But all of a sudden his vision changed. And he didn’t see this beautiful renunciate, but he started to see Krishna, the divine personality. “Now I see You as Shyamasundar, the cowherd boy. What’s the reason for that? But tell me without duplicity.” Does that mean that before they had some duplicity in their conversation? No. But Ramananda wanted to find the truth. What’s the secret here? “The Lord replied: “Those who are deeply absorbed in a loving relationship with Krishna, they are all first class devotees. As a result of their natural love for Krishna they realize the presence of their worshipable Lord Shri Krishna everywhere. Even while they look upon all the varieties of moving and non-moving objects. The objects of their observation do not appear before them as they are, but they appear differently in relationship with Krishna”.

This vision we have to acquire – to be able to see the connection of the things with the Supreme Lord.

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

It’s always useful to meet challenges because then you can identify your position. Although usually we don’t like challenges, nevertheless they are very useful. And as we have learned that everything originates from the spiritual sky, we must understand there are also challenges in Goloka Vrindavana: ‘Who will satisfy Krishna the most today? Whose forest garland will be the most beautiful for today?’ Well, I wouldn’t say that this is a heavy competition over there. Nevertheless we have to try to realize something while we are here. And after all these questions, the discussion between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya is going on.

“Let us therefore pray for shelter under the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, who is free from all illusions by the interference of His own energy and who is the absolute truth. The absolute truth is the fountainhead of pure knowledge in all affairs of creation, maintenance and annihilation. This is the only logical conclusion to be drawn after carefully understanding the subject either directly, or indirectly.”[1] Although this is only a philosophical conclusion – that God is the ultimate mover, source and destination – please, try to grab that these are not only words. But if you feel the divine presence in all actions and in all moments, then it’s a completely different world view. What do we see usually? We see only an external form. Even if we look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, it’s not you whom you observe, it’s only your external form. And as you have known this fellow for some time, you feel convenient with the picture. But if you are able to see the soul, it’s a completely different approach. In the same way, if we have the philosophical conclusion: ‘Yes, divine power is behind all actions in this Universe’ – that’s dry. But as soon as you will perceive the divine game of Krishna in all movements or at least in some way or another, then it’s not a dry philosophical conclusion anymore, but rather a permanent revelation of the divine mysteries. Many times devotees say if something is successful: ‘Ah, this is Krishna!’ But it’s really Him!

But here something very important is mentioned: “after understanding the subject either directly or indirectly”. Direct knowledge and indirect knowledge is very important. Because we might think that direct knowledge is analysis and indirect knowledge is like drawing some conclusions, like a logical sequence. But better we say that the direct knowledge is inspiration. And indirect knowledge is when you exercise some capacities that you have. Because then you reach the topic indirectly through the instrument of some intellectual or analytical capacities, etc. Of course we have our senses, we have our intelligence, we have our training, etc. And they are God-given gifts, so we should use them for some very good purpose. But I think we have to conclude that to reach the divine reality – this is not an intellectual journey. Rather this is a revelation and in this way it is a direct knowledge. So, there is no need of any instrument for this divine reality to reveal to us.

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



rasalila

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 6.09.2015 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

The next question says: “Where should a living being reside?”[1] Where to live?

Answer: Vrindavana.

Another: Ludashto.

Swami Tirtha: Ah, Ludashto is not bad. Just recently we had a tournament of shooting arrows. There was a big pandal with different destinations – Hawaii, Paris, Brahman, the spiritual sky, Goloka Vrindavana, Vaikuntha Planets, and also Ludashto. Then one of our friends shot the arrow – Ludashto. And on the next step he had to get some wisdom. And the wisdom coming to him was: “If you reach your goal, never turn back”. So, Ludashto is not a bad option. Because this is like Gupta Vrindavana, a hidden Vrindavana.

The answer tells here: “One should live in Vrindavana, where the transcendental pastimes of rasa-lila perpetually are performed.” So, these two are inseparable: in Vrindavana rasa-lila is always going on; and where rasa-lila is, there is always Vrindavana. This is the most essential pastime of our beloved Divine Couple. And this is the essence of Vrindavana.

The next question goes: “What should the living entity hear about, leaving aside all other topics”.

Answer: The pastimes.

Swami Tirtha: All right, next time you will give the lecture. Yes, what we should listen to? What topic we should pay attention to? “The reciprocal loving pastimes of Radha and Krishna are the only subject matter for oral reception by the living entity”. This is the best news that we can get. This is the best topic to listen to. Because such a message will change our life. Through this hearing capacity we can be connected to the higher reality.

And if we have all this knowledge accumulated so far in the conversation, then the next question comes: “What is the most worshipable object among all those to be worshiped?” Any suggestions?

Comment: I would suggest that maybe the lotus feet of the spiritual master?

Swami Tirtha: Close to. “The topmost worshipable object is the combined names of Radha and Krishna”. It is suggested if we don’t understand something, we have a special approach – worship. Then it will reveal to you. What do we understand about the combined names of Radha and Krishna? Personally myself not so much; therefore I worship. Why? Because ultimately this is not a topic to understand. Understanding means that you push something down, you take it into your fist. You put yourself above that topic. But it is said: pujala ragapata gaurava bhange[2]Everything that is superior we should worship and take it on our heads. So, the combined names of Radha and Krishna are not for understanding, they are for being worshiped. We all know what the best worship is.

So, did you learn something about the ultimate goal of life? Maybe you can complain that there were too many questions. ‘I am lost in the jungle of questions.’ But don’t forget, all the answers came to the same topic. No matter what was the question, the answer was always the same. Love of Godhead is the best! Worship of the combined names of Radha and Govinda is the best. The best meditation is the lotus feet of God. The best song… Let’s sing the best song.

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

[2] Shrila B. R. Shridhara Maharaja often recited the verse written by his spiritual master Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura

 



Nov

19

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 6.09.2015 pm, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

The next question is: “Who is to be remembered constantly by the living beings?”[1] Whom we should remember? What to keep in mind?

Answers: God. Krishna.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. “One should always think of the transcendental name, fame and the qualities of Shri Krishna.” Why name? All major religions today on this planet Earth have knowledge about the glories of the holy name. In Islam they chant the 99 names of God. In Christianity, in the Lord’s Prayer the second stress is on “Hallowed be Thy name”. Also, in the orthodox practices they have Jesus mantra meditation. And in our tradition, it is very much focused, very deep knowledge and much information is there about the holy names.

It is said that there is no difference between the name and the person named. Shrila Prabhupada had a very special type of giving lectures. He was sitting on a big stage and he was telling one of his disciples: “Now you speak! “Then this devotee started to explain some things about the basic philosophies. Once some devotee said: “And Lord Krishna is present in His holy name”. Then Prabhupada, although he was usually keeping silent, immediately interrupted: “No! He is not present in the holy names, He is the holy name!”

So, there is no difference between nama and nami, the name and the named. Therefore the process is to chant the names in order to understand perfectly what the name is. Through the name the perfection of the name will reveal to you. And not only the perfection of the name, but the other qualities of Krishna – nama, rupa, guna, lila – everything will come. The entrance, the proper way to divine revelations is through the holy name.

This much about the name. Then we should always think of the fame of the Lord. Fame, how it is called in Sanskrit? Usually how do you say: Prabhupada, or?

Answer: Shrila.

Swami Tirtha: Shrila Prabhupada. So, what is fame? Shri, correct. We say Shri Krishna. What is this ‘Shri’? Is this some title? This Shri is something different. Shri is She. If you say Shri Krishna, then you say Radha-Govinda. So, you should always keep Her in mind. Keep His name in your mind and keep Her in your mind, Shri. Shrimati Radharani is the fame of Krishna. And then the qualities, guna of Krishna; He is All-attractive, even for Himself, don’t forget. What to speak of you.

The next question goes: “What should the living being meditate on?”

Answer: Lotus feet.

Swami Tirtha: Are you also online? “The most perfect type of meditation is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.” Or I have an alternative – to meditate over the lotus feet of a pure devotee. If you meditate on the lotus feet of a pure devotee, then automatically you will follow in his footsteps. Wherever he goes, you will follow. And what is the destination of a pure devotee? Therefore it is said: mahajano yena gatah sa panthaḥ[2] – we should follow the footsteps of the great souls. So, please always keep the lotus feet of your beloved masters in the blossom of your heart. Because they will guide us. They will help us to reach our final destination. This is the perfect type of meditation.

 

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

[2] Mahabharata, Vana Parva 313.117