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English issues

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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“The Upanishads say: yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati yasmin prapte sarvam idam praptam bhavati – “By knowing That, everything is known; by attaining That, everything is attained.” [1]
Please, remember this! It’s very important. This should be our ambition. By reaching only one thing, you reach everything. By knowing only one thing you will know everything. Then why should we search for the many, if one is enough? Why should we learn so many different objects if by learning, by understanding one supreme object or subject – God – you will know everything? Why should we achieve and aspire for so many different things, while by reaching one, you will reach everything? This is the highest achievement, this is the highest goal. Yasmin vijnate: vijnate – by knowing, yasmin – what, sarvam – all, evam – for sure, vijnatam – known, bhavati – will be. By knowing what for sure everything will be known. And by attaining what, everything is attained. 
“We have been told this in a general way, but that does not mean that with this consciousness you will arrive in that plane and everything will then be in your fist. No; more and more you will continue to have an intense hankering to approach, to advance – and the more satisfaction you get, the more earnestness you will have to go forward, to go on. The spiritual search, the spiritual development – it is not to be finished. Here also in the shadow we do not find any finish, and this is the reflection, so it is a dynamic affair. Go onward, go onward more! But substance and shadow – that is the difference. That world cannot be eliminated. It is constant, eternal. There the soul is finding real substance, but still he is not satisfied: “I want more.” That is the nature of real substance, and sound will reveal it.”
So, a third element is mentioned. Shadow, substance and sound finally. 
“Here, sound is the most subtle thing, but there it is just the opposite; there, sound is a gross thing. That is what reflection means, and it is perverted”. 
So in the material conception sound is a very subtle element, very subtle power. While on the original plane this is the lowest, the most brutal element. Just as if you observe a tree on a bank of a river or some water reflection. In the original the crown of the tree is at the top, while in the reflection it’s at the bottom. And the trunk is at the basis in the original, while in the reflection this is at the top. From the material elements the sound is considered very subtle, very high, and there it is very basic. 
“So the right hand in the reflection is the left hand; and in the reflection of a tree, the top of the tree is in the bottom position”. 
Here is something very interesting. Just imagine a mirror in front of you. Somehow the directions are exchanged vertically. But they are not exchanged horizontally, right. It’s very strange. Therefore this reflection, this mirror is very strange. Something is mixed up here. We don’t know how it works. This is the nature of illusion. It reflects something of the original, but we don’t really understand how it works. 
”So in the plane of substance, sound is the most concrete thing. The most subtle plane here – the nearest, innermost plane, that of sound – can cross over the many coverings of this world and come in connection with the nature of that existence, where the cover of that world is comprised of sound. So through sound, we can go inside there.”
 
(to be continued)
 
1. The Golden staircase, Ch. 1 Shadow, Substance, and Sound, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“Going back to Godhead means going back to our own soil, our real home. What is night to us now – that we will make our day! Where there is presently darkness to us – we are to find light there; and what is apparently so plain and expressively clear – that must be neglected. In our earnest calculation the entire world of exploitation and self-interest should be kicked into the darkness, and we should withdraw wholesale from that ‘knowledge’. And what is dark to us now we should try to make it light by always giving our attention, thoughtful consideration, and adherence to achieving residence in the higher soil, the land of wonders where everything is wonderful.”[1]
So, this is a transition from one stage to another. And it is a very glorious path because this shift is judged according to the fruits. It will bring eternal, good fruits, therefore this is a very glorious path. 
The next chapter says: “Shadow, Substance, and Sound”.
“The spiritual plane is substantial. And why are things as they are here? This is the reflection of that plane, a perverted reflection. So that nature is also to be found here, but the substance is there. Everything here, all this is like a shadow. The shadow is unsubstantial, without real existence, the substance is itself real existence. The difference is great”.[2]
A shadow has no reality. Do you still have a shadow? Well, if we stand in the sunshine we shall see our shadow. That means reflection is there only when there is something original, something that gives the power to reflect. The light is always ahead of us and the shadows are always to our back. Of course sometime you might turn your back to the sun, but this is not the case, it’s symbolic. We are searching for the light and nevertheless we have a shadow. And if you want to run away from your shadow, it will come with you. The faster you run, the faster it will follow you. How to get rid of our shadows? Actually there is a way. Because it is said that demigods don’t have a shadow. So, if you want to identify a demigod, just check the shadow. If somebody has no shadow, it’s a demigod. Until somebody has a shadow, it’s a future demigod. 
How the shadow is produced? Actually, there is a blockage of light. So, if there is a thick object that blocks the flow of light, then that is the shadow. If the object is transparent, there is no shadow. So, why do the demigods have no shadow? Because they don’t block the light. Actually one definition in Krishna book about the demigod is that they live only for the satisfaction of Krishna – tat priyartham. Those who live only for the satisfaction of God, they are like angels, they are like demigods. Actually deva comes from div, from light. They are bright persons, they don’t block the light. No separate interest, no false ego. This will block the light. So, if we want to get rid of our shadow, we should purify our heart existence.
 
(to be continued)
 
1.   The Golden staircase, Ch. 1 Withdraw from knowledge, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
2.   The Golden staircase, Ch. 1 Shadow, Substance, and Sound, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
 

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
We agreed that we have to come to the soul platform, atma platform and instead of the nasty engagement we should engage our consciousness with something sacred. And sometimes we are told to be very realistic, down to earth, but this is very unrealistic. 
“Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.2) says, vedyam vastavam atra vastu shivadam tapa-trayonmulanam: “Reality is vastavam vastu – the real substance above all of the unreal, imaginary things of this world. All the accumulated knowledge in relation to this world is a wholesale concoction). It is the result of misreading the environment and is full of misinterpretation and misconception. The whole thing – the vocabulary, the history, the epics, the whole thing, whatever has been collected – it is all a misrepresentation of the truth, and we are in the midst of that. We are captivated within that, but at the same time we have the capacity to enter the plane of real life because we are a particle of that higher world. So we must go back to God, back to home. Home is there. What charm can there be for us here where there is death, and then birth again, where everything is stale and produces dissipation and suffering? Mortality, suffering, and death – and even then it is not finished, but we must continuously come here again and again and follow the same course of life! So try to obtain real relief, and help others also to take up their proper life away from this undesirable atmosphere. We must go back to Godhead, where everything is wonderful. What is that Godhead? Our home is there! Our home, sweet, sweet home. We are a child of that soil, and the scriptures urge us: “You have got this human life, this chance, so always try by all means – by thinking, by meditation, by talking, by hearing – to cultivate your own true identity, your noble identity in your homeland where the soul lives. Always, always, always engage yourself in that. Try to avoid this plane of misconception by any means and enter into that land.”[1]
Bitter, but realistic words about the present environment. Because here everything is limited by so many different factors – lack of knowledge, lack of time, certain factors of suffering or other limitations. And generally this is very popular – to describe the difficulties of the earthly life. Because everybody will understand, we all have experience of that. So, in case somebody says: “Have you faced some trouble in your life?” everybody will agree. Actually, I do a research from time to time. Whenever I meet people in certain groups I ask the question: “What is your conception about life? Is it good experience or bitter?” And depending on the age of the group the answers vary. Usually the university students will say: “Yes, that’s nice! That’s great!” Over the age of forty people will say: “Oh! Better we are realistic”. So, it depends on what you collect meanwhile. We have to be careful about the input into our brain, into our intellect, into our mind. And here is the invitation: “Try to find your original home”. It is very easy to say that “Here on Earth there is suffering; over there in Heaven there is no suffering”. Are you satisfied with that? In one sense it seems to be an answer of postponing the whole problem. Because that suggest us that we have to tolerate everything, wait, wait, wait, and maybe sometimes over there in perfection we will be happy. 
And we might think that we have to change the environment, we have to go from one place to another to be happy and satisfied. And in one sense that is true. We all have experience that changing of the environment helps sometimes. You go on a vacation and then you are more relaxed, or more in maya. But there is another way, another solution to the problems of life. When we change not the place, like Earth to Heaven, but we change the mentality. Then we start to learn the art of satisfaction and happiness here and now. We have a civilization of comforts and a culture of complaints. What kind of combination is that? While a spiritual person should tolerate, should be neutral to any conditions and be satisfied with, or against any circumstances. So, there is a secret. It is possible! Usually we need a home and it’s so difficult to obtain. But the wanderers, the ascetics have no house, yet they feel at home everywhere in the world. Many times we need things, we want to obtain things and they don’t come. But those who renounce possessing the things, they will have everything. Even if they have nothing, they are satisfied. So, where is the freedom? Where is the secret? It’s not in the external things, it’s in the internal mentality, it’s the internal approach to things. Instead of changing your position, better we change our mentality. And then you don’t have to wait for entering Heaven to be satisfied. 
 
(to be continued) 
 
1.  The Golden staircase, Ch. 1 Withdraw from knowledge, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
 


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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
Question of Giridhari: Maharaj, my question is a bit complicated; you mentioned about analyzing that can kill our faith. The Lord had said Himself – I think in Bhagavad Gita 5.4 – that whatever path one chooses, analytical or mystical, he will achieve the results of both. We know two types of knowledge – empirical, primitive, that is helpful in the limits of our specific needs; and analytical that allows us to know the nature of things and to make forecast for the future. My impression is these kinds of knowledge enhance each other and it’s something like an upward spiral. And Krishna says that the fallen yogi still makes progress. It’s not a vicious circle, it’s a sort of progressive circle. 
Swami Tirtha: No problem, we can use our intellect properly. I never said: exclude your mind. We should include our mind in the spiritual search. But somehow intellect is not the ultimate instrument of our approach. This is only what I wanted to stress. 
Giridhari: Yes, I understand. Is it that the knowledge itself is what hinders us? Like if I know Ekadashi gives good results, this can be an excuse for me to misbehave and rely on it to purify me. Is the problem in the knowledge, or in the way we misuse the knowledge?
Swami Tirtha: Most probably the second. 
Giridhari: I believe that the knowledge itself is not hindering us. Prabhupad is giving us knowledge. 
Swami Tirtha: Try to understand properly my words. If I say knowledge, maybe this is not the jnana itself, definitely this is not the brahma-jnana or atma-jnana, divine knowledge. This is the conditioning that we all have: ‘With my understanding, with my brain I know.’ This is training. But we cannot embrace our brother or our beloved one theoretically – this is the point. So, in that sense theory, intellect, etc. etc. – this is not the ultimate way of approach. And this is not a bad word about jnana, the knowledge; this is a glorification of prema, of bhakti. So we should ourselves understand, and try to show to others that by divine dedication a different layer of reality can be reached. With material knowledge we shall achieve material results; with divine knowledge we can achieve liberation, divine achievement; but with pure hearted dedication we can achieve love of Godhead. Different results are there. 
Giridhari: Thank you! My next question is why do we forget, why don’t we learn from our mistakes? 
Swami Tirtha: The impression is there. Before you said that even the fallen yogi will come up again and learn. So, the positive and the negative impressions are all there, maybe not in your open consciousness, but in a subconscious way, as a shadow it follows the soul. Yet one thing is for sure – with karma we cannot overcome the burden of karma. Or by the help of the material gunas we cannot overcome the gunas. But by dedication, surrendering ourselves under the divine protection it is possible. This is the point. 
Practically we are all in a long, long learning process. And in this process of learning – as it looks like an intellectual process – forgetfulness is the main element. Because we have to forget about all the stupid conditionings that we have. So, we worship forgetfulness. We worship the divine madness. Please try to understand properly. When we come to a knowledgeable platform brahma-jnana, we see everything as it is. And then you might see that God is great, because He is God. But then again we must make a puja to forgetfulness. Because as we are very insignificant subordinates of this divine kingdom, the king is very far away on a high throne and we are here, very isolated from him – until we are conscious about His greatness and His position and our position. But how can you play football with a king? No way! While the prince is climbing on the back of the king, right? Because ‘He is not a king! He is my dear father! So, I can ride on his back as on a horse.’ Can you do that if you are conscious about He’s being a king, or being God? You cannot do that. So, divine forgetfulness is a very important principle. Uddhava is ready to forget about his sakhya position n Dwaraka in order to become a neutral participant in Vrindavana. 

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
Question: As you mentioned different types of rasa in the lecture, my question is: when is that revealed? When do you understand your type of rasa?
Swami Tirtha: ‘Understanding a rasa’ is completely against the subject of the present lecture. 
Comment: Not understand, but feel or be conscious about it.
Swami Tirtha: It’s due to purification. In our smaller circle and in the many, many different practitioners and schools of divinity, our understanding and our practice focuses on purification of the consciousness of the person. And while the material or bodily conscious is diminished, the spiritual conscious should reveal more and more. It’s a long process and it’s not very much necessary to push it forward. Because for a long, long time it’s very much satisfying to identify ourselves ‘I’m a servant of my master. I’m a servant of the devotees. I am a servant of the temple deities.’ And later on when all the anarthas are removed from the heart and consciousness – so no selfishness, no material conditioning, etc. – then there is more space for divinity to come to our structure. Actually, we have an invitation, a permanent invitation. And by purification we become able to respond to that invitation better. On the other hand, it’s a beautiful search – just to find the resonance, what type of need is there in the spiritual sky, what type of invitations they extend and to which invitation we can reply as a resonance. But I think it’s becoming too much complicated. So, wait; by chanting it will be revealed to you. To put it very simply. Because this is something very high and very sacred. Therefore we have to approach it with the utmost care. 
Question: In our spiritual search we try to give birth to an emotion that will lead us back to God. Where is the balance between waiting for that emotion to be born by itself on one hand, and on the other hand trying to facilitate its birth, giving it some push sometimes? Should we only wait? Sometimes we get dried in our search.
Swami Tirtha: I would change the sequence. Because you mentioned wait and then sometimes facilitate. Try to do the opposite. Facilitate with all your efforts and if it doesn’t happen all of a sudden – wait. So, both are necessary. Actually this is the big debate about the way of the monkey and the way of the cat. How humans will achieve perfection? Like the kitten who is transported by the mother? The small kitten only has to hang in the mouth of the mother – not so much active participation. Or like the small monkey who holds on to the mother’s fur while she’s jumping from one tree to another? These are the two basic understandings about achieving perfection for humans. One party says: “Just wait. Just hang, your mother will transport you.” And the other version says: “Oh, catch on the movement”. As we were discussing logic also a little bit, here again we should apply this: both. Not only this or that, but use both. When we facilitate – this is when we hold on. When we try to help our perfection to come – this is when we hold on to the mother who carries us. But when it will happen – this is the kitten way. All of a sudden we are transferred, and definitely not by our own efforts. So, in my humble understanding about this debate, we should apply both methods – according to time, place and circumstances. 
 
(to be continued)


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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
Question of Mahabhava: I would like to ask you to explain a little bit about the quote by Buddha – that the art kills the perfection. I couldn’t get it. Thank you! 
Swami Tirtha: The actual quote was that art is a sure way to forget about the perfection. Yesterday you mentioned the Facebook maya, right? It’s captivating and many people are on the hook of this field of communication. And actually art, if it is not properly or not divinely arranged, this is also very attractive. There might be an artistic maya, or we can say a cultural maya also. So, people give full attention to that and if it is not connected to divinity, then you forgot about the main point. And you know Lord Buddha was little an ascetic type, especially in the beginning. So, maybe he had this opinion at that time. 
But nevertheless, this also shows that in the old times art was a way of meditation. Definitely it was deeply connected with the divine principles and divine beauty. And what about today’s art? It is full of human principles. Basically, art is a piece of passion born in alcohol and LSD. This is reality, this is what happens. Nobel Prize is distributed for very low class of taste, very low rasa. Anyway, please try to understand, Krishna is the best artist, best dancer. Radharani is the best metallurgist. We have a positive opinion about art and sciences. 
Question of Gandarvika: I wanted to come in with the question on the art of perfection. At least in English the word art has also another dimension to it, which is more like ‘artistry’. The way that I understand this saying is that it’s more artistry – in the sense that it is our own arrangement of things, the way that we want to influence things. And that kills perfection created by God. I don’t know if you agree with this interpretation?
Swami Tirtha: Yes. Martial arts can also kill nature. And also, one more point: art is not only artistic, but artificial also. So, it’s not natural. I am very happy that this remark invites so much response. 
Yamuna: The devotees are concerned about art.
Mahabhava: It’s again connected to this subject: there is a verse in Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says: “I am the talent in man”.[1]
Swami Tirtha: What is the Sanskrit there? Please, find the verse. It says: “I am the ability in men”. Pauruṣhaṁ nṛiṣhu. Nri-, nrishu. In the humans I am paurusham, I am the purusha principle. So, this is not exactly artistic talent, but this is like ‘I am what makes a human human’. And in one sense this is the brain, so intellect is also given by God. Not by the devil. Artistic talents are also there. Ability like being able to do is also given by God. Therefore whatever engagement we accept, we should reflect this divine source in our activities. Be it art, be it word, be it thinking – whatever. This is the way of linking back, connecting back to divinity. Then the artificial art becomes a natural way of expression. 
 
(to be continued)
 
1.  Bhagavad Gita 7.8

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
Question of Manjari: Gurudev, concerning the beautiful prayer you gave us, that we should pray for God to reveal Himself to us; and then to inundate us; and finally to make the path easier for the others, my question is: isn’t He already making the path for others as easy as possible or there is some chance it could be easier? And if there is such a chance, why would He wait for us to pray for it and not help otherwise? 
Giridhari: Why do we interfere with His perfect arrangement?
Swami Tirtha: Well, He can do, He is free to do. And He doesn’t depend on our prayer or no prayer. But He is interested in whether you are ready to do this, or not. Whether you are satisfied with your private liberation, or you are ready to share it with others. Why? Because some people don’t pray: “Please, reveal yourself to Me!” Therefore, if we pray for those who don’t pray, it’s good. 
Definitely we cannot interfere into the divine arrangement too much. But we shouldn’t use it as an excuse. So, ‘Anyway God should do that, why should I do anything? It’s His business.’ Once Gurudev told to one disciple: “All right, I accept that you don’t help me in serving Mahaprabhu’s mission. But at least don’t hinder me!” So, we have a little contribution here and there. You can be a help and you can be a nonsense. We can be part of the solution and we can be part of the problem. Depends on your decision which party you support. 
But what does the first stage mean? “Please, reveal Yourself to me!” The first stage means that ‘I am in deficiency. You are not with me, please come to me.’ What does the second stage mean? ‘Inundate me! Just fulfill me and pervade me.’ That is the stage of surplus. ‘What am I to do with such a surplus? I cannot contain it in myself. I have to give it to others, otherwise I will drown.’ Therefore we are sharing, which in a very concrete sense is preaching. This is so important. And then the third stage will come. Because if you are in surplus, then you are ready to share, then you are ready to give. This is the secrete knowledge of affection, love. Mostly people love due to deficiency. They lack something, they need something, therefore they want to find it in another person. The great ones love due to surplus, they have so much wealth, they have so much treasure that they need a partner to share. So, this is the secret of love, we can say. Don’t love due to deficiency – then it won’t bring the desired happiness or fulfillment. Better you become very wealthy in divine love, and then you can share it with others. 
Of course, we cannot interfere into the divine arrangement, but we can show our readiness: ‘Yes, My Lord, I am ready to serve You! Whatever You want to accomplish through me, I am here!’ Just like Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami – they got a license form Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to accomplish certain achievements. They were empowered to do that. In the same way you can also be empowered if you agree to serve the divine purpose. And prayer is the way. Prayer is the way.
Lilavatar question: Gurudev, as my mind has the inclination to analyze and theorize, if Krishna reveals to you, inundates you and then you share, is it possible that you feel even greater deficiency after that? 
Swami Tirtha: Yes and no. Because it is said that the yogis are satisfied with their achievements and your yogi aspect should be satisfied. But the devotees are always trying to work for the progress of others. Just like the gopis feel million times more happiness if they bring another one in close contact with Krishna instead of enjoying privately themselves. If there is nobody to distribute the prasadam to, our devotional heart is broken. So, as a yogi you can be very satisfied, but as a bhakta no problem if you are a little dissatisfied. Because you feel this lack. 
Question of Paramananda: Would you recommend the mood when we pray for the benefit of others and also an approach?
Swami Tirtha: Please, go through the first two levels; then you will have the proper mood. Because sequence is sequence – it’s important. And if we properly follow the process, the necessary levels will come, the necessary moods will reveal. 
 
(to be continued)

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“Devotee: “Maharaj, the different animals, insects, and trees in the Dhama, in the holy place – how shall we view them?” Shrila Shridhar Maharaj: “They are wholesale chinmaya, completely chinmaya.” Chin is chit, maya is made of. So they are made of consciousness. ”They are not under bondage, but are posing in different way.” Because an animal on the material platform is limited, is bounded. But an animal on the spiritual platform is not limited. “There are different types of service, and they have their fullest satisfaction in their own plane of service. They imbibe the most blissful internal feeling thereby, and do not want any other. In their relative position, they are fully satisfied there. In other rasas also, sakhya or vatsalya: each person feels, “What I have is the best. I have got the best position and I do not care to go to any other. Shanta-rasa is also like that: the trees and creepers, the sands, and so many animals and birds are there, but still there is a qualitative difference between them. Uddhava, the highest devotee in Dwaraka, aspires to take birth as a creeper in Vrindavana. So there are qualitative differences within shanta-rasa. In Dwaraka also there is shanta-rasa; but he who has the highest type of sakhya-rasa in Dwaraka aspires after the shanta-rasa service in Vrindavana, once he has gotten a little peep into the atmosphere of the type of service rendered there. This shows that even the highest thing in a particular place still has its relative position in the absolute consideration. Though the relative position is satisfied there, the absolute always surpasses it; otherwise the unity, the connection with the whole, would ultimately be dislocated and disorganized”[1]
Uddhava is a very special, very dear devotee of Krishna. He is one of the main helpers and dear ones in Dwaraka, and he had the apprehension that Krishna will disappear. Therefore he urged Krishna: “Tell me again, what is the most important? Tell me again! You had spoken to Arjuna before, but tell me also. What is the secret?” And then Krishna started to educate him in a similar manner like in the “Gita” for Arjuna. It is included in the “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, Eleventh Canto. And just imagine, you have this fear: ‘Maybe my beloved Lord will disappear, withdraw from this world’, and He agrees: “Yes, I will go.” This is very painful. And it’s a long teaching. But slowly-slowly you come to the end, to the final understanding that He will go. Such a painful conclusion! 
Uddhava’s rasa, his connection to Krishna is considered to be basically sakhya or friendship. But he is in rasabhas, he is in mixed rasa. Yet this mix is not distasteful, it contains more taste. A tinge of madhurya is also there. He is a very intimate partner of Krishna, but mainly he acts as a friend. Also sometimes he is taking care of Krishna – taking the position of a superior. So, it’s a very diverse and very rich connection.
Yet, Uddhava has an aspiration. One of the most famous expressions coming from him is “I would like to be a creeper, a bush in Vrindavana.” How come? He wants to give up the friendship of God in order to be a bush? How is that possible? ‘I am discussing with Him: “Hey, are You going to leave?” and He says: “Yes, I will leave!” Shall I give up this position in order to become a bush?’ What is the secret here? The passive bush in Vrindavana is a higher position than an active friend in Dwaraka. 
Actually his ambition is not to become like a plant. But he has a different ambition: ‘Why I want to become a bush – and not even in Vrindavana, but around Vrindavana, close to Vrindavana. Why? Because sometimes the gopis will walk there. And as they walk, you know if you walk in the dust, it’s just raised. And in this way that dust of their feet as they walk by might come on my leaves.” So, actually therefore he wants to take birth as a bush. Do you want to take birth as a bush next time? But this is something very substantial, it’s not a joke. 
Many want to see Krishna, God Supreme. But He hides. In many cases He hides; for example when He tends the cows or the calves. The animals are in the front and He comes with Balaram at the back. So, what happens if the animals are passing? They also raise the dust. And this cloud of dust will cover Krishna from the eyes of non-eligible people. So, even the dust can be our guru in Vrindavana. Because if this dust settles, it can reveal Krishna to us. 
In all the different rasas all the different practitioners feel that ‘this is the best to me’. “So the absolute consideration is possible from any position. Although all servitors are fully satisfied where they are, in their own position, they realize the supremacy of Vrindavana. Impartial consideration is always there, and between the relative and the absolute, the absolute always takes the upper hand. Sarva-dharman parityajya: The absolute or ‘revolutionary’ consideration is firmly established above the relative or ‘constitutional’ one when Shri Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (18.66), “Just abandon all dharmas, all considerations of social and religious duties – even the ones that I Myself have established in the various scriptures and described here in My previous instructions to you – and just surrender wholeheartedly to Me”. This is called a spiritual revolution. “Give up all other conceptions and surrender to Me”. “Everywhere, the absolute consideration prevails.” 
 
(to be continued) 
 
1.  The Golden Staircase”, Ch.2 Full Satisfaction, Absolute Realization by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
“One time I asked Prabhupada (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura), “Shrila Rupa Goswami gives his explanation of Lord Balarama’s Rasa-lila in one way and Shrila Sanatana Goswami gives his explanation in another way, but both get their instruction from Mahaprabhu, so why is there this difference?” My Guru Maharaj said, “Why has Krishna been called Adhoksaja? Adhoksaja cannot be harmonized within our intellect. It is achintya-bheda-abheda, inconceivably and simultaneously one and different. Both explanations may be true simultaneously. It is achintya, inconceivable. The Acharyas have explained that when Baladeva is performing Rasa-lila, He is actually conducting Rasa for Krishna in His heart. Externally Baladeva is seen to be participating in Pastimes with the gopis directly, but internally He is making Krishna enjoy that Rasa. Baladeva is not the enjoyer Himself.” These are the harmonizing instructions of the upper house, and in this way we shall harmonize things”.[1]
Again a method was mentioned here. Usually we are trained in logic – that this is either black, or white; this is either zero, or one. How it this called in the computer programming? Binary system. So, many people believe only in the binary system. Once I met a computer programmer and he told me: ”Oh, one year ago I had my full faith only in binary system. Now I am searching for some spirituality, I believe in God.” So, usually logic says: either this way, or that way. This is single logic, we can say. But we should add poly logic: either this or that; maybe both; maybe neither. And we should also add one thing: ‘We don’t know’. Because if we eliminate the miracles, then it’s a very boring world. So, let God have some secrets. 
If we see opposite opinions, we might think neither of them is true. For example, when it is said that Ramananda Raya is an incarnation of Lalita or Vishakha. ‘How come? They cannot decide who is who?’ Then according to our western training we might say: ‘Ah, they don’t know! So, neither of this is true.’ While the oriental view will say: ‘Ah, such a miracle! Both of the opinions are true!’ Or, if we are half way between the west and the east, then we should say: ‘I don’t know how it is, but this is very beautiful. I don’t understand, but if it is said like this, it’s of double importance. It is not a single incarnation of one person, it’s double. It’s stressed, so it’s more important!” This is the achintya philosophy.
 In one sense, we can say that let’s say thousand years back there were more miracles in life. Because our scientific investigation proved that some miracles are not miracles, it was only a lack of knowledge. So, we might think that if we use this method, then ultimately we shall understand everything. But this is the sure way to lose your faith. Just like Lord Buddha said that “Art is a sure way to lose perfection”. In the same way we can say that applying this analyzing method will kill our faith. 
Of course, faith doesn’t mean some blindfold that you put over yourself and then you are safe. But we have to decide whether we want to live in a boring world or we search for the miracles. And in case there is some controversy or difference of opinions, this achintya-bheda-abheda vision can help us to harmonize it. Achintya means inconceivable, bheda means similarity and abheda means difference. This is a dialectical approach to the truth. And what is impossible to understand by the brain, it is easier to perceive or to feel by the inner emotional capacity of the person.
 
(to be continued)
 
1. The Golden Staircase”, Ch.2 Harmonizing Instructions Of The Upper House, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
 

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
 
(continues from the previous Friday)
 
Shrila Bhakti Vallabh Tirtha Maharaj says: “Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is like putting an invitation on your door: “Please, my Lord, come! I am waiting for you!” But when He wants to enter, you close the door? Or you don’t make the tutmanik[1]? If you invite Him, be prepared that He will come. Receiving guests is a complex engagement. It’s not only putting a banner, but don’t close the doors. Therefore if we do our spiritual practice, we must develop this mood. Although during all our education, training and physical experience we are accustomed to using the method of scientific analysis over everything, yet here is a very special topic where all our science, all our knowledge will fail. 
Shrila Shridhar Maharaj comes from a bramin family; he was a very educated man. When he met the devotees he said: ‘Well, here is something beyond the grasp of intellect. So, I will use all my intellectual power to understand how it is.’ So there is a proper use of all our abilities. Use your brain to understand the limits of your brain and when you reach that platform, then find your hidden resources. Because the greatest power of a human being is not his intellect, it’s not the power of his muscles, it’s not his passion that drives him. It is the faith that is the greatest power of a human being. This should be applied over the supreme higher topics. We should wait and ask Krishna to reveal Himself. Even in chanting this is the proper approach. Or if we expand a little bit: in prayers, in whatever meditations we have – this is proper to wait for the inspiration. 
There are three levels, three steps that you can apply in your chanting. Like three prayers or three demands, and you can chant in sequence in this spirit. The first step is: “Please, My Lord, show me Your face! Reveal Yourself! I am here waiting, please reveal Yourself to me!” The second stage, when He reveals Himself, you should not stop, but pray: “Inundate me. Please, inundate me! Wash me away! Take me in Your fold, pervade me!” But if He comes and inundates you, don’t stop there. Because then the next principle should be applied, and this is the sharing and the mercy principle. “Make the path easy for others.” Don’t be satisfied with yourself being saved – although this is a main motivation for humans. But don’t stop there, go further and help others. Ask God to help them also. So: “Reveal Yourself!” “Inundate me!” and “Help others!” Is it a nice meditation while chanting? Thank you!
That shows that it’s not us who perform this. It is according to this principle: wait for the supreme truth to come to you. Therefore it is said that as individual researchers we cannot accomplish this. Gaura Kishor Das Babaji, you must have heard of him, was a very highly elevated spiritual personality and I think we cannot question his quality of chanting. Yet, sometimes he was jumping into the Ganges, trying to drown himself. Because he felt: ‘Oh, the holy name doesn’t manifest on my lips! It doesn’t descend on me!’ This is the proper mood – wait for the holy name to come to you and then you can reflect. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not necessary to jump into the Ganges. But try to develop the mood. So, don’t imitate the example of the great ones, but try to develop the mood. 
 
(to be continued)
 
1.  Salty baked Bulgarian preparation