January 2023

English issues

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Comment: It is said in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad Gita that the soul is not affected by external things, but here in King Rahugana’s teachings it is written that somehow it is.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, theoretically it’s not affected, but practically it is. Because where is the suffering? Is there any suffering in the body? The bodily elements – earth, fire, water – this is what we are. Fire doesn’t suffer, there is no suffering for the earth element either. Of course, if sometimes we are too sinful and we trample upon the Mother Earth, that may give a little suffering for her. Yet in general the original elements don’t suffer. Is there a suffering for the soul? The nature of the soul is sat-cit-ananda, it’s not mentioned that suffering and limitations are there. So there is no suffering for the soul either.

Yet, do you know the feeling of suffering? Suffering – does it convey some message to you? I think we all know what it is. Although either you consider yourself as a body of material elements – you shouldn’t suffer, or you consider yourself spiritual – you shouldn’t suffer, yet suffering is there. Then where is this suffering? Very complicated question. And we can say: theoretically the soul is untouched by any material influences. Nevertheless in this, so to say, illusory reality we all perceive ups and downs, happiness and distress, failures and successes of life.

We can conclude that suffering is somewhere in between the spirit and the matter. And what is the connecting field between the two? This is the mind. Mind, intellect and ego – this is practically the same subtle covering over the soul. It’s just like a buffer zone between the spiritual realm and the material realm. The input from the material side is coming there and the reflection is projected over the consciousness of the soul. And until we are fully and totally realized as spiritual sparks, we shall have this reflection over our consciousness and therefore we perceive a kind of a suffering. So, theoretically, in philosophy and in ontology, we can say that there is no suffering for the soul. Yet we all perceive what it is due to the impure state of consciousness.

But the discussion between the king and Jada Bharata will continue for a long time and I think they will disclose these little subtle aspects.

And we might think that ‘All right, the material life is the miserable one, it’s full of suffering. Let’s go to the spiritual life.’ But beware! In Dwaraka for example there is one lake, it is called the Death of the Gopis Lake. Separation from the Lord is so painful that they experience death. This is one type of ecstasy actually – the feeling of death. So beware what type of spiritual practice you start to follow. Of course, this is not actual death, but like a feeling of death. So intense! The feelings, the bhava, the mood is so intense that you feel like you lose your life. It’s the ultimate intensity. The gopis of Vrindavana – what is their daily bread? “Krishna!”, they are crying. If the weather is good, they cry, because “Ah, Krishna is going to the fields with the caws, we won’t see Him.” If the weather is bad, it’s raining, they cry: “Oh, it’s raining, Krishna is not going out from His home! We won’t see Him.” So, the daily bread of the gopies is not Krishna, it’s crying. They attend the crying school of bhakti.

Therefore, one of my god-sisters had a question to our Gurudev. She said: “All right, we understood that material life is suffering. But now you explain that spiritual life is also suffering. What is the difference then?” Then Gurudev said: “But spiritual suffering is eternal.” So please, my dear ones, think twice. You laugh so much about eternal suffering. But while we can laugh about it, I think we are on the safe side. How do we perceive that suffering? I don’t know, but it’s there. Yet usually the most painful drops give a very high kind of realization.

Now we discussed suffering and everybody was laughing. And we know that chanting the holy names brings the greatest joy. But when we sing our bhajans, sometimes you cry. So, what is this? This is the behavior of a madman. When you remember eternal suffering, you laugh. When you taste divine blissful nectar, you cry. My dear ones, please come to your senses.

So please try to remember these discussions between our king Rahugana and Jada Bharata. And try to apply that is your daily life, in your practice. And this is our spiritual practice – sometimes we laugh, other times we cry. And sometimes we mix the occasions. But nevertheless, while we keep on going with our spiritual practices, we are on the safe side.

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

So, it’s very difficult to resolve problems of a relative platform on the relative platform. You make one step and then you create two other problems. Therefore practically there is only one solution – to come to a higher platform of existence. Everything is decided on the higher platforms. If you have a problem in body, then you can resolve it by the mind. If you have a problem in the mind, you can resolve that through the intellect. And if you have a problem in the intellect, you can resolve it by the spirit. If you are spiritually strong and healthy, then all the other levels of your existence should also harmonize sooner or later.

Therefore if we want to resolve the problems of material existence, we must come to the spiritual platform. What was the mantra for that? Aham brahmasmi – ‘I’m a spirit soul’. This is one duty of a spiritual practitioner – to realize his or her own self. To capture the conscious identity – ‘Who am I’? And if you had done that, then what will you do? ‘Oh, I have understood myself!’ or ‘I have captured my conscious identity’ – then what to do next? What can you do if you carry your soul in your hands? You can dedicate it as a flower offering at the lotus feet of the Divine Couple.

So, don’t stop half way: ‘I have captured my conscious identity.’ It’s not enough. Dedicate yourself. Bring this as a beautiful offering to the Lord. I feel that this is the real solution of any material problems, relative problems.

“O my dear lord, finally concluded the king, you are the friend of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the friend of all living entities. You are therefore equal to everyone, and you are free from the bodily conception. Although I have committed an offense by insulting you, I know that there is no loss or gain for you due to my insult. You are fixed in your determination, but I have committed an offense. Because of this, even though I may be as strong as Lord Shiva, I shall be vanquished without delay due to my offense at the lotus feet of a Vaishnava.”[1]

Therefore please, avoid this offensive mentality. How can we achieve that most properly? If you are frightened by the negative consequences of these mistakes or if you are fixed in the consequences of positive association? Well, usually we human beings learn from our mistakes. But fear is an instrument to control others. I would like to follow such a path which teaches me how to behave properly. Which doesn’t frighten me with the consequences of bad behavior, but which will teach me how to behave properly. Do you agree? Therefore we need to learn the golden rules of the Golden Age.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.25

(из лекции Свами Тиртхи, 09.05.2017 вечером, София)

(продолжение с предыдущей пятницы)

„Царь Рахугана продолжил: Ты сказал, что не утомился от работы. Но ведь, несмотря на то что душа отлична от тела, когда тело устает, кажется, что это устает душа. Когда ты несешь паланкин, душе, несомненно, приходится прилагать какие-то усилия. По крайней мере, такова моя точка зрения. Кроме того, ты сказал, что внешние, материальные отношения господина и слуги нереальны. Но, хотя сами по себе подобные явления материального мира нереальны, мы видим и знаем по опыту, что они оказывают на нас и на других вполне реальное воздействие. Стало быть, хотя материальная деятельность преходяща, это не значит, что ее вообще не существует. ”[1]

Видите ли, раньше это была связь вышестоящего с подчиненным — король был готов наказать слугу за то, что он нес паланкин неподобающим образом. Это одностороннее общение: Я отдаю приказ, а ты следуешь. Но когда Джада Бхарата тоже выразился: О, очень мило! Хоть ты и не король, и я не слуга, но, если хочешь, будь королем! Так вот, этим скромным и очень осмысленным мнением он просто сломил самолюбие короля. Не совсем гордость, чувство положения короля. А потом начался другой тип общения, философский обмен. «Ты сказал так, но я говорю так. Это было твое мнение, и это мое мнение». Это очень изысканный способ духовных дебатов, обмена мнениями.

 „Царь Рахугана продолжал: О мудрейший, ты говоришь, что понятия, связанные с телом, например полнота и худоба, к душе не относятся. Но ведь существуют такие понятия, как страдание и наслаждение, которые, безусловно, применимы и к душе. Если поставить на огонь горшок с молоком и рисом, то вслед за молоком нагреется и рис. Точно так же страдания и наслаждения, которые испытывает тело, воздействуют на чувства, ум и душу. Они просто не могут не затрагивать душу. Душа не может вполне оторваться от этой обусловлености.”[2]

Очень хорошее рассуждение. С этим последним предложением мы едва ли можем спорить — что душа не может быть полностью отделена от этой обусловленности.

„О мой дорогой господин, ты сказал, что отношения между царем и подданными или между господином и слугой не вечны. Это несомненно. И все же тот, кто взошел на царский трон, обязан править своими подданными и карать нарушителей закона. Наказывая преступников, он учит подданных чтить законы государства. Конечно, как ты говорил, наказывать невменяемого бесполезно — это все равно что стегать дохлую лошадь или толочь воду в ступе. Однако те, кто, повинуясь воле Верховного Господа, добросовестно выполняют свои обязанности, постепенно перестают грешить. Стало быть, заставляя подданных выполнять предписанные обязанности, царь приносит им благо, ибо побуждает полностью отречься от греха.

Поэтому, о почтенный, твои слова кажутся мне противоречивыми. О лучший друг страждущих, оскорбив тебя, я совершил тяжкий грех. Я кичился своим царским происхождением и, ослепленный гордыней, стал величайшим грешником. И сейчас я молю тебя: обрати на меня свой благосклонный взор и одари беспричинной милостью. Тогда я освобожусь от греха, который навлек на себя, нанеся тебе обиду.”[3]

Вы видите, что эти два стиха кажутся противоречащими друг другу. Потому что ранее царь сказал: «Если кто-то выполняет свой профессиональный долг, дхарму, кармические последствия устраняются». А здесь сказано: «Но если я буду действовать как царь, пытаясь править или наставлять вас, я могу оскорбить вас. Таким образом, я могу создать новую карму». Итак, что же делать? Придерживаться нашей дхармы или не придерживаться? Если мы будем выполнять свои предписанные объязаности, устранит ли это проблемы или создаст новые проблемы? Где решение? Жизнь так сложна! Пожалуйста, кто-нибудь, проинструктируйте меня, что делать!

Поэтому нам нужно подняться на духовную платформу. На относительной платформе нет отбоя от вопросов и проблем. И мы не можем устранить одну проблему другой. Особенно в этот век мы занимаемся столькими необычными делами. Это называется угра-карма — столько странных, негативных, пугающих деятельностей. И иногда наша жизнь, наше занятие, наша профессия словно парят в воздухе, это не реально. Сегодня большая часть людей работает в сфере ИТ. Я уверен, что если бы Кришна появился сегодня, Он бы не разговаривал с бойцом, а разговаривал бы с ИТ-менеджером или кем-то еще, потому что это более актуально. Но знаете ли вы, что такое определение ИТ-инженера? Вы не знаете. Это такой человек, который решает проблемы, которых не было бы без компьютеров. Такова наша реальность — мы решаем проблемы, которых на самом деле нет, не существуют.


(продолжение следует)


[1] „Шримад Бхагаватам”, 5.10.21

[2] „Шримад Бхагаватам”, 5.10.22

[3] „Шримад Бхагаватам”, 5.10.23-24

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“King Rahugana continued: “You have said: “I am not fatigued from labor.” Although the soul is different from the body, there is fatigue because of bodily labor, and it appears to be the fatigue of the soul. When you are carrying the palanquin, there is certainly labor for the soul. This is my conjecture. You have also said that the external behavior exhibited between the master and the servant is not factual, but although in the phenomenal world it is not factual, the products of the phenomenal world can actually affect things. That is visible and experienced. As such, even though material activities are impermanent, they cannot be said to be untrue.”[1]

You see, before it was a superior-to-subordinate connection – the king was ready to chastise the servant for carrying the palanquin in an improper manner. This is a one way communication – ‘I give the order and you follow’. But when Jada Bharata also expressed himself telling: “Oh, very nice! Although you are not a king and I’m not a servant, but if you like, all right, be a king!” So, with this humble and very meaningful opinion he just smashed the pride of the king. Not really the pride, the feeling of position of a king. And then a different type of communication started, a philosophical exchange. “You have said like this, but I say like that. This was your opinion and that is my opinion.” It’s a very polished way of spiritual debate, an exchange.

“The King continued: My dear sir, you have said that designations like bodily fatness and thinness are not characteristics of the soul. That is incorrect because designations like pain and pleasure are certainly felt by the soul. You may put a pot of milk and rice within fire, and the milk and rice are automatically heated one after the other. Similarly, due to bodily pains and pleasures, the senses, mind and soul are affected. The soul cannot be completely detached from this conditioning.”[2] Very good reasoning. This last sentence we can hardly debate with – that the soul cannot be completely detached from this conditioning.

“My dear sir, you have said that the relationship between the king and the subject or between the master and the servant are not eternal, but although such relationships are temporary, when a person takes the position of a king, his duty is to rule the citizens and punish those who are disobedient to the laws. By punishing them, he teaches the citizens to obey the laws of the state. Again, you have said that punishing a person who is deaf and dumb is like chewing the chewed or grinding the pulp; that is to say, there is no benefit in it. However, if one is engaged in his own occupational duty as ordered by the Supreme Lord, his sinful activities are certainly diminished. Therefore if one is engaged in his occupational duty by force, he benefits because he can vanquish all his sinful activities in that way.

Whatever you have spoken appears to me to be contradictory. O best friend of the distressed, I have committed a great offense by insulting you. I was puffed up with false prestige due to possessing the body of a king. For this I have certainly become an offender. Therefore I pray that you kindly glance at me with your causeless mercy. If you do so, I can be relieved from sinful activities brought about by insulting you.”[3]

You see these two verses seem like contradictory. Because previously the king said: ”If somebody performs his or her occupational duty, dharma, the karmic consequences are eliminated”. And here it is said “But if I act as a king trying to rule, or instruct you, I might offend you. So, I may create new karma.” So, then what to do? Stick to our dharma or not to stick to our dharma? If we do our occupational duty, shall it eliminate the problems or create more problems? Where is the solution? ‘Life is so complicated! Please, somebody instruct me what to do!’

Therefore we need to come to the spiritual platform. On the relative platform there is no end of the questions and problems. And we cannot eliminate one problem with another one. Especially in this age we are engaged in so many unusual activities. It’s called ugra-karma – so many strange, negative, frightening activities. And sometimes our life, our occupation, our profession is like floating in the air, it’s not real. Today a big majority of people are working in IT. I’m sure if Krishna appeared today, He wouldn’t speak to a fighter, but He would speak to an IT manager or something, because it’s more up to date. But do you know what the definition of an IT engineer is? You don’t know. He is such a person who resolves problems which wouldn’t exist without the computers. So, this is our reality – we resolve problems which actually don’t exist.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.21

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.22

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.23-24

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“My dear sir, I am not at all afraid of the thunderbolt of King Indra, nor am I afraid of the serpentine, piercing trident of Lord Shiva. I do not care about the punishment of Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, nor am I afraid of fire, scorching sun, moon, wind, nor the weapons of Kuvera. Yet I am afraid of offending a brahmana. I am very much afraid of this.

My dear sir, it appears that the influence of your great spiritual knowledge is hidden. Factually you are bereft of all material association and fully absorbed in the thought of the Supreme. Consequently you are unlimitedly advanced in spiritual knowledge. Please tell me why you are wandering around like a dullard. O great saintly person, you have spoken words approved by the yogic process, but it is not possible for us to understand what you have said. Therefore kindly explain it.

I consider your good self the most exalted master of mystic power. You know the spiritual science perfectly well. You are the most exalted of all learned sages, and you have descended for the benefit of all human society. You have come to give spiritual knowledge, and you are a direct representative of Kapiladeva, the incarnation of God and the plenary portion of knowledge. I am therefore asking you, O spiritual master, what is the most secure shelter in this world?

Is it not a fact that your good self is the direct representative of Kapiladeva, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? To examine people and see who is actually a human being and who is not, you have presented yourself to be a deaf and dumb person. Are you not moving this way upon the surface of the world? I am very attached to family life and worldly activities, and I am blind to spiritual knowledge. Nonetheless, I am now present before you and am seeking enlightenment from you. How can I advance in spiritual life?”[1]

So, this is the proper inquiry. We discussed the shishya-abhiman or the mood of a disciple, the spirit of a student. We can learn only if we accept the authority above us. If we know everything, it’s very difficult to instruct us. Therefore the king positions himself like: “I know nothing about spirituality. I’m a materialistic person and I don’t understand these spiritual topics. Please, instruct me!” But this shows his spiritual elevation, isn’t it? He takes the humble position, yet this proves his elevated position. Jada Bharata also took a very low class position, but very soon his elevated position was revealed by his words. And this is very important. You might look very intelligent, but as soon as you start to speak everything is revealed. Therefore in yoga it is suggested to keep maunam. Because if you keep silent, people might think: “Wow, he is so deeply absorbed!” Maybe you are so dull that you cannot express anything, but in this way you can pose as a great saint. Yet as visiting you so often I see that you like to speak so much. Therefore we have to be careful about our words, because they will reveal our consciousness. They will reveal our state of mind. So, therefore control of the speech is very important. Don’t speak nonsense. Don’t bring bad news! If something bad happens, why should you disseminate that? Our words should reflect the wisdom that we have. Jada Bharata’s position as an elevated soul was revealed by his words.

It is given in the Bhagavad Gita[2] what the symptoms of control of the speech are. Anudvega-karam vakyam – If you speak gently, not hurting others, you tell the truth and you quote often the shastras – this is called the control of the speech. Stick to the truth, be gentle, refer to the sacred tradition and don’t hurt others – it’s very practical.

In this way the real position of the king and the servant is revealed – who is so to say the teacher and who is the real servant. And this is proper inquiry: “How can I advance in spiritual life?” This is the ultimate question that we have to ask. The king mentioned that “I’m not afraid of death! I’m not afraid of the weapons of the demigods. But I don’t want to offend you.” It’s so nice, so instructive. Also it is mentioned: associating with the saints, this is very important. Better we take the suffering of being thrown into jail, or almost burned by the fire, than to lose the association with the saints. This is the real suffering – when we are excluded from the holy company. Therefore we need to embrace that company nicely.


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.17-20

[2] Bhagavad Gita, 17.15

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“O brahmana, you appear to be moving in this world very much covered and unknown to others. Who are you? Are you a learned brahmana and a saintly person? I see that you are wearing a sacred thread. Are you one of those exalted, liberated saints such as Dattatreya and other highly advanced, learned scholars? May I ask whose disciple you are? Where do you live? Why have you come to this place? Is your mission in coming here to do good for us? Please let me know who you are.”[1]

Here is mentioned that Jada Bharata wears a sacred thread. This is a sign of the brahmins, it’s a symbol of learning. And it also represents the three Vedas. Just imagine yourself if the three Vedas embrace your upper body – you are protected by the truth. Then you cannot do anything, automatically you are disciplined. There is another sign of a spiritual practitioner and this is the shikha. This is like a tuft of hair on the top of the head. Especially for men, because ladies naturally have long hair. We might say that these are external symbols, external signs. They symbolize spiritual knowledge and renunciation. Yet sometimes we might possess the symbols, but we don’t posses the qualities. So, which is more important – to have long hair and less qualities, or to have normal hairstyle and more qualities? They say that on the more realized platform renunciation is not a question of hairstyle. And spiritual knowledge, divine knowledge is not a question of having some threads around your shoulders or not. Although we respect all the forms and traditions, nevertheless we should pay more attention to the essence.

Let’s take one example. The six Goswamis, the direct followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago – they were excellent brahmanas and they were excellent in accomplishment of all spiritual knowledge, renunciation, dedication, whatever. But ultimately they are not described as wearing the brahmana’s thread for example. Why? Because they renounce all these formalities for the sake of full dedication to their beloved Mahaprabhu. Because we can say that hairstyle, some colors of garment, or this brahmana’s thread are like caste symbols. It doesn’t signify your eternal position. It shows our relative position in a society, but it doesn’t reflect our original position. Because our original position is to be a humble servant of the Divine Couple. Is there any symbol for that? How do you think?

Raga: The light from the heart, from the soul shows.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. But the heart usually is hidden deep. It’s not externalized too much. There is a very beautiful song, how was that? Mama mana mandire – “Please, my Lord. Always live in the temple of my heart, of my mind. I will worship You with the best offerings. I will bring flowers to You. I will bring sandalwood to You. And I will worship You with the flame of my eyes and the water of my tears.” So, we can say these are the signs of our eternal position being a loving servant of the Supreme. But again, sometimes it’s easy to possess the external signs. Some tears in your eyes everybody can produce – a good actor can produce that immediately. But to possess the real qualities that’s different. So, therefore we are not running after external symptoms, but rather for some inner trembling. It’s a surer symbol.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.16



(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 evening, Sofia)

I am very happy that we are together. We are in the midst of a very nice and very important ancient historical event, which bears also a deep spiritual significance. So, please pay attention to the evolvement of the story, because it might tell us something also in the present age. The most important thing is to apply the theory in our practice. Because we are all searching for God Supreme. If you put the question “Where is God?”, mythology will say “God is in the past”; mysticism will say ”God is in the future”, while divine love will say: “God is here and now”. So, don’t search in history, don’t search in the past. Don’t wait until the unknown future comes. Try to meet divinity right now and here.

We studied a discourse between a king and a servant. Our main concern is about the servant, he is Jada Bharata – a very special person for us. We were following his past lives throughout many chapters, many phases. We had seen the changes in his conditions and environment. And finally he ended up as a palanquin carrier of a king. Jada Bharata was very careful about the ants, not to hurt them while moving on the path. Therefore the palanquin was shaking and the king was dissatisfied. Then a discussion started between the king and the servant. First the king expressed his royal behavior of dominating the situation. But very soon he came to his senses, as soon as he heard the answer and the instruction coming from this servant, who seemed to be a very simple person, but actually he was an enlightened saint. So here we continue the story.

“The king immediately descended from his palanquin and fell flat on the ground with his head at the lotus feet of Jada Bharata in such a way that he might be excused for his insulting words against the great brahmana. He then prayed as follows.

O brahmana, you appear to be moving in this world very much covered and unknown to others. Who are you? Are you a learned brahmana and a saintly person? I see that you are wearing a sacred thread. Are you one of those exalted, liberated saints such as Dattatreya and other highly advanced, learned scholars? May I ask whose disciple you are? Where do you live? Why have you come to this place? Is your mission in coming here to do good for us? Please let me know who you are.”[1]

These ancient histories are very instructive in the daily conduct of life also. If you meet a person, according to this traditional way, this is the way how to inquire about his identity. And mostly they don’t ask who you are, but they ask: “Whose disciple you are? Which line you belong to?” Because that gives the identity. This is like belonging to a spiritual lineage, a spiritual family. So, if you want to be polite with another spiritual person or with someone coming from India, this is the way to inquire: “My name is this and this, and what is your good name? Whose disciple you are?”

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.10.15-16

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Krishna Priya: My question is: if Jada Bharata is a fully self-realized soul, why he continues to take another birth again and again?

Swami Tirha: Because of the dramaturgy, and also so that we can sit here and now talk. Immediately we can cover yugas and eternities and millions of years – just to come together on some essential spiritual teaching.

But actually your question is a little more profound. Because it is said that even if somebody is totally purified, divine knowledge has burned up his karmic reactions and devotional service has finished with the roots of his karma, nevertheless the path that had been started has to be accomplished. So, it is possible to achieve a liberated state while still living on this Earth. This is called a jivan-mukta state. Mukta means ‘liberated’, jivan – ‘while living’. A perfected being still alive in this body.

And this is very interesting because some of the early Christian saints and teachers also had the same concept: that there might be great saints who are always in the presence of God, although they are still living here on this planet Earth. So they also understood the same.

Nevertheless the life that you had started will continue. So, some action-reaction story is still there. Whatever you had started – this is called prarabdha-karma – it should accomplish. The point is not to create new karma. Therefore we should live as the leaves of the lotus. The water cannot stay on the lotus leaf, it’s always moving down. We should be so much pure that no new karma should stick to us. Realization of spiritual knowledge is like the fire – to burn up the previous karmic reactions. And to follow a proper lifestyle, to follow the rules and suggestions helps us to become like leaves, so that no new karma is created.

In the text it was also mentioned why Jada Bharata took the position of carrying the load – in order to burn up the remaining possible karmic reactions. So, it’s not a contradiction that you are a fully realized person, still you have something to get rid of.

But in the case of others better we see the positive side. If you see the full moon, don’t notice… all right you can notice, but don’t criticize the black spots. Yet concerning ourselves, we have to try to qualify more and more and to be aware what is a karmic reaction, how to avoid new entanglement, what practice will help us to be purified, etc. etc. One thing is for sure – if we offer our life as a sacrifice, if we dedicate our life as a sacrificial offering, then by taking all the trouble that is coming to us, it means to burn up our karma. Less burden remains.




(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Kripadham: Sorry for the stupid question that I will ask. The question is why the ants are more important for Jada Bharata than following of the rules of varnashrama-dharma?

Swami Tirtha: To serve the king or save the ants? It’s a very good point, very good point. You know, these are instructive stories from the holy sacred tradition, we can try to understand them by general intellectual way. But in such cases the point is a little different, because all the circumstances and all the little episodes of the story serve a higher purpose. Actually the ants were the causes for the whole event. Because therefore Jada Bharata started to walk unevenly and therefore the king became angry and therefore these instructions started, which goes on for five more chapters.

Comment: That’s why the ants are more important.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. The ants are also very important. Because without them the story cannot start, it’s not complete. So, everything serves the purpose of conveying the teachings and the message. Even the small little ant has a very important part in this whole story.

Comment: They are also spirit.

Swami Tirtha: Sure, everybody is. Therefore Jada Bharata was very kind to them, trying to escape killing them. So, I think this is an important point. And usually we don’t consider ourselves kings – neither kings, nor carriers of the palanquin. Maybe we can become little ants in Mahaprabhu’s mission, so that the story unfolds. So, please always try to reflect upon yourself from another point of view. Because usually we are very egocentric. We want to observe and understand everything starting from ourselves. But try to observe yourself from the outside. Why God has put you in this life, in these circumstances, why?

Harilila: Maybe this is the purpose of Jada Bharata’s life – to reveal himself in this situation. Because he didn’t reveal to his father who was so devoted to him. Nor he revealed when he was threatened by death. But now he reveals.

Swami Tirtha: Correct, it’s very important. And also this shows that teaching is never in vain, right. His father tried his best “To educate my son for four months on the Gayatri” – no result. Like a dead horse. Of course he was aware even while being instructed, but he didn’t reveal. Yet now the time came when he can reveal, when he can save the king. He didn’t reveal his greatness to save himself: ‘You want to kill me, all right. Go ahead!’ But here is a prospective devotee, a good king, who could be instructed nicely. And who was ready to give up his royal abhiman, this king’s behavior, to accept shishya-abhiman: “Tell me”.

(to be continued)


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“Shukadeva Gosvami said: “O Maharaja Parikshit, when King Rahugana chastised the exalted devotee Jada Bharata with harsh words, that peaceful, saintly person tolerated it all and replied properly. Nescience is due to the bodily conception, and Jada Bharata was not affected by this false conception. Out of his natural humility, he never considered himself a great devotee, and he agreed to suffer the results of his past karma. Like an ordinary man, he thought that by carrying the palanquin he was destroying the reactions of his past misdeeds. Thinking in this way, he began to carry the palanquin as before.

“O best of the Pandu dynasty [Maharaja Parikshit], the King of the Sindhu and Sauvira states [Maharaja Rahugana] had great faith in discussions of the Absolute Truth. Being thus qualified, he heard from Jada Bharata that philosophical presentation which is approved by all scriptures on the mystic yoga process and which slackens the knot in the heart. His material conception of himself as a king was thus destroyed. He immediately descended from his palanquin and fell flat on the ground with his head at the lotus feet of Jada Bharata in such a way that he might be excused for his insulting words against the great brahmana. He then prayed as follows.”[1]

And here we stop now – in the most interesting and most exciting moment. What the king will say? This is dramaturgy. Just to keep the attention alive. But I think here we get a very good example. Whenever a good teaching is coming – take it, accept it. You have to be smart. It is also suggested, if you see a piece of gold on a pile of garbage, you have to take the gold. Don’t mind the garbage, take the gold. In the same way, sometimes we are so to say in a position, and something comes unexpected as good teachings. Be ready to accept it. Here the king was very much ready to give up his position and although at first he wanted to chastise the servant due to his disobedience, as soon as he understood that ‘wait a minute, this is not a dull person carrying the load, but this is a self realized brahmana’, he immediately became very humble. So, due to some circumstances, due to some influences, due to the gunas, due to past karma we might commit mistakes. We don’t understand the position – our position, the other person’s position. But as soon as we realize that ‘I had done something wrong’, let’s correct that. And it is suggested that correction should come on the same platform as the mistake has happened. If you offended or criticized somebody mentally, in your thoughts, just correct that by good thoughts. If you offended somebody by words, please excuse yourself by words, state your humility and ask for forgiveness. And if you had committed some wrong action against somebody, try to correct that on the action platform. I think it’s very practical.

But how many sinful and improper deeds did we have during this lifetime?! What to speak of the harsh words and the uncontrolled thoughts! My dear ones, is it possible to compensate for all this stupidity? Hardly ever. What to speak of previous lifetimes? So, it’s a never-ending list. Then what can we do? We forget, but karma never forgets. How to compensate for the mistakes and the sins? If one by one, or ‘eye for an eye and teeth for teeth’ – we cannot accomplish that. Gandhi said that if this rule applies, then very soon we shall end up in a society of blind and toothless people. Then what is the method of compensation for all the mistakes and all the stupidity that we have committed? This is the humble surrender to God Supreme. Because He is not searching where you come from, what is your background, how much stupidity you have committed. He is interested in what is your direction. ‘How you want to come to Me? I will give you the eyes.’ He says to Arjuna: “I will give you the eyes. You will see Me.”[2] He is the ability in men, right. So, this is the way to correct all the possible mistakes that we have committed. From now on, my dear Lord, I’m Yours.

It is said that to compensate for the sins there are many different prayaschitta, different processes. But faithfully serving the spiritual master, who is very dear to Krishna – this is the best process of any purification, of any spiritual elevation, etc. And meanwhile we have to keep up the consciousness: ‘I am Brahman. Aham brahmasmi. I am a spirit soul.’ If you always stay on that platform, how can you commit any mistakes? If you are firmly established on that platform of consciousness, immediately you will become sinless, you don’t create any more new karmas, or sins, etc.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.10.14-15

[2] Bhagavad Gita 11.8