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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2015 morning, Ludashto)

 

The following example contains a mixture of ecstatic fraternity and laughter, taken respectively as the whole and part. When Krishna saw that Subala, in the dress of Radharani, was silently hiding under the shade of a beautiful ashoka  tree on the bank of the Yamuna, He immediately arose from His seat in surprise. Upon seeing Krishna, Subala tried to hide his laughter by covering his cheeks.”[1]

Do you see the beauty? Do you see the harmony? Who is this Subala? And why he is dressed as Radharani? Don’t forget that Radhika is very beautiful. But this Subala is almost equally beautiful. Although he is a boy, a friend of Krishna, a cowherd-boy, he is almost as beautiful as Radhika. And there are many-many tricks concerning them. When Radharani cannot meet Krishna, then Subala comes in disguise, She comes disguised as Subala, they substitute each-other and all the different tricks are going on in Vrindavana. But the only reason of all this mixing and changing and disguise and this and that is only to enhance the rasa, the happiness of meeting.

When Krishna is practically dying of the separation from Radhika, He sends Subala to somehow catch Her or invent some method. Subala can easily go. When he arrives at the home of Radhika, the elderly people in the family are not afraid of Subala, only from this black boy. Then Subala gives to Radha the news that Krishna is dying of separation: “Please, let’s do something about it!” And as they resemble each-other so much, quickly they exchange their clothes. So, Subala stays at home in Radhika’s garb and Radharani dressed as Subala goes back to Krishna. And then Krishna sees: ‘Ah, it’s not Radhika, it’s Subala alone. He is coming alone! Where is my Radhika!?” He dies on the spot. Then Radhika in a disguise starts to tease a little bit Krishna: “Why do you need Radharani? Why not invite Chandravali – she will surely come.” But then Krishna says: “If you are thirsty for sweet milk, what can you do with a little water?” Then when finally Radhika understands that Krishna is committed enough, She reveals the mystery.

So my dear fellow brothers, although we are a minority now in this room, don’t be surprised that sometimes your commitment is challenged. And sometimes you are teased. Always remember that this is a sweet mix of rasas.

So our duty is,either scientifically or through intuition, to understand, to find our rasa, our way to this beautiful reality – beyond the facts, beyond the truths – to be connected to this Reality the Beautiful.

 

[1] Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Chapter 49 Mixing of rasas

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2015 morning, Ludashto)

In order to help us to find our relationship with the Supreme, let’s read something about the original relationships, the rasas. This is the book of Shrila Rupa Goswami about the science of devotional mellows. It describes the different qualities of Krishna and also the feelings and the relationships through which His devotees are attached to Him. And finally the last chapters are dedicated to a very special topic – the mixing of rasas.

“As already described, there are twelve different kinds of rasas or ecstatic relationships that are shared with Krishna. Five of these rasas are direct, and they are listed as neutrality, servitude, fraternal love, parental love and conjugal love. Seven of the rasas are indirect, and they are listed as humor, astonishment, chivalry, compassion, anger, dread and ghastliness. The five direct rasas are eternally manifested in the Vaikuntha world, the spiritual kingdom, whereas the seven indirect rasas are eternally manifesting and unmanifesting in Gokula Vrindāvana, where Krishna displays His transcendental pastimes in the material world.”[1]

Usually devotees think: ‘Only five rasas are there’. But actually if they are more polished in philosophy, they will say: ‘Four rasas are there,’ because they exclude the neutral. And as they find exceptional happiness in their own rasa, they will say: ‘There is only one – ours’.

But here we have understood that there are five basic and seven extra rasas. The other day we discussed atheism. Therefore we have to decide very precisely which our rasa is. Hate, anger, dread, ghastliness? This is atheism – you are horrified by the thought that God exists. So, you can see that even the atheists are cultivating rasa, but a little bitter rasa. Please, understand properly – even the secondary rasas are properly placed in the spiritual relationships; but an atheistic person who rejects God in all respects, even he is a kind of reflection of these secondary rasas, because he is afraid of the topic.

“Very often, in addition to one’s regular rasa, there is found the presence of some other rasa, and the mixture of these loving humors is sometimes compatible, or palatable, and sometimes incompatible, or unpalatable. The following is a scientific analysis of the compatibility and incompatibility of the mixtures of these various rasas, or loving moods.”

Now this is interesting. So, there is a multiplicity of feelings. There is a basic color and different-different shades are there. This is reflected in the fashion industry also, because you don’t put on a green garment with something blue. It doesn’t fit; it’s a bitter mixing of rasas. We have to cultivate our feelings, we have to cultivate our shades in the proper manner, so that more harmony and more beauty are manifested – not like conflicting, opposing tastes and elements are manifested in our life. This harmony should be reflected even in the association with the devotees. Orwith our spiritual master, or with our ishta-deva.

So, how to mix the feelings properly? How much do you know about the science of love? All right, let’s learn something from our Rupa Goswami.

“When in the rasa of neutral love (shanta-rasa) there are found traces of ghastliness or astonishment, the result is compatible. When with this neutral love there are manifestations of conjugal love, chivalry, anger or dread, the result is incompatible.”

This is horrible – that if you add some hate or some dreadful feelings to neutrality, this is harmonious. And then when you add love to neutrality – this is disharmonious?! Therefore we don’t support these neutral feelings, because how can you achieve harmony in neutrality? Only with some dreadful feelings, with some antagonistic feelings – then it is harmonious. And when you add some drops of love, this is disharmonious – it’s so horrible! Let’s jump to some different rasa. Here you find a long analysis that if you add heroic feelings or chivalry to friendship, it’s all right; but only a very special kind of chivalry is possible in a loving relationship. And here it is said: “The ecstasy of loving attachment with laughing and friendship gives a harmonious mix.” Here we have another combination: “With the ecstasy of anger in devotional service a mixture of compassion or chivalry is compatible, whereas a mixture of laughter, conjugal union or dread is completely incompatible.”

Now I see that you are tired of analyzing the different rasas – maybe you have lost the red thread. But have you ever had the feeling that ‘I cannot live without this guy’ and ‘I cannot tolerate his presence’? Or the other way round: ‘I cannot tolerate this lady, but I’m fully in love with her’? Now you understand something about the mixing of different rasas; sometimes opposing things, hatred and burning love are there. Why? Because it comes from the spiritual sky. What can we do except to analyze very scientifically the rasa theory?

This is what I mean – if we accept that in the spiritual realm with Krishna His devotees have different, multiple and sometimes mixed rasas, don’t be surprised that sometimes on the planet Earth in your private life, even in your devotional life, you will perceive different-different rasas and mixes. So please, try to apply the conclusions of the philosophy in your daily experience. But what is the essence – harmony is the essence. Even if you have some contradictory feelings, if this is harmonious, “opposition enhances the beauty”[2]. If you can catch on that, then you are very close to perfection. Opposition enhances the beauty – all conflict management is accomplished by this one sentence. It’s very insignificant comparing to Shridhara Maharaj’s teaching. He’s the best conflict manager.

 

 

[1] Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Chapter 49 Mixing of rasas

[2] Quote from Shridhara Maharaj

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 22.08.2015 morning, Ludashto)
 
“Protect us, ah Lord Narayan, who wears the forest garland, who has the mace, the conch, the sword and the wheel, and who is called Vishnu and Vasudev!” The mace – this is a symbol of Lord Vishnu. This is not only a royal insignia, but also like a weapon chastising the opposite side. But also this is a symbol of divine knowledge. And from this we can understand that divine knowledge is like a weapon to overcome your enemies in spiritual endeavors. 
There are unlimited symbols of Lord Vishnu – really many. For example the chakra, which is also another weapon, chasing after the enemies of the vaishnavas. But as hopefully we are not offenders – neither to the Lord nor to His beloved ones – let’s think about the gentle symbols of Lord Vishnu. 
One such gentle symbol is the lotus flower – padma; or we can say kamala – which is a very complex symbol again. What is the meaning for you? 
Answers: Purity. Elevation. Beauty. The universe. The blossoming knowledge. Gurudev. Goloka Vrindavana.
Swami Tirtha: Wow! All right, then we stop here, I think. Because the more you give, very soon we shall faint, as you expressed more and more beautiful and substantial aspects. But let’s stop with this offer that the lotus flower is a symbol of the universe. When it is closed, like a bud, this is the potentiality – the unmanifested state of the created world. And when it’s opened up, when it’s a blossoming one, then this is the manifest state of the universe. 
And of course the lotus flower is also a symbol of a disciple. Don’t forget that it grows in the muddy water, but is blossoming in the sunshine. Yet the most important function of the lotus is that Krishna holds it in His hand and plays with it. When Krishna embraces His friends, He’s playing with this lotus flower while holding the shoulders of the other gopas. Then this is not a weapon, but this is a very playful symbol of our Lord. What does it mean? That the whole world is in the hand of God. And He is playing with it! He uses it as a flower offering at His friends’ shoulders. If we take the lotus as a symbol of the real disciple, then Krishna’s friends will carry the real disciple on their shoulders. This is a very prestigious position – to be in the hands of the Supreme Lord or to touch the shoulder of His beloved friends. And when He meets the other party of His beloved ones, the female partners, then He doesn’t touch the shoulder with this lotus flower, but offers it at the lotus feet. Lotus flower at the lotus feet. What does it mean? That the whole world is offered at the lotus feet of Radhika. Or – that a good disciple will find a place, find some shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Servant. And we can conclude, observing all the achievements of humanity for the last two-three thousand years and more, that practically all are due to Radhika’s blessings in different expansions. 
But let’s take one more symbol of Lord Vishnu. Practically all His expansions have this symbol over their bodies. For example Lord Buddha; if you imagine the picture of Lord Buddha, sometimes He has a mark on the chest or on the palm. Do you remember what this symbol is? 
Suggestion: Shrivatsa?
Swami Titha: Shrivatsa… or swastika. Many times He has a swastika on the chest or on the palms, sometimes on the feet. We might think that this is like an iconographic symbol of Buddhism. But here is some mystery hidden. Because this is the symbol of Vishnu’s beloved one, Shri, Laxmidevi. Therefore my dear fellow brother husbands, your wife is a swastika at home, a symbol of good life, a symbol of blessings. So even Lord Buddha, who was an ascetic, secretly embraces his beloved one on his chest. 
But what about all these different forms – like Lord Vishnu, Narayana, Buddha… Where is our Krishna? Don’t forget about the story when Mahaprabhu visited one village close to Jagannath Puri. It’s called Alalanath and there a black four-armed Vishnu form is worshiped. There Mahaprabhu was praying so ardently and calling Lord Krishna in the form of this deity: “Why do You want to hide from me? Come, show me Yourself!” So much so that the extra hands of this murti started to melt down and disappear so that the two-hand Krishna is revealed. 
So, beyond all these manifestations and forms we must have the desire, the burning desire to meet our beloved One, our beloved Couple. 
 

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015 evening, Ludashto)
 
Everything is a question of cultivation. If we want to extract something from our life, we have to cultivate properly. And instead and beyond all official formalities, let me share my sacraments, my most precious treasures with you. I know that you are also very dedicated searchers for not only the truth, but for something real. Because there are the facts, there is the truth and there is reality. And please, consider deeply the difference between these: the facts, the truth and reality. I truly believe that we should dedicate our life to find this reality, Reality the Beautiful – beyond the facts and the truths. Because the truth will never make you happy. Truth cannot melt our heart, cannot satisfy the deepest hankering of your inner heart. But whenever you will see how the advice of Shrila Rupa Goswami is true, then immediately your inner heart is satisfied. 
So, if you allow me to share some of my collection with you, then in the first place these are the vaishnavas. We can quote shastric proofs why: “Because they are very dear to Krishna, therefore if you want to catch Krishna, you have to catch the dear ones”… But this is only a fact. We know that sadhu-sanga, vaishnava as a principle, association with the saintly personalities – this is a main exercise, a main element of our devotional life. Like: sadhu-sanga nama-kirtan bhagavat-shravan mathura-vas and shri-murti shraddhaya-seva[1]. But this is only a truth. To associate with the saints, to chant the holy names, to study the Bhagavatam, to live in a holy place, to worship the deities – yet this is only a truth. But where is the reality of vaishnava-tattva? This is your brother and sister. Then this is not a principle anymore, but this is a living reality close by. 
When I met the devotees, I think I was charmed on the spot. But you know, I’m a reserved and very slow person. So it took me five years to join fully. Yet the example that I have seen in the life of devotees was very convincing. So, the greatest gain for me was my fellow devotee brothers and sisters. And the greatest loss in my life was when our services separated us. Therefore I humbly pray: please, pay attention to your fellow vaishnavas. They are gifts of God. 
And from among the devotees there is one crown jewel. I don’t think that I have to go into too much details and explanations which one is that crown jewel. But Krishna has sent a savior angel to us. And then Radhika has withdrawn him. Our Gurudev was sent as a savior by Krishna; then Radhika invited him back. He was of great value for all of us. He was the life force of his disciples, the focus of attention, the hero, the example, the absolute turning point of theory into practice. And also the partner to play football, to play chess… and in so many other ways he was the one. 
And some other pieces of this collection – these are you. So please, act accordingly. Many times devotees ask me: “What should I do?” And many times the answer is: “Shine!” Shine – why? Because you can only shine if you are in your spiritual identity. If you are in your body-mind consciousness or identity, you cannot shine. Therefore this instruction is not an easy one. You have to remove your fur coat. You have to remove your suit. You have to remove all the bodily and mental layers that you have in order your soul shines. 
On some rare objects people say: “Ah, this is a collector’s piece.” So help each other to grow in these qualities. We all need dreams, we all need ideals to live for. And this beautiful conception that there is a Divine Couple as an ultimate reality – it’s not simply a fact, it’s not simply a truth – this is Reality the Beautiful! If we can commit ourselves in the service of this beautiful divine reality, then our life will be definitely sublime and successful. 
Everything is a question of cultivation. Everything is open to you – so please cultivate, go deeper and deeper. Collect your treasures, grow in devotion, cherish your ideals and share the bliss you have found. 
 
1.  Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya, 22.125


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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015 evening, Ludashto)
 
The other day we discussed how to maintain a tradition, how to serve a tradition. And we agreed: if we perform the favorable activities for that – we serve. But usually we have another question: ‘How to?’ How to serve? How to do it better? The answer is given in the sacred tradition: nityam bhagavata sevaya[1] – by always serving the bhagavata you can achieve your spiritual goals. 
What is nityam, what is ‘eternal service’? Yesterday we didn’t serve bhagavata; today we serve and we have to serve it eternally. So what kind of eternity is this? This nityam means ‘from now on’. Without an end. This should be our ambition, a very high ambition. 
Then what is bhagavata? Bhagavata is something that is connected to Bhagavan. Bhagavata means ‘something belonging, describing Bhagavan’. And there are two types of bhagavatas: one is written in a book form and the other is a living form bhagavata. The written form is the Shrimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavata Purana – this is the ripe fruit of all the Vedic literature. And the living bhagavata is a person who lives according to the principles of the Bhagavatam – this is the pure devotee. 
Nityam bhagavata sevaya – by serving, eternal service to bhagavata we can achieve our goal. What is seva? Seva in need is seva indeed. And what is this need? Some say that the Divinities are thirsty for the devotion of human beings. Why – because they are so selfish? No, because this is the exchange. They are desperately waiting for the prayers, in order that they can share their blessings. In the same way, Mahaprabhu is very happy if devotees chant the holy names. So we know that seva, real service, is selfless chanting of the holy names. And we can serve the Supreme by chanting His names. 
You know, once I was chanting my rounds in the afternoon. It was a very beautiful September day, bright afternoon, the sunshine was entering the temple-room. This was a new ashram that we have found, a rented place. After a long day of moving all the belongings to the ashram it was finally a peaceful and lonely afternoon. I was chanting and all of a sudden a feeling came to me: ‘Ah, my dear Lord, please, keep me in this mood, keep me in this company!’ 
So, chanting your rounds, chanting your prayers and mantras will give you very beneficial thoughts. This is a source of inspiration for devotees – if you chant, you can enter into a mood of connection, you are connected to the higher reality. This is our mystic exercise and mystic experience – when through chanting and singing and praying something opens up in front of our eyes. And through this, devotion will become like an irrevocable fact in the purified heart of a devotee. 
 
1. Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015, morning, Ludashto) 
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Who is worshiped in Sofia? In Sofia Mahaprabhu is worshiped. What kind of blessings Mahaprabhu showers on the devotees there? There happen only such things that He likes. And what is the preference of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Trance and dance. Therefore there are some gandharvik[1] style of devotees there – good dancers and good singers and kirtaniyas. And there are some very good preachers there, because Mahaprabhu likes if more and more people join His campaign. So I think it’s very obvious that so many blessings come upon the Sofia mission – it’s due to the worship. And of course the selfless devotion of the bhaktas there. And you know, we have there Mahaprabhu practically alone. Well, He is never alone, but nevertheless He is standing alone on the altar. Once I was discussing with a devotee and he asked: “What kind of worship do you have here and there? “I said: “Well, in Sofia we worship Mahaprabhu.” He asked: “Mahaprabhu – and?” I said: “Mahaprabhu.” “How come? Where is Nitay?” I said: “Well, He came alone, what can I do?” Because really that was the case – He came alone. 
But I think He is very close to the Pecs [2] ashram. Because in Pecs we worship Radha-Govinda – Govinda and Radha, or if you want to put it short: Go-Ra, Gaura. It looks like these two ashrams are very close to each other – in one place Govinda-Radha, in the other place Gaura. One resembles the other. Govinda and Radha are the essence of divine love – and that is reflected in Sofia, in the person of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. In this way these two aspects should meet. And where do they meet? In the hearts of the devotees. 
What is expected from us by the Supreme? I think this arrangement shows very beautifully what is His expectation – with these two missions, with these two countries. These realities reflect each other. What will be the result of Govinda-Radha worship? I cannot tell that! Just look at the Pecs devotees and you will understand a lot. Because we are safe until Radhika predominates over Krishna. When She steals the flute of Krishna, then He is helpless. He cannot dictate the tempo for the devotees. Whenever He regains His flute, He starts to play and everybody has to dance. And sometimes His speed, His tempo is quite fast. And there are many more aspects of Radha and Govinda worship. But nevertheless Krishna as Govinda is the person who answers. 
Sometimes miracles also happen. For example change of dimensions, quantum leaps or simple miracles. If you remember the house in Pecs – there are windows and there is one little hollow place in the front. When we saw the house for the first time, we understood: ‘Ah! This is the place for the deity!’ But from the street it looked small like this, and we thought: ‘When the time comes we can put a small deity there’. The same year we had scaffolding on the house, because there was some construction work and one devotee was testing this niche. And it was so huge, that she could stand into the niche plus there was some more height. So the result of Radha-Govinda worship is that dimensions might change. You think it’s small, but it’s huge! You think your services are insignificant, but they are great. 
Somebody says that Krishna answers the prayers of the pure devotees. Krishna is very busy. He doesn’t have time for listening to some prayers and distributing the results. The gopis are always calling Him, the gopals also invite Him. He is engaged in tasting His own beauty and sweetness. Nevertheless the pure, or the almost pure devotees, are a preference for Him. And their prayers are heard by Him. This is our hope – that our prayers are being heard. And please, always pray from surplus, not from shortage. I’m sure we all have experience with prayers and with deals with Krishna. But always we have to be grateful for all that is provided for our benefit. And the best prayer is the glorification of the holy names. Please try to offer the prayers like a flower offering at the lotus feet of our beloved Couple. Do you have some remarks or questions?
Yashoda: What about Gaura-Nitay worship?
Swami Tirtha: Ah! Double trance and dance, They both are dancing. That’s very dangerous, because They are the upgrade of Jagay and Madhay. Jagay and Madhay were dancing in alcoholic ecstasy, which expires. But They are dancing due to transcendental ecstasy – it never ends. So be ready!
 
1. Gandharvas – angelic singers
2. pronounced Pech

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015, morning, Ludashto) 
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Who is listening to the prayers of people? You said that basically Paramatma is listening. This is another personalized expression for this morphogenetic psi field of universal informational background. All right, but then what about the pure devotees? Are their prayers  heard by Paramatma? Yogis are concerned with Paramatma. Then who is listening to the prayers of the pure devotees? 
Yashoda: Ishta-deva. Your beloved murti.
Swami Tirtha: Ah, such a nice concept! I have to consider that! Let’s stop here for a while. As we discussed the different types of worship, the different deities, they will give you different benefits. Even if you don’t ask. For example here in Ludashto, Govardhan, Lapis Nostrum – our stone – is worshiped. The basic principle that He represents is the shelter for devotees. And as Ludashto is the centre of the mission, this shelter is expanded practically over all of us. Of course there are some other more delicate, finer details represented by Govardhan worship. Because Govardhan also provides a very blissful and variegated scenery for the different lilas of Krishna. This is like a source of happiness for the cows and the cowherd boys. Also a place of very deep meditation for a lot of saints living there. And also this is a meeting place, place of rendezvous. So there are a lot of other details that are represented by Govardhan. When Mahaprabhu delivered a little piece of Govardhan-shila to Raghunath das Goswami, he was extremely happy because he understood: ‘Now I have got my entrance to lilas!’ And if Raghunath das Goswami is satisfied with something, then you can guess that it’s important. 
In Gyor the devotees worship Jagannath. What is the benefit of that worship? One benefit of Jagannath worship is that He is always smiling. Irrespective of our services. Lord Jagannath in India resides by the ocean, Nilachala. In Gyor there is no ocean, but there are five rivers – water is there, so naturally He wanted to be there. Jagannath is a very special aspect of Krishna. He likes His devotees so much! He likes to be fed and He also likes to feed His devotees. Don’t forget, in the Jagannath temple in India there are 54 offerings per day. One and a half tons of rice is offered per day. Jagannath is very famous for expressing His willingness with His devotees. Once there was a small boy praying to Jagannath; he said: “Ah, my dear Jagannath, You are so kind, I love you so much! Please, come to me!” Then Jagannath answered: “Ah, my dear son, you see, I have no hands, I have no legs – I cannot come to you. But I have some big eyes, so I can look at you.” I think we would be all very satisfied if God said: “I can look at you” in a discussion. But our boy was not satisfied. He said: “All right, if You have eyes and if You can talk to me, then You can come to me also.” 
So, prayers are heard. Even challenging prayers are heard – if you have intensity enough and purity of heart. The result of Jagannath worship is satisfaction – everybody is satisfied. Grand scale results should be there. 
But who is worshiped in Sofia?
 
(to be continued)
 


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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 21.08.2015, morning, Ludashto)
 
The prayers are heard. Do you agree? How is that possible? How is it possible that we pray sincerely and it happens – it’s very unusual! If we believe that the material world is a reflection of the spiritual sky, like a mirrored picture, then there must be a connection between these two realms. The primary connection is a projection – the real one projects the mirrored picture. And we can suppose a one way direction of these two realms – the real one and the reflection; the reflection cannot project back to the original, because it’s only a picture. Just like the shadow; the shadow cannot project the real figure. So, if there is a one way direction, how is it possible to have a feedback to the original realm? If we believe and see the function and the effective results of prayers, then this is a definite proof that although this is a reflected reality, it is possible from this realm to connect to the eternal realm. 
Then there are again some questions: Who is praying? For what reason he or she is praying? And who is listening? So, who is praying?
Yashoda: Jiva.
Swami Tirtha: Any jiva?
Manjari: Who is in need.
Swami Tirtha: Practically who is in need: “Ah my Lord, I suffer so much, please help me!” Usually those pray who are in need. In the absence of something you can pray very strongly: “I need this, I need that. Give me this, give me that!” But my humble suggestion is that there is another alternative, when you have access and then you need to pray, you need to share what you have. It’s a special prayer. It’s not a prayer of need: “Please help me!” but “Please come, because I like You so much!”
All right, we are supposed to pray, supposed to chant, supposed to meditate. But then who is listening to the prayers of people in general? 
Yashoda: Paramatma?
Another: Guru?
Another: Krishna.
Manjari: Maybe it depends to whom you pray.
Swami Tirtha: Very clever. I see that you are infected by this personalism. Nobody told that Akashic Chronicles are listening to your prayers or information psi background of the universe – the psi realm, it’s the new name of ether. So, we have some conception that ‘If I’m praying as a person, there must be another person, who is listening’, right? It’s very reasonable. 
But sometimes we cannot direct our prayers properly. We say: “Somebody come!” Never mind, that hierarchy is very well organized. Because sometimes the prayers are improper – there is some mistake or something wrong. But then what happens? All these mis-prayers are directed to Saraswati Devi for correction. And this concerns not only grammatical mistakes, but even if you curse, if you send a heavy blow to the heaven, she will convert the complaint into a compliment. This is the protective system of the spiritual realm – nothing wrong can enter there. 
 
(to be continued)

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, evening, Ludashto) 
 
Question: If one is not initiated, what about chanting? How to chant, whether one should chant at all or not?
Swami Tirtha: This is a very serious topic. Why? Because the holy name is the common inheritance of humanity. This is the yuga-dharma, or the given process of self-realization for this age. Can we say that anybody is excluded from liberation or spiritual chance? 
Yet Jiva Goswami explains that at the beginning of the yuga the rishis, the munis had foreseen the difficulties of this age and for the sake of security and a real and proper progress they implemented some institutions. We all know that there are no hard and fast rules concerning chanting the holy names, yet these institutions help to protect the practice from bad influence or corruption; and also help the practitioners to be more successful. One such institution is the guru principle. And the blessing to give the chanting is connected to this principle. 
So in one sense we can say that the holy name is free; at the same time we should know that if we have the blessings of a pure devotee, then it will be really effective. But we always have to consider the higher principle: which is more important – chanting or following certain precautions? 
Manjari: Chanting.
Swami Tirtha: That’s more important! One thing is required – sincere heart. If you have this basic sincerity, then you can go on with your spiritual practices. But for chanting there are so many different methods. As we had tried the day before – we sit together in a row with others on the big japa. Or you have a japa-walk in the forest. Or you sing with others – this is also a kind of chanting. Hopefully the holy name will help us to progress, to understand and to come to higher and deeper realizations. 
Yet I think by this elaborate explanation it was not clear what my answer is. My opinion is: go on with your chanting! Because it will help to clear our vision and to enter these deeper realizations. Those who are sincere cannot make mistakes.   

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, evening, Ludashto)
 
(continues from the previous Monday)
 
Once we had a discussion with devotees. There was a little further enhancement of the question how can we enter the circle of devotees – how a jiva soul can return to the spiritual sky? There was one explanation of this. The basis of the explanation was that there is a lack of manpower in Goloka Vrindavana. Or we can say women-power, not manpower. Because Radharani wants to satisfy Krishna with many beautiful garlands. Shrimati Radharani has 64 excellences. One such excellence is Her capacity to make beautiful flower arrangements. And as She wants to collect different forest flowers for the nice garlands, and She wants to make them, and She wants to arrange them, She needs a lot of helpers. But what She is observing – ‘There’re no helpers here!’ Everybody is engaged in so many different services to the beloved Divine Couple. ‘This one is preparing the betel nuts; the other one is rehearsing a dance; still others prepare the sweetmeats for the evening meeting. Everybody is engaged – I cannot find any helpers here!’ Then She looks around: ‘Ah! Beyond the Viraja river there are some jiva souls! Let’s invite them!’ After this class one very knowledgeable panditji came to me and he said: “I’ve never read this story in the shastras.” Well, what can I say? 
So there are many unknown reasons why we enter the circle of devotees. Please, never forget the divine perspective! We might think that this is for our own benefit, ‘this is my achievement; I like these guys, therefore I also join their company; I like this spiritual master because his eyes are blue, so I join the devotees…’ But please, don’t forget about the divine invitation. There must be a reason why your whole life and this whole universe is arranged in such a way that you meet the devotees. If you were born in Patala-loka, you wouldn’t meet the devotees here – in hell, in the hellish planets you wouldn’t meet these devotees. Maybe you’ll meet other devotees. So there must be a good reason why we are all invited to this group of devotional service. Nothing happens without a reason. Without the roots there are no fruits. 
But my humble suggestion is: don’t think too much about your past – why. If I had met the devotees, let’s be spiritually happy. Because this is the invitation on the personal platform. 
And this I tell you very seriously, that we have to find the reason why we are put together in a group of devotees. What does Krishna expect from us – as individuals, as a group, as a mission? What is the expectation of Krishna? You know, if I have expectations, a very basic spiritual principle will act: expectation equals frustration. Therefore we have to be wise enough: no expectation – no frustration. If you are unconditional, you shall be happy – suprasidati, perfectly happy; if you have expectations, you will be frustrated. 
Then what about the expectations of God? Is He aware of this principle: no expectation, no frustration? It’s a complicated question. And I think mankind has proven thousands of times that they can frustrate God. Nevertheless it is said: the birth of every new baby is a definitive prove that God hasn’t given up the hope in humanity. We are born as children; some remain like that for a whole lifetime. So, please, fulfill this expectation! Make Him happy. If by some incomprehensible fortunate situation somehow we meet the devotees – stay there!
Question of Manjari: Back to your previous explanation: you mentioned that Radharani is inviting new souls and then you said that Krishna is expecting the new souls. My question is if it is Radha, or Krishna, or both, or we don’t know? This is very important to me.
Swami Tirtha: If Krishna invites, or Radhika invites, or both of Them invite – it’s fortunate. If none of Them invites you – it’s a big misfortune. So, somehow or other we have to open up our ears to this divine invitation. 
And don’t forget, the other day we discussed the spiritual alchemy with the three processes: nigredo, albedo and rubedo. Nigredo is the black invitation, albedo is the white invitation and rubedo is the red or golden invitation. Because actually only these colors are there – black, white and golden; no other. Red or golden are the same practically. This is the process that we have to expose ourselves to – either through God’s, or through the Goddess’s, or through Mahaprabhu’s principle the invitation is extended. 
Otherwise in a general way usually the souls should return to their origin – and that is the middle, tatastha position. But by a special mercy, by rupanuga, you can go higher. So if there is an invitation, we have to give an answer. And we can answer by a prayer: to pray for the blessings of the Supreme Lord so that we can serve the holy names. This is the ultimate answer of all our questions. Pray for the divine blessings upon your life, upon your spiritual practices. And follow, continue this beautiful divine process of listening, and chanting, and remembering, and serving, and making friendship, etc., and finally – total surrender.