English issues

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 17.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

(continues from the previous Friday)

What should be the quality, what should be your thinking while chanting? Usually what do you think of while you chant? Tell me something.

Shyama Tulasi: In the beginning, maybe two or three repetitions, I remember the name, but then I come back to my daily troubles and concerns and it’s a chaos.

Swami Tirtha: You mean two-three rounds or..?

Shyama Tulasi: I wish they were!

Swami Tirtha: But you have some conception about one-pointed attention, right? We need that.

Sanatana: While I am chanting, in parallel with the name I am thinking how can I serve the Supreme and the Guru.

Swami Tirtha: That’s nice.

Ashvini: My chanting has two different options. The first one is the same as Shyama Tulasi said in the beginning – I have to fight with so many thoughts, but after a short period I go very deeply and it is like a holy theatre play in front of me, and it is so beautiful every time, like it is described in the shastras. But it’s not like this every time. And every time it is not like this, I hope it will happen.

Paramananda: It’s a big fight. What devotees said till now is valid for me also. The fight is to be focused on the name itself and not on something else. When I manage to win the fight, some things start to happen. Great perspectives are revealed. Sometimes this happens even when I am not focused on the name. As if it is caring me and going through me. Still there is always a fight.

Swami Tirtha: But this is a glorious fight. Maybe somebody else? Yes, please.

Adidevi: This is right about the fight, but the perspective is sweet. What our teachers give us and all the devotees; and the moments when we remember the hands that gave us our mala. These little glimpses when we have touched the nectar. And this secret that our teachers gave us – that we are helping the meeting of Radha-Krishna to happen.

Swami Tirtha: Chanting is a celebration! The grand victory of divine love! Today maybe this is a fight, tomorrow this is a victory.

I’ve learned something from one devotee. I saw him every morning chanting very intensely and very seriously – walking up and down, very focused. Then I understood what his mentality is, what his mood is while chanting – he told me: “Chanting is just like you collecting flowers in the morning and offering them to the lotus feet of the Lord.“ I liked it so much! This is such a beautiful way to see it! That whatever you will do, whatever you will perform today – this is like collecting flowers and bringing everything to the lotus feet of the Lord. It’s a beautiful program for the day.

Of course there is a lot more. If you walk the path of your mala, you touch the beads, and you meditate over the lilas of Krishna and His devotees; this is also like a grand rasa-dance, a circle dance – moving, focusing around divine dedication.

(to be continued)

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 17.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Chanting is a great art. It’s a science actually – how to establish a connection with the Superior reality through sound vibration. If you put it in this way, in a scientific manner, you feel the value and the depth of this whole issue.

There is one temple in South India where they have a mechanical structure outside. It is called shabda-brahman. From time to time it is working with all its chains and clutches and so many other stuff and gives out some sound. This is called shabda-brahman – a machine. But actually we are also instruments like this. You give out sound, you have some parts that are working and finally you produce a sound. But what is the quality of that sound? Is that a mechanical sound? Is that a natural sound like belching? Or something more? Is there some meaning behind it, like an intelligent person does it? Or is there some feeling behind it, which is according to a real devotee? This is important!

In my humble understanding, the real chanting is surcharged with spiritual and affectionate feelings. And this is supported by the shastras, Brahma Samhita for example. When deeper understanding and emotions surcharge our meditation, our chanting, then it will bring full results.

But where to start? Can we start this process at the end? At the depth and the intensity of Haridas Thakur, for example? I doubt it. But due to the blessings of this chintamani feature  of the holy name, we can achieve the deeper nature of the holy name, which is the amrita of the name – nama-amrita. So we can start only with our consciousness a little disturbed, with the picture not quite clear for us. But we have to start. And all this is possible by the grace of the Supreme, bhagavad-prasad. Therefore we need to practice bhakti. Because then all these stages and all these steps will happen in our life.

You might say that the holy name is a slow process. But I say the holy name is a very fast and a very effective process. It brings a profound and strong change. Slowly-slowly it will start to bring a profound change in our life. And this you can perceive when you forget your chanting, when you give up your chanting. Sometimes it happens that you want it so much and then other times you say: ‘Oh, no. I cannot do it. I don’t feel any results. I’d better give it up. It’s a waste of time.’ Then immediately you will feel how it was when you were doing it nicely and how is it when you don’t do anything.

Of course I don’t support that ‘Let’s take that experiment. How is it when I don’t chant.’ It’s better if you chant, you try your best, and a little bit more.

(to be continued)


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 17.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

(continues from the previous Friday)

Once there was a discussion where the nama-acharya[1] Haridas Thakur was also present. This was like a small conference where the local yogis and saintly people came together to discuss the nature of the holy name. And everybody came with different ideas about what are the results, what are the benefits of chanting the name. Somebody said that the holy name will end all your karma. The audience was very happy to hear this message, but Haridas Thakur was not satisfied. Others said that it will bring all the benefits that you can imagine, all your desires will be fulfilled. Then the third option was that you will achieve liberation. You see, higher and higher grades of results: no more suffering, no karma, fulfillment of desires, you feel content, you feel happy; or you even achieve liberation. But Haridas Thakur didn’t approve. He said that all these are the secondary effects, but the prime, the most important effect is the prema. Dharma, artha, kama, moksha; and prema. Krishna holds the Govardhana Hill with this prema finger – the little finger.

So we should always improve the quality, the intensity and the depth of our chanting. Be proud and at the same time be careful, because you have a very strong instrument in your hands. If you are not careful, all your material ambitions will be fulfilled. And then you will be enamored by these gifts of maya. You over-chant yourself and finally find all material happiness. Beware! So then what is your option? ‘Then we don’t chant.’

We have to chant and we have to pray – this is the proper mood. Our spiritual practice should achieve the topmost purity level. The holy name is called chintamani because it can change the nature of something that is connected to it. So if we let ourselves be exposed, be connected to the holy name, our nature can change. We can give up the secondary conditioned nature and we can come back to our original, primary nature – the spiritual one.

So, this is about the secondary results and the offensive chanting. It will bring some benefits, no doubt, but not the ultimate benefit.

Namabhasa is a higher grade. The form is the same, but the use is different. Namabhasa is like a resemblance of the holy name. For example, in Bulgarian this “кришнарите”[2] – this is namabhasa. They don’t mean Krishna, but ‘these guys, the krishnaits’. The meaning is secondary. But even that, they say, will bring liberation. So I told you, beware! Because you chant in this mentality, on this platform of the shadow of the holy name, and all of a sudden you find yourself liberated. But there are certain aspects of liberation which are like the vacuum. Not so much life is manifested there, it’s a kind of frozen eternity, we can say. Therefore this is also not very much recommended, especially for those who want to establish a living and loving connection with God Supreme.

Therefore there is only one chance for us and this is the pure chanting, the pure nama. This is the favorable environment for chanting the holy name – when your whole mentality, your whole inner set of values, your whole heart is pure.

(to be continued)

[1] The spiritual authority on the holy name

[2] krishnaits

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 17.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

The favorable environment. We started from that point – how to create a favorable environment for the worship of the Supreme Lord with His beloved devotees. There are some external conditions. Shrila Prabhupada describes what are the external conditions that are favorable for pure chanting of the holy names. He describes that you have to find an isolated and beautiful place, on the bank of a lake, full of ducks, swans and other birds who sing nicely and move nicely, so that everything is beautiful around you and the external environment provides this natural beauty of nature. Because then your heart and mind are more peaceful and then you can concentrate more easily on your service and on your beloved God.

Here, in Ludasto, the isolation is provided. A certain level of beauty is also given. Ducks are missing, as well as water. We are sitting on a bank of a lake, but there is no water –what can we do? But the swans are here. It is you, pure souls. And many times they also appear in the sky during our morning meditation. So, I think all the external conditions are provided basically.

But what are the inner conditions for chanting the holy names? I think it is always very good to remind ourselves a little bit about the importance of the holy name, the nature of the holy name, the practice of the holy name, because this is one essence of our path. Favorable environment means external and internal environment as well. Beauty outside and peace inside.

So, let me quote one senior disciple of Shrila Prabhupada. This is from Gour Govinda Swami, “The chief result of Nama”.

“When we speak about the holy name, three categories are there: offensive chanting, namabhasa and offensless chanting. For those who are chanting with offences, the name will fulfill their material desires. So called religiosity, economic development and fulfillment of one’s material desires are all given by the offensive name. If one attains the namabhasa stage, he will get mukti. The name gives these four: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. But this is not the chief result of nama. All these are secondary results and they are automatically achieved. For example, you plant a mango tree, so your chief purpose is to get the mango. The secondary result though is that when a mango tree grows into a big tree and it spreads its twigs and branches it will give you cool shade and fuel as well. Your chief purpose is to get the ripe mango, but the secondary purposes are automatically fulfilled. Similarly the name will give you dharma, artha, kama and moksha, but that is not the chief result of nama.

 The chief result of nama is krishna-prema. If your chanting is offenseless and pure, you will get krishna-prema, that is Krishna. Especially in Kali Yuga, because the holy name is the incarnation of Krishna. There is no other incarnation.

“There is no difference between the Name of Krishna and Krishna Himself. That means the pure name, shuddha-nama. If you chant the pure name, you will get krishna-prema and thereby get Krishna as well. Automatically you will also get dharma, artha, kama and moksha, but the pure devotee never wants it.”

So it is not only the practice that we follow, this is the quality of the practice. Once Gurudev mentioned that in India even the politicians know that the mantras are very powerful. When Indira Gandhi was out of power, she had one advisor who went on a tapas to chant the mahamantra in order for her to regain the power. And Gurudev said: This is a political chanting. Not a pure nama, because the goal is something different. It’s an election campaign in a secret manner.

So, it is not simply the practice – like chanting – but how you chant. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. There are so many different mentalities how we chant.

(to be continued)


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 15.08.2017 pm, Ludasto)

(continues from the previous Friday)

What is the meaning and the importance of initiation? This is enrollment into a spiritual school. It’s the conversion of our life – when from simple ecstasy you get a chance to reach superior ecstasy.

Life is long and complicated. But we all need some support and some fixed and secure points in this long journey. Krishna’s grace is just like the full moon – always following the midnight traveler. This is a fixed point in our life. When we try to give our life, sell ourselves and dedicate our life to divine service, something becomes very strong in us. We lose a lot. What do we lose? We lose the absence of the goal for this life. We lose this deficit of proper values. We lose some part of our attachments. Well, some part will remain, so there is more to lose. But our commitment should grow.

This is like a beginning of a new life. And you know, when a child is born, the child itself is crying and everybody around are happily laughing. This is the beginning. And what is the end? If you had a bad life, offensive life, then you cry at the end and everybody is laughing around you, everybody is happy. But to live properly means that you can leave laughing and all those who remain here shed a tear for you. If we have started this worldly path, we have to accomplish it sometime. But meanwhile we have to do something very reasonable and very beautiful. And the most beautiful ideal that we can achieve in this lifetime is to dedicate ourselves to divine service. Therefore initiation is not like a simple birth when you are crying and others are laughing. Either you will cry and everybody else will cry, or you smile and everybody else will smile as well.

Diksha, initiation, is a change. It is a transformation of our life. Whatever we have learned, collected or experienced before, now it can be used in divine service. It is transformed into some spiritual essence.

Athato brahma-jigyasa[1] –  “As we have taken birth as human beings, this is the time for the inquiry about the truth of the soul and the Supersoul”. This is a very glorious ideal. Are you satisfied with that? I thought you were not satisfied. Because to search for the truth – we can find it in so many places. But why do we attend a devotional school? Because our version of this sutra – athato brahma jigyasa – is transformed, it’s different. This is athato rasa jigyasa – “Now this is the time to search for rasa, for the eternal connection of the soul and the Supersoul”. Are you satisfied with that upgrade of the ideals? I think you are.

So, here is the field, here is the favorable environment. We don’t have a/the Milk Ocean, but we have our lives. To achieve the goal of its churning is possible by the grace of God. The amrita is the Holy Name. And if you chant it with devotion, with bhakti, then everything is accomplished.

[1] The beginning of Vedanta Sutra

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 15.08.2017 pm, Ludasto)

We celebrate the fruits of the beautiful effort. As we have learned from our master, a bhakta life as it is is not a simple passive kind of meditation or a kind of individual private path, but this is an active type of service. Inspiration comes, the blessings are showered and that makes a devotee respond. And for a long time inspiration comes from above – from our masters, from our instructors. Then all of a sudden inspiration starts to flow from another direction – from all those who come after us. But it doesn’t mean that the direction of the inspiration has changed, because through them, through the successors so to say, from those who come after us, it’s the same divine inspiration that invites us for service.

Gurudev, my spiritual master, had some dreams. Some dreams were already fulfilled, other dreams didn’t manifest yet. And I really, truly hope from the deepest core of my heart that whatever is manifested here, this is another hidden dream of his.

I feel that Ludasto provides a chance of favorable environment for devotional service.  In one sense this is also a physical location, available on Google Maps as well, but the essence is hidden, it’s not possible to see. Because the essence of this place is you. And most of the times you are here in an unmanifested form.

We took shelter here in Ludasto around 15 years ago; and the construction of the Moon Farm started 4 years ago. We might think that this building is constructed of different materials – like logs of wood or mud-bricks, etc. But in the very beginning we agreed that this building will be constructed of affection. Therefore I have to express my deepest gratitude to you all who helped this plan to manifest. Let me mention no names, we all know to whom we have to express our gratitude: to all those who from far away supported with their generous donations this construction; or those Bulgarian brothers who in the hottest moments of summer were helping and pushing this construction by physical contribution; and those devotees who locally did their best, and a little more. This is a very glorious service – to provide an environment for service and to serve all those who can take spiritual benefit here. The demigods were showering flowers – as I was counting there were at least millions of petals. And I wish that a thousand times more blessings come upon you all, so that you become stronger and more committed in your devotion, and you reach all possible success in serving and promoting the divine will and ultimately the divine love.

This house is a small little gift box to our Lord Govinda. A little time and effort; and the precious stones, the precious pearls inside this treasure chest – it’s you. So, from now on I declare that this Moon Farm belongs to the service of Radha-Govindaji, in the service of our local Giriraj, and the parampara, and to you all. Plus to all the future generations who will visit this place. And I wish they shall carry on this mission.

(to be continued)

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 15.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

(continues fro the previous Friday)

Finally, after the goddess of fortune, the amrita also came out of the Milk Ocean. Amrita is attractive to all – to have eternal life. And many religious or mystic processes have it as a goal – eternity. Although if you attend a lecture on bhakti-yoga, on the first lecture you will hear that we are eternal souls. So, this is like basic information, not an ultimate goal.
If for us eternity is a starting point, then what is the goal? The goal is divya-darshan, the goal is to meet the Supreme. And finally this also happens here in this story. To create harmony and balance between the universal forces of the demons and the demigods, Lord Vishnu takes care of this. When there is a small trouble in the Universe, that is handled by Lord Vishnu. Well, first by the local administration; if a little more trouble is there, then higher administration will come, then lokapalas – demigods of the certain planets, and then higher and higher. And ultimately in the universal affairs – the balance, harmony and protection are provided by Lord Vishnu.
You remember, this happened when Mother Earth felt overburdened. She went to Brahma: “Please, help me! I feel overburdened!” Brahma said: “I cannot help by myself, let’s go to Lord Vishnu.” Then standing on the shore of the ocean, Brahma started his meditation and in this way he was enlightened by Lord Vishnu: “Don’t worry, I will come as Krishna and I will resolve all the troubles”.
The appearance of Krishna, the appearance of God is the answer to all problems. Krishna prepared everything to come and to meet His devotees, to enjoy some pastimes together with them and also to give an example to us sitting here.
Krishna likes dramas. To come and to appear in a simple and peaceful way when nothing really happens – it’s boring. To simply show His divine power – there’s no challenge in this. Therefore sometimes the troubles are so great that they inspire the Supreme to appear. Don’t forget, in the beginning of the 20th century Bhaktivinod Thakur thought: “Ah, the world is so crazy, so degraded that only an incarnation can help here. God should come!” And what about the 21st century?
Therefore Krishna descends every year. At least He reminds His servants that ‘Hey, I also have a so-called birthday.’ He is not bound by any rule and any regulation. Krishna can come at any time, at any moment and under any circumstances. It all depends on the invitation. So we need to invite Him by our offerings, so that we find shelter under His lotus feet and He would never leave the lotus throne of our heart. In this way we can be sure: if we go with Him, He will come with us.
We shall continue to enter deeper and deeper not only into the history, because this is very external, but better we say into the mystery of the appearance of Krishna. We started in the morning in the lake – to meet the sun. I am sure you remember the Milk Ocean that was floating there in the form of fog. And also the birds of soul, the soul-birds appeared. And finally the light came. So, the light has overcome the darkness. And we shall celebrate until and beyond midnight. We can say: from the light we shall go to the darkness. ‘From the light lead me to the darkness!’ Why? Because the real secrets are not on the open platform, the real secrets are always hidden. In this way Krishna also came in the darkness of the night, because this is a secret appearance. Obvious, yet secret. And whenever we perceive the darkness, we have the strong conviction that this darkness will be illuminated by the dark sun of Krishna.

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 15.08.2017 morning, Ludasto)

We had learned how the churning of the Milk Ocean was going on. And after we meet the goddess of fortune, what’s next? Don’t forget that the demons were a little depressed, because Lakshmi Devi was not glancing upon them, but upon the demigods.

“Next appeared Varuni, the lotus-eyed goddess who controls drunkards. With the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the demons, headed by Bali Maharaja, took possession of this young girl.”[1]

The goddess of drunkards!? One party took advantage of the goddess of fortune, the other party took advantage of the goddess of drunkards. Nobody is left alone, my dear ones. So, in case you want to escape from the embrace of Krishna, you think that you will exercise and enjoy your freedom? That is illusion! It doesn’t exist. Everything and everybody is under control, but some are under direct control and that is sweet, others are under indirect control and that is bitter.

“O King, thereafter, while the sons of Kashyapa, both demons and demigods, were engaged in churning the Ocean of Milk, a very wonderful male person appeared.

He was strongly built; his arms were long, stout and strong; his neck, which was marked with three lines, resembled a conch shell; his eyes were reddish; and his complexion was blackish. He was very young, he was garlanded with flowers, and his entire body was fully decorated with various ornaments.

He was dressed in yellow garments and wore brightly polished earrings made of pearls. The tips of his hair were anointed with oil, and his chest was very broad. His body had all good features, he was stout and strong like a lion, and he was decorated with bangles. In his hand he carried a jug filled to the top with nectar.

This person was Dhanvantari, a plenary portion of a plenary portion of Lord Vishnu. He was very conversant with the science of medicine, and as one of the demigods he was permitted to take a share in sacrifices.

Upon seeing Dhanvantari carrying the jug of nectar, the demons, desiring the jug and its contents, immediately snatched it away by force.

When the jug of nectar was carried off by the demons, the demigods were morose. Thus they sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari.

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who always desires to fulfill the ambitions of His devotees, saw that the demigods were morose, He said to them, “Do not be aggrieved. By My own energy I shall bewilder the demons by creating a quarrel among them. In this way I shall fulfill your desire to have the nectar.

O King, a quarrel then arose among the demons over who would get the nectar first. Each of them said, “You cannot drink it first. I must drink it first. Me first, not you!

Some of the demons said, “All the demigods have taken part in churning the Ocean of Milk. Now, as everyone has an equal right to partake in any public sacrifice, according to the eternal religious system it is befitting that the demigods now have a share of the nectar.” O King, in this way the weaker demons forbade the stronger demons to take the nectar.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, who can counteract any unfavorable situation, then assumed the form of an extremely beautiful woman. This incarnation as a woman, Mohini-murti, was most pleasing to the mind. She smiled with shyness and glanced over the demons, all the demons were saturated with lusty desires, and every one of them desired to possess Her.”[2]

So, they forget about the nectar. This is the situation. All of them started for some reason and ended up with different results. But what is important here for us? That for the churning we need all power, all attention, all participation. To churn the nectar out of our life we need all efforts. It is hidden there, no doubt. Everybody has ultimately great chances and treasures, but we have to reach these treasures that are hidden in our life. It is said: in achieving perfection or salvation everybody starts with equal rights, with equal chances.

Don’t forget about the nectar of your life. The disharmony was balanced by Krishna through a trick.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.8.30

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.8.31-46

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

Question of Pavitra: I have a question about faith. The scientists for example invest their faith in the atom. What does faith actually mean and how to cultivate faith in the right direction?

Swami Tirtha: Very good question. Actually in the Middle Ages, the scholastic approach of Christian theology gave a very simple explanation. There is one absolute truth, God, and religion approaches that reality through faith, like a direct road; while science approaches in a zigzag way – a little longer, but ultimately reaching the same reality. And we can see something very similar in the recent years of scientific development. Slowly-slowly our scientific understanding reaches the limits of itself. For example, if you study physics or neo-physics you will find it’s almost philosophy. Or astrophysics – this is like a theological explanation of the reality that we perceive. And actually their understanding is quite proper. I don’t know the exact data, but they say that the obvious matter that you can perceive is like 20% of the Universe. The perceivable energy is like 20%. And the energy that you have no conception of at all, you cannot understand what it is – it’s 80%.  And how is it called? It’s called ‘Black energy’. This is what the yogis have been saying for ages! Lord Vishnu, from His black body everything emanates. So, this is the black energy behind the things. Even a few years ago the Nobel prize in physics was distributed to a theory – it is called ‘The black body theory’ in physics. Black body theory. That means we all can receive the Nobel prize, because we know of this black body.

But beyond the jokes, I really feel that recent science is very close to the edge of physics and reaching out to metaphysics. It’s only one little step ahead. One real scientific explanation for matter, how it exists is the following: “In an unknown way matter is permanently manifested from somewhere.” But wait a minute, is this science? Sorry! ‘We don’t know how, from somewhere, it constantly manifests.’ Why is it a better explanation than, let’s say, ‘God, or the supreme cause of all causes, manifests from His divine powers all this revelation.’ Why is the other a better explanation? Of course our business here is not to criticize scientific achievements. I just want to add that this edge of science is very close to the divine reality.

But your question is about faith. Even to reach the bus or go to your job you need a certain type of faith – this is part of our existence. Of course we want to understand faith in a religious or divine context. So, generally what is the tattva definition of faith? Tattva, I mean the truth. the spiritual, theological definition of faith is that by serving God you fulfill all other commitments. I see that you are not very satisfied. No doubt, this is a little dry. Is this my faith? We need something else.

All right, the rasic explanation of faith is the ever-growing bliss that you can perceive and derive from the understanding, or better I say, from the worship or the appreciation of meeting of the Divine Couple, Radha and Govinda. Rasic means essential or tasty. Sounds a little complicated, right? When we reach the end, we forget the beginning – what’s that? Nevertheless, try to remember: the ever-growing bliss that you can derive from worshiping the meeting of the Divine Couple. It’s beautiful! That means the unity of Beauty and Love – if we appreciate that, then we will be blissful. This is a rasic definition of faith. It’s not something that we don’t know and therefore we believe. No; but if we want to put it very simply: faith is a conviction that you achieve through love. Do you like that? Firm conviction that you can achieve through a loving approach.

What is philosophy? Philosophy is Sophia. Appreciation of Sophia, philo-sophia. So, here again it’s not dry theoretical, analytical knowledge. This is a loving approach: ‘I appreciate, I like this superior knowledge!’ This is the proper approach: firm conviction that we achieve through love. So, this is our understanding about faith. A perception of divine reality – for which you have the eyes only through divine love.

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

“In a previous birth I was known as Maharaja Bharata. I attained perfection by becoming completely detached from material activities through direct experience, and through indirect experience I received understanding from the Vedas. I was fully engaged in the service of the Lord, but due to my misfortune, I became very affectionate to a small deer, so much so that I neglected my spiritual duties. Due to my deep affection for the deer, in my next life I had to accept the body of a deer.”[1]

What is important here is the direct and the indirect knowledge. Indirect knowledge – this is the data or the information that you collect. But direct knowledge is perception. We can say this is a God experience, divine experience, a personal revelation to you. And we cannot debate over that, because this is personal. You say ‘Radha-Mohan’, I say ‘Radha-Govinda’, right? This is personal. The first level is tattva; indirect knowledge is information – this is tattva, this is the theology or the science of God; we can debate over that. But about your personal experience, the direct knowledge, the direct perception – how can we debate over that? We can only exchange our views. And the higher you reach, the more refined understanding you will have, the more friends you will find. And this spiritual exchange about your experience will be more and more delightful. Just like in the Gita it is said: “My devotees always exchange the views about Me and it brings great happiness to them.”[2] So, this is about indirect knowledge like collecting information, learning the science of God; and direct knowledge – that is experience.

“My dear King, hero, due to my past sincere service to the Lord, I could remember everything of my past life even while in the body of a deer. Because I am aware of the falldown in my past life, I always keep myself separate from the association of ordinary men. Being afraid of their bad, materialistic association, I wander alone unnoticed by others.”[3]

To maintain the consciousness is a blessing of the Supreme. Whether this is throughout different lifetimes or in one lifetime, if you can maintain a steady state of consciousness, you are blessed. Don’t lose the chance, take the opportunity. We can never know whether tomorrow we can come here or not. So let’s do it now, today. Don’t lose a moment.

And the real accomplishment doesn’t depend on the popularity you gain, or the acknowledgment of others, or the opinion of others; it depends on your achievements and how much the Lord sees your purity of intention. You may wander unnoticed by others, alone; if you are fully dedicated, you are never alone. So don’t be charmed by the external formalities. It’s better to be a sincere sweeper in the street then a charlatan yogi.

“Simply by associating with exalted devotees, anyone can attain perfection of knowledge and with the sword of knowledge can cut to pieces the illusory associations within this material world. Through the association of devotees, one can engage in the service of the Lord by hearing and chanting [shravanam kirtanam]. Thus one can revive his dormant Krishna consciousness and, sticking to the cultivation of Krishna consciousness, return home, back to Godhead, even in this life.”[4]

This is our goal, this is our program for this lifetime. Find your way back home, back to Godhead. Cut the network of illusion; with the sword of divine knowledge it is possible. Try to capture your conscious identity and try to dedicate this captured, conscious identity at the lotus feet of the supreme Divine Couple.

What is the summary of all these long chapters that we had covered during these days? A small mistake – great consequences. But the opposite is also true: a small commitment, small beginnings – greater ends. A little you give, much you will achieve.

And then the verses analyzed the material situation – all these different elements and gunas, and influences, and illusion, and this and that. But what is the point here? That the first chapter of the story is sad. Our story is sad. Because we have lost the divine harmony. Somehow, due to some unknown reason we are expelled from heaven. And here we are. Therefore one eye is crying. But the second chapter of this story, the other eye is also crying – because of hope and love. Because we know that it is possible to return home. Irrespective of the tribulations that we have to go through on the relative platform, we can return. We have an invitation; therefore one eye cries due to suffering, the other eye cries due to bliss. If we were expelled from the divine realm in order to return, it’s worth it. So please, do everything necessary for that return. Reach there, by reaching what you have reached everything.

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.12.14

[2] Bhagavad Gita 10.9

[3] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.15

[4] Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.12.16