English issues

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Manjari: The snake is a very interesting symbol; it may represent good, bad and maybe other things also. Could you please elaborate on this?

Swami Tirtha: Yes, I agree snakes are very unusual living beings. Humans somehow have a little apprehension towards snakes. Usually we don’t really like snakes, especially too close to our body. You like the very elegant shoes made of the skin of a snake, but just imagine that a snake is moving around your body – it’s an uneasy feeling, right?And for example in India there live the majority of the snakes on this Planet Earth. Therefore there they have quite deep understanding in relationship to the snakes. But as you said, they represent both good and bad, so to say, or very positive and dangerous aspects. Their diet, for example, is very interesting. Usually the big snakes eat, for example, goats in one chunk. So, they devour everything and then start to digest – slowly, slowly, slowly. That’s interesting; but another interesting fact about snakes is that they also like one real super-food – milk. Milk is one of the favorites of the yogis and the snakes. Therefore there is a danger – for example, if a baby is fed by the mother’s breast milk, and the baby falls asleep, and all of a sudden a snake comes. So, the fresh milk is inside the belly of the baby and the snake is ready to go after that milk, to enter your baby. Therefore if you are living in such a place, it’s better to have a mongoose in your home. Because they can protect your home and your baby from the snake searching for the milk.

But beyond biology or daily life, the milk and the snake are also mentioned in the tradition: the milk touched by the lips and tongues of a snake converts into a poison. In the same way, even the holy message or the talks about Krishna, the Supreme Lord, if it is done by unfaithful people, this nectar turns into poison. Therefore it is said: shravanam naiva kartavyam[1] – don’t listen to such talks of unfaithful people.

Also there are certain levels of the Universe which are inhabited by snake-like beings. And also they are connected very much to the story of the Bhagavatam. Because in the beginning, when one brahmin was meditating in his hut and the king Parikshit came and was disturbed by not being paid attention, he hurled a dead snake over this saint. And that was the cause of all the consequences of being cursed, etc. So king Parikshit died due to the curse connected to a snake and by a snake bite. Therefore his son started to make sarpa-yagna – to sacrifice, to eliminate these snakes. But finally the solution was different and the advice was different: to accept your karma, to accept even a curse and to provide a proper place for everybody.

Kundalini-shakti is also described as a snake inside the body. This is like the general, universal power of life distributed to the individuals. And by spiritual practice you can raise the level of this power, of this consciousness. So much so, that your shakti, your power of life, reaches the topmost platform of your chakra system. This is called enlightenment, or a trans state. And, in yoga, who represent this perfect state of consciousness? Shiva, correct. Shiva is also a big friend of snakes. We can hardly tolerate snakes crawling all over our body, but he is very satisfied with this. Some snakes here around his neck like a scarf, like a decoration.

And I think many times we discussed that Lord Shiva also represents the guru-tattva. Because he is always fixed in his meditation. You will see him with two eyes plus one more eye, the third eye. Always focused. Sometimes his third eye is closed and sometimes open, but that’s a different case. Anyway, he is undisturbed although the snakes are all over his body. I have a yogi friend, I mean bhakta, but he is a yogi type. And in Navadvip, which is practically on the bank of the Ganges, in Shridhara Maharaja’s ashram they also have snakes in the garden. And you know people are afraid of the snakes. But this my yogi friend was catching the snakes by hand. So the local devotees were very much afraid: “Oh, what’s gonna happen!” But he was very brave and protected the others from the snakes. Maybe he achieved the blessings of Lord Shiva.

All right, if Lord Shiva represents the guru-tattva and the perfect state of consciousness, then who are the snakes around him? The snake is the disciple. Always moving, always coming with some problems: “Guruji, this and that”. The snake can never stay, it’s always moving, you know his very unusual movements. But Shivaji is undisturbed. He doesn’t move. He is not shaken by the unusual input of the disciples. So, maybe our consciousness as disciples is always in a curly, shaky, snaky, sneaky mood, but on an accomplished platform your consciousness should be undisturbed.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 6.17.40

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

“It is a fact, however, that these innocent people carrying your palanquin without payment are certainly suffering due to this injustice. Their condition is very lamentable because you have forcibly engaged them in carrying your palanquin. This proves that you are cruel and unkind, yet due to false prestige you were thinking that you were protecting the citizens. This is ludicrous. You were such a fool that you could not have been adored as a great man in an assembly of saintly persons advanced in knowledge.”[1]

Sounds like a revolution. ‘Kill the kings! And establish democracy where nobody is exploited!’ But sorry, my dear ones, this is not the 20th century, because the story is not finished by these ‘equal rights to everybody’ – no! This verse is finished with the company of the saints and the wise. So, any kind of opposition or a misunderstanding on a material plane – it’s been going on for kalpas. It’s not the actual daily political situation; these oppositions have been going on for kalpas. But truth is not a question of voting. It exists irrespective of your opinion. Therefore to find the harmony – this is not taking one side or the other side. To find the harmony is to come to the higher synthesis. If you are wiser, if you have a more elevated consciousness, very easily you will find the way to the truth. And the path of truth needs persons who will traverse that path. Sometimes you might think that we choose a path, but it’s better to say that the path invites us.

But do you know that feeling – when you carry the palanquin without payment? You know that feeling? You do your job and no remuneration comes to you. It happens and it causes suffering due to this injustice. But my dear brothers and sisters, is there any injustice in a just karmic situation? Most probably not. Everything’s got a reason. A cause and a reason; why does it happen to us and what is the purpose? Maybe today I have to carry the palanquin without any payment, but who knows, maybe I had been a king before, enjoying being carried on a palanquin. So, we never know how it happened before. And I definitely don’t want to be like a preacher of revolutionary ideas like: ‘You can also become a king!’, because it doesn’t help the situation. Today we suffer, but if we change the system, then we’ll enjoy – come on, it’s useless. It’s just another bite of the material illusion – that you can cure the material disease by some other material means; it’s useless.

So, nothing is unjust, yet the salvation depends on good luck. Good luck in other words is divine mercy, right. I think now you are more ready to accept it.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.7

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

 “Whatever doubts I have about a particular subject matter I shall ask you about later. For the time being, these mysterious yoga instructions you have given me for self-realization appear very difficult to understand. Please repeat them in a simple way so that I can understand them. My mind is very inquisitive, and I want to understand this clearly.

O master of yogic power, you said that fatigue resulting from moving the body here and there is appreciated by direct perception but actually there is no fatigue. It simply exists as a matter of formality. By such inquiries and answers, no one can come to the conclusion of the Absolute Truth. Because of your presentation of this statement, my mind is a little disturbed.”[1]

And here Shrila Prabhupada clarifies: “Formal inquiries and answers about the bodily conception do not constitute knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Knowledge of the Absolute Truth is quite different from the formal understanding of bodily pains and pleasures. In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna informs Arjuna that the pains and pleasures experienced in relation to the body are temporary; they come and go. One should not be disturbed by them but should tolerate them and continue with spiritual realization”.[2]

I think this is a very proper question: if you don’t understand something, it’s better to ask until you come closer to some understanding. We cannot start a process at the end, we have to start it at the beginning, right. Every long journey starts with the first step. First we have to understand that here in this worldly life we perceive limitations. Then we need this inquiry: “how to achieve perfection which is beyond the limitations”. We should feed on the nectar, not on the garbage. Think of God instead of thinking of material stuff.

“Jada Bharata said: Among the various material combinations and permutations, there are various forms and earthly transformations. For some reason, these move on the surface of the earth and are called palanquin carriers. Those material transformations which do not move are gross material objects like stones. In any case, the material body is made of earth and stone in the form of feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, torso, throat and head. Upon the shoulders is the wooden palanquin, and within the palanquin is the so-called King of Sauvira. The body of the King is simply another transformation of earth, but within that body Your Lordship is situated and falsely thinking that you are the King of the state of Sauvira.”[3]

We can say almost offensive words – ‘You are not a king, only a lump of stones and earth’. If you receive such a message, it’s difficult to digest. Because usually if you are a king, you are approached with very humble words and with glorification: “Oh, you are so great! You are so nice.”

But ultimately we can say that the elements are present in our bodily constitution. Like the earth element provides everything that supports the body. Water element provides everything that is fluid in the body. The fire element provides the fire of digestion, for example, and the heat that you have. The air element will help you to breathe, and while you breathe that means you live, prana is with you. And the ether pervades this bodily construction with the life force. So, everything is present – inside and outside, and it’s practically the same. Little combinations here and there, like you have blond hair, or you have dark physiognomy – but it’s the same.

Then where is the difference? If everything is a combination of one or the other, what is the difference? Have you ever thought of the peppers? This is a topic of my meditation for a long time. You plant one seed, another seed, a third seed to the same soil. And one pepper is sweet, the other is chilly and the third one is extra chilly. Although we know that any plant is simply a transformation of the earth – nothing more. But how come one is sweet and the other is hot? Of course now you can come with your biological knowledge and say: ‘This is the genetic structure of this seed’ and so on… But it’s simply a transformation of the earth. What makes one pepper sweet and the other chilly? We have to understand this subtle essence that will distinguish one from the other, right. Your hair is curly and the other’s hair is long – what makes the difference? One body is like this, the other body is like that – what is the subtle essence that will make the difference? This variety, diversity is produced by the soul, the individual presence which is impossible to repeat – it’s once in a universe. And we need to have the eye to perceive that unique essence. Don’t be satisfied with the reflections, search for the original. Don’t be satisfied with simple enlightenment, try to find the person behind the divine light.


(to be continued)


[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.3-4

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.4 Purport

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.5-6

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

So, Shrila Prabhupada says in the beginning that “Because Maharaja Rahugana was still doubtful about his enlightenment, he asked Jada Bharata to repeat his instructions and clarify ideas he could not understand.”

“King Rahugana said: O most exalted personality, you are not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the influence of your true self, all kinds of contradiction in the shastras have been removed. In the dress of a friend of a brahmana, you are hiding your transcendental blissful position. I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

O best of the brahmanas, my body is filled with dirty things, and my vision have been bitten by the serpent of pride. Due to my material conceptions, I am diseased. Your nectarean instructions are the proper medicine for one suffering from such a fever, and they are cooling waters for one scorched by the heat.”[1]

So, here the condition of a diseased person is described. My dear brothers and sisters, we all suffer the material disease. Our whole system is filled with not very clean things. What to speak of the mind. So much junk-food is there. We are all bitten by pride and by the false concepts of illusion. That is like a serpent and this serpent comes with another serpent – this is called Time, that devours the entire Universe. The upper lip is the future, the lower lip is the past and it is just eating up everything. Beware the snakes! Plus you have another snake inside your body – the kundalini-shakti, and everybody likes to wake up the kundalini powers. Beware, we have to be very careful about these snakes. We’d better worship another snake, a servant snake, who provides a sofa for God Supreme, Lord Vishnu. Ananta, Ananta Shesha – the unlimited, never-ending, all-encompassive.

This concept of the unlimited is very symbolic. You know when something is described in pictures, this is very symbolic and tells a philosophy. Because we are very tiny, right. And one of the greatest and highest concepts that a human can ever imagine is the unlimited. We can hardly imagine how it’s possible that something is unlimited. We have no conception for that. Mathematics sometimes say a word about unlimited or never-ending sequences of numbers, correct – that when you come to the greatest number, you can always add one more. So, there is no end to that unlimited concept of vast, and huge, and never-ending sequences. This is one of the ultimate concepts that we might have – unlimited and eternal. And this concept is symbolized in our cosmology and in our iconography by this serpent of eternity. And what is he doing? He lies under God. It’s so simple to understand – eternity is a lower conception and the personal God is a higher conception. Eternity, or the concept of the unlimited, serves the Supreme Lord – it’s so simple to understand! So, we’d better serve this concept, because in this way we become the servant of a servant.

And what is Lord Vishnu doing on this sofa of a snake? He lies in divine slumber there. There are many yoga teachers and practitioners here – yoga-nidra is a divine slumber. Yoga-nidra is not falling asleep. Yoga-nidra is a creative dream, a creative state of consciousness – when you are connected. This is the goal of yoga-nidra – to achieve that divine connection, divine touch which will impregnate your consciousness with beautiful divine thoughts and feelings.

And when Lord Vishnu is described like this, many helpers, demigods and different beings are around – some are at the head and some are at the feet. If we calculate how to come closer to God, we might think that it’s better to be closer to His head, right. He is so clever, maybe some of His energy will be reflected on us. But Lakshmi Devi is at His lotus feet. She is not approaching the head, She is always at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, even in His slumber. And you might think: ‘Oh, it’s such a low position – to grab the feet of someone. Even if it is God, this is a very low position.’ But in Hungary we have a proverb ‘To catch the feet of God’ – this is the greatest fortune. Do you have something similar? How is it?

Answer: “To catch God for His trench coat.”

Swami Tirtha: Yes, something similar. So, if you have your slumber – slumber means not a real deep sleep, but sometimes you open up your eyes, other times you fall back and you relax. But you know if you open up your eyes, what comes in the first glance? You see your own feet, right, and those who are close to your feet. So, we need to be servants of the servants. Because our Supreme Lord always has an eye on His servants. Therefore we have this beautiful expression ‘to surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord’. Because whenever He opens His eyes, the first glance goes to the feet. And those who are around the feet of God, they achieve a vision, a darshan. So, this is one way to find the remedy for the material disease.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.1-2

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

We continue our readings from the Bhagavata Purana. Purana means ‘ancient’. But for us it means ‘eternal’. Ancient is not something old or outdated. Ancient means a touch of eternity – valid in the past and useful in the future. Therefore without the roots, there are no fruits. We need the deep roots of a tradition, of a spiritual lineage and then we can improve upon these truths. And there are many Puranas. Like Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana – unlimited. But one is selected from all these which is connected with Bhagavan, with God Supreme. Of course all other sources are very useful for specific purposes. But for those who want to understand the science of God, Bhagavata Purana is the most useful. Are you satisfied with the science of God?

Krishna Priya: No.

Swami Tirtha: You are not satisfied and still you are smiling and shining so much! Science ultimately culminates in emotion. If you know something or somebody, you start to appreciate that, right? Of course, that is also true – if you start to appreciate something, then you start to know it. But sometimes people seem to dislike knowledge, other times it looks like they don’t understand love. Therefore a little knowledge and a little feeling is the best combination.

The Bhagavata Purana gives not a small dosage of knowledge and not a small dosage of love. So those who want to drink the nectar of immortality, they should drink deep into the Bhagavatam. If something is connected with God, it is surcharged and pervaded by God. So, we can say that this is the eternal science of God. And the most essential part is about the exchange – how the devotees, how the faithful feel and follow God Krishna. This is the most important thing – what are the motivations of a devotee? What is the inspiration of the heart of a pure saint? This is very interesting to understand, to approach this topic: What is motivating the pure saint? If we understand that, we have almost understood everything.


(to be continued)

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 pm, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Question of Haribhakti: Is it possible for us to know and perceive God with this consciousness that is given to us, when even Lord Brahma in Shrimad Bhagavatam explains to Narada that he cannot understand God?

Swami Tirtha: What can I say? I think it is very true what you say, because although the Supreme Lord is very close to us, we feel very far away from Him. So, it’s not a question of real distance, but it’s a question of, let’s say, distortion of consciousness. Perfection is here and now. If we cannot perceive that now, here – then when? Why do you think that tomorrow you will be able to do that? If we cannot touch divinity right now, if we cannot put ourselves in front of the Supreme, to enjoy His company – then when? Why is tomorrow a better opportunity then today?

Nevertheless, in most of the cases what you say is very much true – it’s hard. But if we are attentive, maybe we don’t see the Supreme Lord face to face, but we can see the marks betraying Him. That will tell all the story about Him. This we can always see. Every day you see the sun. What is the sun? The sun for us is the eye of the Supreme Lord. Or you see the moon – it’s Krishna Candra, Goura Candra. They are the full moon on the horizon of our midnight sky. So, there are unlimited ways to remember. We only need the eye, we only need the perception for that.

This was very nicely described by Shrila Shridhara Maharaja. A very nice devotee visited him once, he was sitting alone on the veranda of his temple. And you know, at that time it was one temple and the grand jungle around. Then Shridhara Maharaja was just meditating, looking around the jungle and he said: “So many things are here to remember, to remind us of Lord Chaitanya.” What you see is the jungle; what he sees is Mahaprabhu.

Therefore it is said: the fool and the wise watch the same tree, but they see a different tree. Here is life as a tree, we observe life. But what do we see there? Limitation, suffering, death?  Or a chance for eternal life, happiness, joy? What do you see? Be realistic – there are limitations. But be optimistic – there is a superior reality.

So, I say yes, it is possible to perceive God.

Once Gurudev asked his devotees: “Do you want to meet Shrimati Radharani?” Oh, everybody said: “Yes, of course, of course!” and then he said: “Yes, 4:30 in the morning you can meet Her in the temple. She is here on the altar”

So, if you want something – give a little sacrifice. Come on time.


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 pm, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

You can consider the mind an enemy or a friend. But one thing is for sure – the mind is just like a hungry ghost. It wants to eat, you have to feed it. What kind of foodstuff would you give it? It’s up to you. But the foodstuff will have an effect on the functioning of your mind. Our mind is selective. And I don’t know about your mind, but my mind has an inclination to bad, negative stuff. Always searching for the defects and always trying to find the mistakes and this and that… My God, I have a hard time!

We shouldn’t search for mistakes. We shouldn’t feed our mind with shortcomings. We shouldn’t feed our mind with bad news. Because then the bad news are not outside anymore, but inside. Then you will have really bad company. So we have to be careful with the foodstuff for the mind.

But as our mind needs something to feed on, we have to supply something. And as the three main functions of the mind are thinking, willing and feeling, therefore we have to give it super food, right, vegan.

So, what kind of super food is there for the first function of the mind – thinking? Think of God, think of His unlimited qualities.

The second function is the willpower. Think about your way out from the labyrinth – so, the super food for the willpower of the mind is your individual plan of salvation. You need to find the mission of your life. You shouldn’t wait for others to do that, it’s your job. Find you mission. Have a program for this lifetime: ‘Yes, I want to go home, back to Godhead. I want to use all my willpower to say “no” to illusion and say “yes” to the divine reality.’ In the ancient Christian scriptures baptism is described in a very detailed manner. When somebody wanted to join the church, he had to say, I think three times, “No” in rejection to the devil. So, use your willpower to isolate yourself from stupidity. This is the super food for the second function of the mind – use your willpower for the commitment to the truth.

What kind of super food to find for the third function of the mind – feeling?

Answer: Chanting of the holy names.

Swami Tirtha: Yes, let’s start with the simple food – compassion. Or you are feeling lonely in the spiritual sense, excluded from the divine reality. Then you can feel compassion for others.

But ultimately, why not feed our mind with the nectar of immortality, amrita! Give me amrita! Just recently I asked Pavitra Prabhu to bring some whipped cream for adding to some drink, some hot chocolate or something. But somehow it was stale; and then Pavitra Prabhu immediately said: “I will bring a new one, no problem.” Then I said: “It’s only one or two more days of staying here, so it’s not necessary to supply it.” But then I achieved a small enlightenment, I said: “No, I cannot tolerate living without the nectar for two days! So, bring the whipped cream.” Why should we tolerate living without this nectar, this super food for the soul if we can take it? Divine feelings are the best food for the soul! So, cultivate that, taste that nectar! You are born from the ocean of nectar. This is your destiny. Don’t be satisfied with anything less, you are born for enjoying the nectar of immortality! We are not born here to suffer and to end up in death. No, we are born to accomplish our journey and enjoy the divine nectar. The beautiful loving pastimes of the Divine Couple – this is the best food for the mind that we have to contemplate. This is the way to find your inner peace.

“This uncontrolled mind is the greatest enemy of the living entity. If one neglects it or gives it a chance, it will grow more and more powerful and will become victorious. Although it is not factual, it is very strong. It covers the constitutional position of the soul. O King, please try to conquer this mind by the weapon of service to the lotus feet of the spiritual master and of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Do this with great care.”[1]

This is the way, this is the method. Yasya deve para bhaktir/ yatha deve tatha gurau/ tasyaite kathita hy arthah/ prakashante mahatmanah[2] – the divine glories are revealed to those, whose faith in the spiritual master and in God is complete, uninterrupted. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau – if you have full faith in God and, just in the same manner, in the master, then all the divine secrets will be revealed to you. Prakash – revelation.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.17

[2] Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 pm, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“My dear King Rahugana, as long as the conditioned soul accepts the material body and is not freed from the contamination of material enjoyment, and as long as he does not conquer his six enemies and come to the platform of self-realization by awakening his spiritual knowledge, he has to wander among different places and different species of life in this material world.

The mind is the cause of all tribulations in the material world. As long as this fact is unknown to the conditioned living entity, he has to accept the miserable condition of the material body and wander within this universe in different positions. Because the mind is affected by disease, lamentation, illusion, attachment, greed and enmity, it creates bondage and a false sense of intimacy within this material world.”[1]

So, here this very old friend is described – the mind. And as yesterday, or the day before yesterday, we could finally identify where we perceive the suffering, where it happens – this is in the mind platform – here we get some instruction about the different lashes that disturb the mind: disease, lamentation, illusion, attachment, greed and enmity. There are so many things that disturb us. For example, there are certain factors mentioned in this respect. What gives disturbance to the mind? Some are inconvenient bodily conditions – for example when you are thirsty or hungry, you become agitated very easily. When the senses are satisfied, when you have eaten, then you have a better mood. Therefore they have these business lunches. Because after them the senses are satisfied and you can achieve your goals more easily. Or when you don’t get enough sleep – again you become more easily agitated. Or when there is some insecurity in your life, when you are unsure of something – oh, that gives you big trouble. I think this is the greatest trouble of all, because other things you can overcome, but this really dissipates your power.

But all these discomforts we can use in the spiritual growth. If you don’t sleep, if you keep vigilance, you will become more sensitive. If you don’t eat, first you become angrier, then you start to have a headache, but then you start to feel that you have more energy and you are more sensitive again. You perceive your environment in a different manner. So, all these discomforts can bring a very good result – if you apply them in a spiritual manner. It’s easy to fast when you decide: ‘I am so strong in my renunciation, today I am fasting!’ But better you fast when you don’t get food, when somebody else decides for you to provide or not to provide. I tell you, then it’s much more difficult.

Anyway, you can use these discomforts for your spiritual growth. And then slowly, slowly by this gradual process you can find your inner peace. Then we are more sensitive about the spiritual truths and the divine reality, and maybe we can come closer to that blessed moment when it will reveals itself to us.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.15-16

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 pm, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Friday)

“There are two kinds of knowers of the field — one is the living entity, as explained above, and the other one is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is explained as follows. He is the all-pervading cause of creation. He is full in Himself and is not dependent on others. He is perceived by hearing and direct perception. He is self-effulgent and does not experience birth, death, old age or disease. He is the controller of all the demigods, beginning with Lord Brahma. He is called Narayana, and He is the shelter of living entities after the annihilation of this material world. He is full of all opulences, and He is the resting place of everything material. He is therefore known as Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By His own potency, He is present within the hearts of all living entities, just as the air or vital force is within the bodies of all beings, moving and nonmoving. In this way He controls the body. In His partial feature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead enters all bodies and controls them.“[1]

So, the body is a field – the field of action. And there are two actors there. One is a real actor and the other is an observer. In a very beautiful verse in the Upanishads it is said that there are two birds on a tree. The body is compared to a tree and the heart is compared to the main branch of the tree. And the small bird, the individual soul, lives in the heart. When you want to say ‘I am’, you don’t touch your forehead, but your bossom: ‘I am here!’. Right, so this is your place. Because the heart is the main branch, this is where you live inside this body. But there you are not alone. Somebody else is there also – the divine presence is also there. He is the observer bird, another bird.

The you-bird is a little dull, stupid. But the other bird is all-wise – observing all your actions, knowing your future, knowing your past and giving you directions accordingly. The small bird is the atman, the great bird is the param-atman, The Great Soul. Or antaryami – your inner guide. It’s so nice – you are never alone, you have your inner guide!

If you love somebody, where do you put that person? Into your pocket? Into your thoughts? Or into your heart? Where is the best place to capture a person? I think we all agree – this is the heart. So, let’s develop attachment to somebody who is already there in your heart – and this is the presence of the Supreme. Because through an affectionate relationship to this supreme presence in your heart you will hear the message more properly. In this way you can more easily relate to this superior knower of your past, present and future.

And here  are mentioned some aspects and some features of the Supreme – like all-pervading, the cause of creation, self-effulgent, standing by itself. Very difficult to describe. Because how can you describe the all-in-all? That is so much beyond human understanding and imagination. We are limited, so how can we capture the unlimited? But fortunately enough the unlimited is not limited and can show Himself to the limited. Correct? Maybe I am limited, but He is not. And He can reveal whatever He wants. Therefore we pray: “Oh, my Lord, please, remove this effulgence! I want to see You face to face. I am blinded by Your effulgence. Please, show me Yourself as You are!” This is called enlightenment – when you see, when you perceive the presence of the Supreme in this way.

Question of Krishna Priya: You said that the soul is acting and the Supersoul is observing. I was thinking that actually the soul can also observe the dealings of the false ego incited by the gunas and through this observation gaining this experience like Jada Bharata in this story.

Swami Tirtha: It is possible.

Question: Then why do you say that the soul is stupid as she is sat-cit-ananda?

Swami Tirtha: All right, it’s not stupid, but a little stupid. Why, why, why? Because she wants to enjoy the fruits of the tree. And she thinks: ‘Oh, I can manage without this observer, I don’t pay too much attention on Him. Here are the fruits, so what is the need of such a guide? I can do it by myself.” This is called a distorted consciousness – much too focused on the external objects without considering the divine secrets. But it is said: until you try to pick the fruits of the tree, which are mixed – some are sweet, some are bitter, the third type is bitter-sweet – that is the action-reaction platform: karma, results, gunas, etc. etc. But as soon as this individual soul turns her attention to the inner guide, then all the misery is gone. So, until you don’t have this loving and living connection to your inner guide, you are a little stupid. Although if your consciousness is originally purified, all the spiritual qualities are revealed. They’re there. So we don’t need to add anything, we only have to remove what is blocking us from divine vision.


(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.13-14

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 pm, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Friday)

“The individual soul bereft of Krishna consciousness has many ideas and activities created in the mind by the external energy. They have been existing from time immemorial. Sometimes they are manifest in the wakening state and in the dream state, but during deep sleep [unconsciousness] or trance, they disappear. A person who is liberated in this lifetime can see all these things very properly.”[1]

So, these are the four different levels of consciousness. The ancient tradition, the ancient wisdom of yoga discusses the human structure in many, many different ways. The first state of consciousness is our awake state – when the senses are directed outward. The second state of consciousness is the dream state – when the functions of the senses are directed inward. Therefore you see dreams, it’s a dreaming state. The third one is when you are asleep, but you don’t see dreams. They say that on that platform you are connected to the causal level of reality, to some higher kind of inspirational sphere. And ultimately the forth level is called ‘the forth level’ – this is the spiritual one.

These are the different levels, the different methods of how our consciousness works. They say when you fall asleep you leave your body. And when you are awake from this dream, you return to your body – hopefully. Fortunately, this is under a precise system, so it’s not that you fall asleep and somebody else will come back to your body and we will return to somebody else’s body. Therefore when you are awake, you will say: “Oh, I had such a good sleep!” It’s a very unique, very strange thing that although you were out, still you remember something, right? That means your identity is not changed, not affected. ‘I had a good sleep!’ Although when you were sleeping, you felt that: ‘I am flying’, or ‘I am swimming in the ocean.’ You didn’t know that you are sleeping.

If we achieve a liberated state of consciousness, then we see the functioning of the consciousness of all these different levels. This achievement is called jivan-mukta – liberated during the lifetime. Although living here, you accomplished perfection. I think we all like this state. But I am not sure that we are all ready to pay the price for achieving it.

Do you like freedom? I think we all like freedom. Do you enjoy full freedom? Not so much. So, here is an objective: we like something, but we don’t posses it. Therefore we have to be careful about this and understand properly what is freedom. Because usually when people think that they are free, they are motivated by some unseen factors. So, freedom is a very high concept. And just to tell you a small, little secret: ultimate freedom comes from total commitment. (big sound of motor-horns outside) Yes, and now you didn’t hear anything. This is the nature of the secret, sorry.



(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.12