Archives

Calendar

October 2021
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031



English issues

drop into ocean

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2016 morning, Ludasto)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Svarat, God is independent. But at the same time Krishna is not independent. In the beginning it is said He is independent, but at the end we shall understand He is not. He is not free from His devotees. You see, first we start with a very high class of meditation over the supreme absolute truth, the independent God, and this and that. And ultimately when we proceed further, we shall understand what kind of chains you can put on this Supreme person.

But otherwise it is said that a creative process is only for the free souls. Nevertheless I feel that bhakti-yoga is a very creative process in all senses possible. So, that means we have to be free. Free from entanglement of illusion, from the tar that is still stuck to our wings. And also we have to be free from the mental patterns and bad habits. We have to apply the proper kind of freedom in a proper manner. Because if we follow the process, it is said that all the divine qualities will transfer to the devotee. That means Krishna’s freedom might also come to you – His independence. Hopefully we shall achieve this freedom of mind, freedom of consciousness, freedom from illusion. Svarat – this divine independence which is based on the total dependence on the absolute truth, on divine love – this is the key to success. When you freely offer your freedom. I think even in human relationships we know that this works. What is this key of success of a joint relationship? That we freely give up our freedom, right? We know that this is the principle, yet it’s very difficult to put it into practice. Again and again we want to fight for our freedom, but we all know that the secret is when I give, when I make the sacrifice.

Svarat. And if we can achieve that kind of spiritual freedom, independence –depending on the supreme truth, depending on Krishna – then comes the last-last invitation: satyam param dhimahi[1] – “Meditate over the supreme truth!” And this is the conclusion of the first verse of the Bhagavatam. What was the start? Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, “I offer my respect”. And what is the final invitation? “Let’s meditate over the supreme truth.”

So, even in one verse you get everything. What is the path of perfection? This: offer your respect and meditate over the supreme truth. Everything is included: then you overcome illusion, then you become independent, then you achieve everything – you achieve perfect consciousness. One drop contains the ocean.

Therefore we are together – to touch different drops of this divine ocean. Because this is a very mystic thing – one drop can inundate the whole universe. Satyam param dhimahi.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.1



74789382_10214765104030751_9209126781385179136_n

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2016 morning, Ludasto)

What is the point of a spiritual meeting? To discuss the spiritual truth and to elevate the consciousness. Or, in a devotional manner – to fly your soul. Because elevating the consciousness is very dry, while flying the soul is very sweet. Nevertheless sometimes instead of flying you might feel like a half dead pigeon dipped in tar. What kind of flying is this? Unreal. Many times when you think you fly, actually you are just flapping your wings in the tar. Then what to do? How can we touch something real? If we want to touch the essence, we have to follow the example of the great ones. How to touch transcendence, an encounter with divinity, as we discussed last time in Sofia? Offer you respects.

“O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.”[1]

This is the exposition of the Bhagavatam which is considered so important for us. This is like a prayer, a glorification and setting the goal. Usually all the different Puranas and holy scriptures in the first shloka or sutra, they identify the goal, the topic. So here Bhagavan is identified as the target. Therefore this Purana is called Bhagavata Purana, because it discusses Bhagavan, it is connected to Him. This is the First Canto, 1.1.1. We start at the beginning, not at the end. Every process should start at the beginning and finish at the end, not the other way round. What is more important – to start or to arrive? If you arrive, starting is included.

So, different things are mentioned here: the creation and the illusion, and this and that – so many things are mentioned even in this first little verse. But ultimately one word is important here – svarat, independent. This is so important that one main political movement of the 20th century in India was Svaraj – The independence movement. What is the ultimate svarat, or svaraj, the ultimate independence? The dependence on God. So we can say what the end of India’s history was this is the beginning of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Svarat, Krishna is svarat, God is independent. So, whatever was mentioned before: creation, destruction, maintenance, illusion, this and that – it doesn’t concern Him, He is independent of that. What is important here – that He is independent. We want to worship an independent God. Why? Krishna is free. And as the opposites attract each other, maybe the slaves are most attracted to this free God.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.1



изтеглен файл

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Question of Tejasvini: How can we maintain the connection to divinity, how can we develop the taste?

Swami Tirtha: Come out from the darkness, stay always in the light. Everything depends on the state of consciousness. Once a very senior devotee approached Shrila Shridhara Maharaja, a very elevated saint, a god-brother of Shrila Prabhupada. He had a temple on the bank of the Ganges in Bengal, in a holy place in Navadvip which is the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Avatar. You can find that beautiful book on the book-stand about His life and teachings. The biography is a very sweet and easy reading. The philosophy is very complicated and difficult reading. One is bhakti, the other is yoga – the sweet drops and the even more sweet drops.

So, Shridhara Maharaja was sitting on the veranda of his temple. And you know what you see in Bengal? The jungle, nothing else. Only trees. Yet in a very deep and meditative mood he said: “If we look around, there are so many things that remind us of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” What do you see? Only the jungle. What a pure devotee sees? Reminders of his beloved God. Here is another example how to recognize a saintly person. He will have a different vision. I think that this is the reality and he will come and say: “No, this is illusion, my dear.”

So, how to maintain our consciousness? How to develop the taste for spirituality? Actually Krishna’s plan is ready for us. We only have to expose ourselves to that plan. And at the same time we have to perform all the necessary rules and regulations of freedom. This is the way to achieve freedom. The best way to develop a taste for spirituality is to have a private talk with God. Not only an official prayer, but also a private discussion. And that is concentrated in chanting of the holy names. The holy names of God are glorified all over. Especially Mahaprabhu came and gave the mantra of love. As we discussed: the om is for creating order, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya is for protection, and Hare Krishna maha-mantra is for developing divine love and worshipping divine love. If we simply interprete the meaning of this mantra, these are only three words: krishna is ‘beauty’, hare, hara is ‘love, divine love’ and rama we can say is ‘happiness’. So, what is this mantra? ‘Beauty, love, happiness!’ What will happen if you repeat these words? You will become very sad, very morose? No! Beauty, love and happiness will come to you. So, how to maintain our consciousness? Always be connected to the divine reality. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

The holy name is identical to God. All the powers and divine parts are present there. This is the conclusion of the Shrimad Bhagavatam also: “By chanting the holy names you can overcome all the difficulties and limitations of the present age.”[1] Simply by chanting this mantra you are connected to beauty, love, happiness. The saints will always remind us that we belong there – to the land of beauty, to the land of divine love, to the unbroken harmony. By serving these saintly persons, by chanting the holy names and by studying the holy scriptures we can very easily maintain our consciousness.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.13.23



IMG_3194

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

So, why we need the company of saintly persons? Because they bring the message of divine presence. Therefore it is suggested that we have to respect and pay attention to the teachers. And especially we have to pay attention to teachers who teach us about divine love. Because compared to that ideal, all other ideals are like subservient. Therefore was the question: how to recognize a saintly person? And therefore we had all these beautiful answers of God Supreme that “he whose consciousness is fixed and independent of good or bad influence – he is a saintly person.”

And if we find such a saint for ourselves, then we are very fortunate. I had found my saint.

Sanatan: Me too.

Swami Tirtha: You see we are brothers.

This meeting was like meeting a white angel. Once my master visited me while I was still living at home. His disciples arranged a meeting with him; they told me: “He will come to you, so be prepared!” And when he entered my room, he was wearing white clothes, full white. He was shining. But later on I understood, that this is not the white clothes; it’s the divine emanation that was shining over him. At that time I had the service to translate. So, he asked: “How is your service going on?” You see, angels are not always smiling and cherishing or patting you on your shoulder. Sometimes they had challenging questions. I said: “Well, after 8-10 years of job and work maybe I can do a little-little translation here and there.” And he said: “No! It’s not enough!” And then it started.

So, if you start to associate with angels, beware! A new speed will come into your life. But this is our fortune, if we can find such an angel in our life. Therefore it is said: follow the angels. And the more you purify your vision, the more angels you will find. And in the company of the saints it’s very much possible that we also can develop some good qualities. If we associate with drunkards, we become drunkards. If we associate with great saints, we might become also saints. And the ultimate sign of a saintly person is that he is always connected to divinity. So, please, be always connected!

To meet a realized person, this is rare. But not impossible. If everything is under divine control, it’s because the real student is very sincere. He has this original purity and this is a divine state of the soul. If we have that purity, then it’s very easy to connect to the divine truth, divine reality.

Chanting the mantra of the holy names is the best method of purifying one of the most important places in our body – the heart. The heart is just like a lotus throne. So if you imagine your heart as a lotus throne, you have to purify everything there and you have to invite the most appropriate person to accept that throne. This throne is waiting for God to accept it. And Krishna is compared to the sun – bright and bringing the enlightenment. While illusion is compared to the darkness; and when there is light, there is no darkness. So if we can invite Krishna onto the lotus throne of our heart, no illusion, no darkness will remain there. Therefore we have to pray that from the darkness we find the way to the light. From the unreal we can approach reality, divine reality. And this is the way to escape from death and reach eternity.

Try to purify that place – the heart. Decorate it with the best offerings that you have and invite Krishna onto this lotus throne. And don’t worry that ‘My heart is too small to embrace God, to provide a place for Him’. In our heart we have a secret cave. And this small secret cave is big enough to encompass the whole world. The heart chakra, the heart feelings are a point of breakthrough.

(to be continued)

 



205740_10150177599750489_1187575_n

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.”[1]

This is the analysis of the process: what happens if the thoughts are not controlled? Automatically they want to find some topic for them. Your mind will find some other engagement, if it is not engaged in the service of God. And then the sequence starts. If you start to meditate, to think of some sense objects, attachment will come. From attachment a higher, more intensive type of attachment, lust, will arise; then anger. And actually these are the things that we want to avoid, right? We don’t like all these negative qualities. Nevertheless they appear from time to time.

Then the next verse says: “From anger, complete delusion arises.”[2] So, don’t listen to an angry person. No, that’s not true. Listen to the angry person because he will tell you the truth. It is suggested to pay attention to a child, to a drunkard and to an angry person. Because they are not polite, they will give you their real opinion. They will describe you as you are.

But in general of course we know that anger is not a good adviser. Therefore if you are angry, a complete delusion will come. You forget about everything. It’s a very intensive state of consciousness – anger. What to speak of hatred. Hatred is so concentrated that you will analyze the topic of your hatred perfectly! You will discover non-existent qualities there. Have you ever perceived when you are so much in hatred toward someone that always he is on your mind? It’s almost impossible to get rid of the thought of the other person, right? So maybe we should hate God? Then it’s a very intensive thought. We can analyze the object of our hatred very profoundly. But I feel that you don’t like the idea, ah? Therefore simply to be conscious or negatively connected to the Supreme is not enough. Because anger is just like a distorted state of consciousness. And it brings delusion.

“…and from delusion bewilderment of memory comes. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material world.” [3]

This is the short story of a fall. Even if you have reached some level of consciousness, if you follow this sequence, you will return back to this fallen state. It’s a bitter pill. What to do, how to avoid such a fall?

“But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.”[4]

Here something very important is mentioned – the regulative principles of freedom. From this expression we like only the third element, ‘freedom’. We don’t like the regulative principles. But sorry, without obligations there is no freedom, there are no rights. Do you agree? We want to have the rights, but we don’t want to take the obligations. Therefore this verse is very instructive. So, we have to learn the rules of freedom. We have to follow the rules of freedom. Then you will achieve freedom. And beyond that, as it is said, you will achieve the complete mercy of the Lord. Prasadam adhigachchati – you will achieve complete mercy. And whatever is impossible for a human being it’s very much possible for the divine mercy.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita, 2.62

[2] Bhagavad Gita, 2.63

[3] Bhagavad Gita, 2.63

[4] Bhagavad Gita, 2.64



,

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

We have to be able to identify who is who. Arjuna asked Krishna: “How to recognize a saintly person?” Krishna said: “One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence”.[1]

One of our main capacities as human beings is our intelligence. And our intelligence is a reflection of our consciousness. Consciousness is higher than intelligence and intelligence is higher than mind. Mind is higher than the senses, and the senses are higher than the sense objects. So, this is the line – first is the object and ultimately, finally we shall reach the level of consciousness. And all these different levels of our existence – like the thoughts, the senses, the mind and the intelligence – should be purified in order to achieve this fixed state of consciousness.

This is a discussion between God Supreme and His friend, student, parishad – eternal companion. This student is called Arjuna. What is the meaning of the word Arjuna? ‘White’. And who is the speaker? This is Krishna. What is the meaning of Krishna? ‘Black’. So, this is a discussion between black and white. The white, Arjuna, is the eternal man – he is us. He is full of doubts, of questions. He is ready to submit himself as a disciple, just like us. We also want to enquire: “What is the best way? How to perfect my life? Before I was in misery, I want to reach security. From the darkness I want to find my way to the light.” And as this is an open discussion, Arjuna can easily open up all his doubts and questions. Sometimes he opposes God. He says: “What You describe here is impossible. It’s easier to stop the wind than to control my mind.” So, he speaks in favor of us, because he knows how difficult it is to control and to focus. Arjuna knows very well it’s very difficult to reach that level of sthita pragya, or fixed consciousness. Nevertheless Krishna accepts all these limitations and gives further advice.

There are technical ways to control your mind and there are natural ways. A technical way to control our mind is like trying to focus the attention, trying to follow some rules and regulations concerning the mind control. What do you think, does it work? To a certain extent it works, but it’s quite difficult, I agree. Because if I only have to exclude everything that is unnecessary, it’s a long list and a difficult thing. Yogis in the old times were trying to practice this – hiding in the jungle, living alone, meditating for some hundreds and thousand of years. But in this age it’s difficult. For example, last week we tried something similar. We went to the Rila Mountain for three days. Hardly I survived. Then I understood I cannot meditate there for thousands of years. So, that kind of technical, or ascetic perfection is close to impossible these days. What is the use of external self control if your mind is yearning for coverage for your smart phone? So, don’t cheat yourself. Technical perfection in this age is close to impossible. Mechanical ways to control the mind are practically useless. The mind is stronger.

But if we have a natural way to control our mind, that goes easy. Natural things are always easy. Water always flows downwards. This is natural, right? It goes easy, to go down is easy. Natural things always go easy. But the natural control of the mind is something different. The water is running to a destination. In the same way our thoughts should run to the proper destination. And if we can think of God, as He is all-attractive, naturally all your thoughts will be engaged with Him. This is the natural way of the control of the mind. If you are strong enough, you can overpower the elements of nature. You can stop the time for example – which is not easy. But if we have this affectionate attention to the Supreme, then it’s easier to target all the thoughts and all our consciousness on Him and this is a way to come closer to the perfected stage. To achieve this fixed state of consciousness.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 2.61

 



Magician

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

We started a topic in the morning; the question was how to recognize a spiritual person. I think that’s an interesting question, so, it’s useful if we have some information about this. Therefore my humble suggestion, if you agree, is let’s continue to discuss this topic.

Let me ask you: what is the use of a saint? Usually a saintly person is very useless. He doesn’t have a job, he is not working, he is not like us. He is a little outsider. And always he gets the garland, not me – how is it? He is not doing anything and is receiving all the respect. What is the use of a saintly person? Is there any material benefit from a saint?

You say no, then why we need such a guy? We have learnt before that in spiritual life utility is the main principle – whatever you do must be useful. What is the material benefit of a saint? Not so much material use. Then why we should discuss this topic: how to recognize a saint? Maybe in order to avoid it? Because if you meet such a dangerous person, such an outsider, maybe it’s better to avoid. But if there is no material benefit from a saint, then maybe there is some other use? Usually if you try to approach a saintly person with your material ambitions, what will happen?

Answer: He will give you the blessings.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, crushing our dreams is a kind of blessing. Therefore we have to be careful about associating with saintly people. Because they work for our ultimate benefit, not for the relative benefit. Only on the relative platform we might say that there is no use of a saintly person. On the spiritual plane this is the point: to find a saintly person and to associate with him.

In India a saintly person is called sadhu. But who is a sadhu? Who lives according to the truth, according to the real – sat. Sat, divine reality, will make him into a sadhu. And if you are not living according to the spiritual standards, according to that truth, it’s very difficult to be in his company. A sadhu will always recall and remind us of this divine reality. We come with a relative consideration and he comes with an absolute vision. This is called confrontation.

Once it happened that Shrila Prabhupada, who was a very famous and very elevated spiritual teacher, visited one of his temples. He opened one door in the brahmachari room, students’ room, and what did he see? Some leftover prasadam, half rotten food. He was furious. Because you know practitioners of yoga should practice self-control and not to stock foodstuff for the evening or for the hard times. What to speak of such remnants that are spoiled. So, he became furious. And if the guru is furious, that’s a difficult moment. Fortunately our tradition gives good advice what to do when your spiritual master is furious. And that shows that you shouldn’t expect your spiritual master to be always very nice and peaceful. Gurus are sometimes furious, point number one. Point number two: what to do in such a case? In the holy scriptures it is suggested that whenever you see that your spiritual master is furious, especially at you, then the student should go out of reach of sound and wait until he pacifies. Because that is expected that he will regain his cool temper soon.

You see, practicing yoga, especially devotional yoga, you will find very-very unexpected things. Rotten food in the cupboard, furious gurus around. What to do in such a case? Yet why Prabhupad was furious in this case? Of course, he didn’t lose his control. But he wanted to show the disciples what is proper and what is not. He said: “If you leave your food hidden and rotten in the corner that is tama-guna. And I am in sattva-guna – it’s too big a distance between the two. Therefore this tension is there.” So, one way to avoid the anger of a spiritual master is: 1. Do not leave foodstuff in the corner. 2. Come closer to his standard. Don’t expect that he comes closer to your standard. Try to elevate yourself and follow his footsteps.

And what will happen if I follow an outsider? I will also become an outsider. But you know, to be an outsider of illusion that’s a glorious position. So we want to be outsiders. Therefore it is said: “A realized person, although he lives here, nevertheless he lives in a totally different world. Only the body is here; the mind, the consciousness is somewhere else. It’s always connected to divinity. And due to this connection it is so challenging to meet such a person. Because he brings a different vibration.

(to be continued)

 



IMG_4522

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Kanaka, kamini, pratishtha – money, women and fame – how to approach these sources of problems? It is said we should offer them, knowing what their source is and what is their destination.

So, first is money. To whom money belongs? Not to the banks, not to us, definitely not to us. All the wealth of the Earth belongs to God. So, if some little part is distributed to us, we have to understand that it’s God given. It belongs to Him, I am only like a gatekeeper or an accountant. And I have to serve with these resources Him again. Take from the source and offer it back. Krishna, as the possessor of all wealth, is Madhava. All the wealth belongs to Him.

What about ladies? My dear brothers, do you think that ladies belong to you? You might be very attractive, but unfortunately Krishna is more attractive. He is attractive for the ladies of the three worlds! Everybody is running after Him. We are only a substitute. If there is no horse, we should be satisfied with the mule. This is our bitter position, my dear. Better we understand that ladies belong to God Supreme. Gopinath is the Lord of the beauties of the village. So, if you want to be protected from the influence of wealth or ladies, you should offer these back to the source, back to the possessor.

And what about fame? We know that Krishna is very famous. Many times we say Shri Krishna, the famous Krishna. But how to get rid of this original problem – this pride? This you can offer to your spiritual master. If some respect comes to you, you can immediately offer it further to your master. For example: “You are such a great artist! You paint the shri-yantra so nice!” This respect you should immediately offer to your master.

Question: But how do you offer it?

Swami Tirtha: You just say: “I am not painting, you are painting through me. It’s not me, I am an instrument in your hands.” It’s a very serious thing! If I am an obedient servant of my master, he is acting through me. Then it’s not me. Whatever glory comes to me, it’s not for me – it’s him acting through me. Therefore the saints are protected from the trap of pride.

I hope our gopis are not offended. Because it doesn’t mean that you are the source of all problems in this life. Rather the problem is with us, if we misunderstand the situation. For example once somebody made a remark to a lady in a temple: “You are very kama, because your ear is out of your sari!” Who is disturbed by an ear?! Most probably the mistake is not with the lady with an ear. You know, we all have ears, so what’s wrong with that? The problem is yours.

So, try to understand it properly, because these are energies of the Supreme. Kanaka, kamini, pratishta – or wealth, attachment and fame – are like basic problems in life. Therefore we need a remedy. So, this is one way to handle this situation – to offer it back to the source.

All the rivers are running to the ocean, bringing their water. Yet, the ocean doesn’t change. In the same way Krishna is all famous, all wealthy and all in every respect. So, whatever you offer back to Him, He will not change. Because He is already complete, full.

Whatever is incomplete in the material sphere if we add a divine drop, then it becomes perfect. Our knowledge is limited, our consciousness is limited. As soon as we connect back to the Supreme, for example by chanting, it becomes complete, you are connected. Chant more and then you will understand – this is the way of inner revelation, inner enlightenment. How to become a better devotee? Chant more! How to get rid of my stupidity? Chant more! Because spiritual practice will substitute the material practice, overcomes it.

Rupa Goswami says that the holy name acts like a remedy. If you suffer in the jaundice of material consciousness, they say when you have this disease, if you taste sugar, this is bitter. So, if we have the jaundice of material life, if you take the sugar candy of the holy name, you feel it bitter. Nevertheless this is the remedy. Take the sugar and the time will come when instead of the bitter you will feel the sweet. Therefore chanting is our main remedy. Jiv jago, jiv jago! “Oh, sleeping souls, awake!” Mahaprabhu has brought the remedy for this Kali Yuga.

 



41952243_10155738852266778_4282580133576966144_n

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 morning, Sofia) 

Baladev: Because there is a difference between the saintly person and the normal person who is affected by the six enemies…

Swami Tirtha: So, that means a saint is not normal? He is abnormal?

Baladev: The question is about the pride, which is the most important of the enemies. How to get rid of this pride and how it is connected with the other primary enemies?

Swami Tirtha: A saint is very proud, he is super proud; but not of himself – of his master, of his God. So, I think people in the material world have no any concept of pride. Because they think it belongs to them. But if we offer it, if we give this to our superiors, then it falls in the proper place.

And what was the question of Arjuna? How to recognize the saint? Then Krishna started to describe the pros and cons of material life – what is the reaction of a saintly person to these. Here in the material world we have only three kinds of problems. Kanaka, kamini, pratishta – money, women and fame.  If you don’t have money, that’s bitter, that’s a problem. If you have money, it’s a bigger problem. Because it is said: money doesn’t change you, but will show who you are. If you start to have money, it will reveal who you are. Why? Because this is a female energy of the Supreme. Lakshmi Devi. So, what is the nature of ladies? Usually they come and go. Especially money – sometimes it is coming, but all the time is going. Usually they don’t stay for too long with us. Because they are chanchalam, with a very changing nature. Do we sometimes have money issues? This is one source of problems in this material life.

The second problem is women. If women didn’t exist, men would be bored to death. But fortunately women are provided by God. In this way, my dear brothers, we have some engagement. When you don’t have a wife, you cry. Then God is merciful and gives you a wife – then you cry again. So, what is the difference?

The third source of problems is fame. What is fame? Who is fame? How is it called? Shri – another woman. Shri is ‘fame’. So, we can reduce the problems from three to one – female. Because money is a female, woman is a female, fame is also a female. My dear brothers, we have only one problem! But why?

Sanatan: No woman, no cry.

Swami Tirtha: Why? Because if it is positively given to us, it’s a blessing. If you know the source and the purpose of money, and you use it properly, then it’s a blessing. If you appreciate a woman as a lady, as a mistress – then it is properly done. And if you treat or relay fame in a proper way, then you are safe.

(to be continued)

 



Krishna_Arjuna

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

“One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness.”[1]

Whenever the tortoise feels any danger, just hides in the shell. When he withdraws, he is protected. The same is for the human beings. If you expose yourself too much, you will be vulnerable. If you withdraw, then you will be protected. So, sometimes we have to withdraw from the external activities for an inner cultivation. To live this life it’s very demanding. No time for any inner cultivation. Therefore we have to withdraw and dedicate some time and attention to spiritual cultivation. When there is a danger, you immediately come to your senses. So, we have to maintain this mentality, because if we can withdraw our powers and concentrate, then it’s easier to make the next step.

Sthita pragya – fixed intelligence, fixed consciousness. These are some of the signs of the saintly person. Krishna here instructs Arjuna. And we are so fortunate to enjoy the same instructions. First in this Second Chapter He described sankhya, analysis – when we are able to distinguish between the material and the spiritual. And in this second part He describes yoga – when we are always connected.

Here we receive some advice on the abhidheya – what to do? If you belong to God, then what to do? Of course, trying to control the mind, the body-mind complex – it’s a little dry practice. But by devotional service all these necessary practices are included. While chanting you pacify your mind, by singing in the morning to Mahaprabhu – this is our breathing exercise. Sitting at the lecture for two hours – this is our asana. Following the principles of bhakti-yoga – this is our yama-niyama rules. So, everything is included here, just try to start the long journey. This will help.

Nevertheless, here Krishna still hides Himself. He behaves like an instructor, like a guide. Later on He shows a more intimate face of Himself. Because Arjuna is very sincere in his enquires. In the same way, if we are also sincere in our enquiries, more and more from the divine truth and reality will reveal to us. For that we need to be very serious, honest and chivalrous. These are the three qualities we have to acquire.

So, find such a saintly person whom you can follow, and act.

[1] Bhagavad Gita, 2.58