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Extra English Issues issues

Naimisharanya

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

I’m very happy that yesterday we agreed on some basic points: life is good, it has got a spiritual goal, we are all searching for blessings. And also please remember the three facts: the first was that we are spirit souls, eternal souls; the second was that we belong to the Supreme, we belong to God; and the third factor was that there is a living and loving contact between us. It’s very simple: I am not the dying body, material construction, but I am spiritual energy, soul; I belong to the supreme source, God Supreme; and we have a relationship based on affection. He is affectionate to me and I also try my best to show some of my willingness. But we have to find ways to implement all these truths in our life. Because it is not simply that we agree on these points, but we have to realize them, we have to put them into practice.

In order to learn something more about this spiritual science, we have to learn, we have to study some revealed scriptures. For today I have brought one of the most precious and most treasured scriptures of India, which is considered to be the ripe fruit of the Vedic revelation. Veda means ‘knowledge’ – material and divine knowledge; plus spiritual wisdom. So it’s like a huge tree containing all information. And this is not a barren tree, this is a fruit-bearing tree. And the most precious fruit of this divine tree of knowledge – this is the Shrimad Bhagavatam, or the Bhagavata Purana. It’s a revealed scripture connected to the Supreme, Bhagavan.

Actually this is a discussion – a discussion between the wise men of the previous age, previous old times. Their meeting was very similar to our meeting here. We all understood that today there is a meeting, so we came. In the same manner they also had the information that a very important spiritual discussion was going on – so ‘let’s go there, let’s visit!’ This was an exchange between the lecturer and the audience – they had some questions. And one of the main questions was: “Which is the best path? There are so many ways of religion and spiritual processes – which is the best one, the most direct one?” Is this an actual question? I think very much! Even more processes and ways are known today. Therefore we have to know what is good and what is the best.

Then the advice is given: sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokshaje ahaitiky apratihata yayatma suprasidati[1] – “For all the humanity the best way to approach the Supreme is through which they can reach devotion to God, bhakti, divine love. And this approach has to be unconditional and permanent, because by this the atman, the soul inside will be supremely satisfied.”

So just imagine yourselves to put this question: “What is the best way?” And imagine yourself receiving the same answer: “The best way for all is that through which you can reach divine love. In your spiritual endeavors you have to be unconditional and permanent. Then you will enjoy supreme bliss in your heart of hearts.” Do you agree? Yes!

But then a little more information is coming. How to reach?

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 evening, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Please, remember this. ‘Krishna’ is the Dark Lord, Supreme Personality of Godhead; ‘Hare’ is His divine loving power; and ‘Rama’ is again very much connected to Him, but also it reminds us the happiness that we can derive. Not only at the end of our life, but also right now, here and now. You see – ‘here and now’ means ‘space and time’. How to go beyond time and space? How to resolve all the karmic bondage that we have? For that we need the information contained in these 84 million mantras, which is condensed in this ultimate message: Hare Krishna! Or you can also say: Hare Rama, because this is like a circular dance – you don’t know where is the beginning and where is the end. It’s always revolving.

But you know spiritual progress is a gradual step-by-step process. Very similar to the experience when we want to greet the sun in the morning. During the night it’s darkness, we don’t have the blessed light of the sun. At dawn, expecting the sunrise, slowly-slowly we can understand what is what around us. Because from the darkness slowly-slowly the trees, the houses, the people are revealed because the divine sun approaches and it sheds light on everything. And when the sun appears on the horizon, then everything is clear. No darkness anymore. In the same way the divine light, the divine illumination of the Krishna-sun, the divine sun can also appear on our heart’s and soul’s horizon. And maybe today there is darkness in my heart. But as soon as this divine sun appears on my horizon, then it will illuminate everything. From the darkness lead me to the light.

There are many-many steps in our spiritual process. Our teachers have given 64 different steps. And the first from all these 64 excellences is to take shelter. What does it mean ‘a shelter’? That you are not exposed to the difficulties anymore. You have found your home, you have found your protection. Shelter means you are not alone anymore. So this is a very comforting feeling, like a home comfort. Therefore it is very much suggested to achieve that shelter in our life, so that we can follow some guidance, so that we can practice a meditation, so that we can help our individual illumination and invite the divine bright sun of love to rise on the horizon of our heart and soul. And then we can continue with the many other steps of our spiritual life and progress, which will bring us closer and closer to our beautiful ideals of perfection, harmony, beauty and love.

So far we didn’t understand what love is. But if a miracle happens in our life, we shall have a conception. Something inside us will tremble.

Concluding our session today, let me wish a very blessed and very successful year, so that all your spiritual endeavors are fulfilled, so that all blessings come upon us and the condensed essence of all these time-space-karma information come in an essential divine drop of amrita to us all, so that this nectar become an ocean – sagar. Be united in the spirit! Blessings to all! Peace be upon the world! And please come tomorrow also!

 

 



beauty 1

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 evening, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

In this universe there are 84 million mantras, plus their combinations and permutations. 84 million mantras! My God, how can we learn this spiritual science?! These mantras form the information background of the creation. This material universe is determined by certain factors. One is space. This space is so vast that it’s very difficult to find its center. But one thing is for sure. One center of this universe is this place now here.

Another factor that determines this existence is time. Space and time. And one of the books that was translated by my spiritual master according to his guru’s order was Beyond time and space[1]. How to find our way to go beyond time and space?

The third factor that determines this cosmic structure is karma, or action-reaction. So: space, time, action-reaction… Anything else? One more thing and this is the information. The spiritual information is contained in these 84 million mantras. And practically one lifetime is not enough to study all of them properly. But fortunately our teachers have told us that from among all these millions of mantras, three are very important. With three we can manage, right? 80 million we cannot manage, but three – maybe we can.

One main mantra is the om – I’m sure you know it. What is the meaning of om? This is the divine sound vibration, shabda-brahman. It is so powerful that it can convert the chaos into cosmos; from the disorder it can create order. Just imagine, if this divine sound vibration can manage the whole cosmic affairs in a proper manner to create these harmonious universes, if this mantra resonates in our mind, in our heart – from the chaotic state of consciousness that we have right now it will create a harmonious order.

And what is the hidden meaning of om? Now you will say: “From the death lead me to eternity”, because you were very attentive in the previous section. But actually it is combined of three sounds – ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’, AUM. Who is the A, who is the first in everything? It’s God. He is the first in all respect. Who is the ‘M” – it’s the human, the ‘M’ is us. And who is this ‘U’ between the two? Who is between God and you? This is divine love.

So, if you remember this mantra, om in this manner: there is God, there is me and between us divine love is the connection, then this will create a harmonious universe in your life.

Another main mantra is a prayer of protection. Sometimes we all need protection, right? When we are under the attack of the difficulties of life or some personal nonsense, whatever – we need the divine protection. This second mantra goes like: om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. “I offer my respects to Vasudeva – this is a name of Krishna, the all-knowing aspect of God – so I render myself under His protection.” It is said to be one of the most powerful protective mantras. And you can believe me – it’s tested, it works. So whenever you are in need or you are in trouble, or you want that the divine protection is extended to others, you can have this prayer.

All right, now we have a mantra for order – om; we have a mantra for protection – om namo bhagavate vasudevaya; do you need anything more? Yes! We need a special type of inner contentment, we are searching for the happiness of our soul. And there is a mantra for that also. It’s called: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is the mantra of divine love. It will not only benefit us and bless us with a divine perspective, but it is also like a celebration of the grand victory of divine love. It is like a talk to the Divine Couple. Once I mentioned this mantra as something very important in life. And at the end of the lecture one elderly lady came up to me and asked: “Well, you said that if we chant this mantra at the end of our life, it will bless us with eternal life – so how is it properly?”

(to be continued)

 

[1] The former title of Easy journey to other planets by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad



mantra

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 evening, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

So, here is the intellectual meaning of this prayer, of this mantra: From the unreal lead me to the reality, from the darkness to the light, from death to eternity. But the wise teachers that we try to follow had some special explanations to these words. They say: when the mantra says ‘from the unreal lead me to reality,’ actually it means ‘from death lead me to eternity’. This is the hidden meaning of the prayer. When it says: ‘from the darkness lead me to the light’, actually it means ‘from death lead me to eternity’. Yes, this is the hidden meaning of the symbolic language. And then when finally it says: ‘from death lead me to eternity,’ it means ‘from death lead me to eternity’. Because this is the ultimate message here.

So, there was a very meaningful aspect about life – sat. There was an intellectual meaning – when we understood the hidden message: from death to eternity. And you know, I promised you a third aspect also that will make you happy. Actually it already happened because I think we all very happily celebrate the victory of eternal life over death.

But actually there are some little more things to add. For example asat also means the unmanifested state of the universe – when all the different varieties of life and planets and elements and all the necessary ingredients of this universe are nonmanifest yet. Everything exists as a potential. From that potential, please lead me to the expressed, manifested world. Just look at yourself – you are full of potential, most of it is unmanifested yet. We cannot even imagine our spiritual future; we have no idea, no conception at all about the prospects that we have. Therefore we need the prayer: please, from this unmanifested state of my life, somebody, lead me to the realized platform of all my potential. So from unreal lead me to the real! From the unfulfilled potential lead me to direct, real experience of spiritual bliss!

The second line says: “From darkness lead me to the light!” Darkness is black, right? While the light is white. So that also means: from the Black lead me to the White. But this is not a game of chess, it’s got some deeper meaning. Previously we discussed that usually we conceive darkness as something wrong, as a lack of light or some ignorance. But actually if you observe a picture of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna, His body is dark, it’s blackish, dark-blue. Why? Just to prove that He is not a human. God is beyond human conception. And usually we think that darkness doesn’t emanate light, but in His case it does. Krishna’s darkness is a mystic darkness, it emanates light.

From our sacred teachers we understood that the divine personality, Krishna, is dark – He is the Dark Lord. But from your folklore we can understand who the most beautiful girl in the village is. How is she called? Radha. And actually we know that the beloved spouse of Lord Krishna is Radha. So that’s a direct proof that you Bulgarians come from the banks of Mother Ganges. And we understood that the worship of this Supreme Lord with the dark hue is very good, but He always enjoys the company of this beautiful girl Radha, who is bright. Therefore if we pray: “From the darkness lead me to the light”, it’s got a super meaning also. From the concept of this dark-hued Supreme Lord, introduce me to the concept of this beauty of the village! Very mystic, very esoteric meaning! From the darkness lead me to the light.

And what is the mystic explanation of the last line. “From death lead me to eternity”? This is “from death lead me to eternity”.

Therefore we are so fortunate to chant this mantra. This is the ultimate benefit of a pure prayer – it will reveal our original blissful nature. So what is contained in a good mantra, in a good prayer? Sat – a profound meaning of life, chit – a very highly intellectual understanding of the same topic, and ananda – the bliss that we are all searching for.

(to be continued)

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 evening, Sofia)
Asato maa sad gamaya… “From the unreal lead me to reality”.
Do you agree with this chant? This prayer comes from a very ancient scripture in India. It comes from an Upanishad[1] . Upanishad means “secret teachings”. We are all searching for secrets. Once we organized a lecture series and the title was “Secret teachings”. You know a public lecture about secret teachings… But I have to tell you three times more people came than usual. Because we want to find the secrets. We feel that life in general is too boring without the secrets. And actually this mantra is contained in such a secret scripture. Also it means that we can learn the secret in the close company of sadhus, saintly people. I have to declare it publicly that secrets are not for the public. But as we are in a very close intimate circle now, we can talk about them.
So, mantra – what is the meaning of mantra? Mantra is a formula of prayer to liberate our consciousness. And a good mantra will always contain the essence of existence, also will contain a deep meaning, and something more that I will tell you at the end. These three phases of this mantra, of this prayer are very essential. What is the first line? Asato maa sad gamaya; asat means ‘non-real, unreal, illusory’. “From the unreal lead me to reality!” Who will lead us from the unreal, from the illusory reflection, to reality? The divine guidance – manifested in our spiritual masters, in our saints. Also in the divine call that we all feel in our inner hearts. This best conviction that we have – this will always guide us in a proper manner. And you know we have tried the unreal so many times. We have tried to find our happiness in this unreal reflection of illusion. I don’t know how much success you have gained; I have gained no success at all there. Let’s try to find our fulfillment in the sat, in the real reality.
But if I tell you that spiritual reality is very real, you might say: “Ah, but it is very unreal for me. My present-day reality is pain, some sufferings, some limitations – this is my reality today.” If I say that life is a mystic experience, you might say: “It’s so far away from me!” But if you tell me that life is suffering, that sounds very unreal for me. So, who is more right – you or me? Whose message is more powerful – mine or yours? Of course this is not a competition, but I hope that my message is stronger.
So, this prayer contains something very essential about our experience called life. From the unreal, from the reflection, we have to come to the original. That makes it very meaningful.
The second line says: “From the darkness lead me to the light!” I think everybody understands. Darkness usually is equal to ignorance, limitations or suffering; while light means knowledge, faith, happiness. Therefore from the darkness we want to find our way to the light. So please, my Lord, from the darkness, lead me to the light!
And the third line says something very important: “From death lead me to eternity!” This is like an ultimate limitation of life – death. It is so unfamiliar for us that we try to reject it, or hide it, or neglect it. Nevertheless it will come, sooner or later. It’s another experience. But as we are not aware of the necessity of death in order to experience eternal life, therefore it looks a little strange for us. Actually we, human beings, are so much life-pro, that we want to reject death. This non-existence is such a weird concept, because we are so much alive.
(to be continued)
1. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 evening, Sofia) 

Life is a beautiful experience. Life is sacred because it comes from a divine source. We in this room, we all have something common. And we all have something different. What is the factor that unites us? It’s the divine source, the spiritual nature and the divine destination. And what separates us? That unique individual beauty that makes the picture even more beautiful. In this sense we are one in the spirit and we are different in personality, in our unique features, in individuality. And we all have a very special part inside – this is our spiritual identity. So many aspects of our life change from time to time. But there is something which will never change. Our identity, our inner essential nature – that never changes. So, as intelligent human beings we have to search for that eternal part. And you are all very fortunate because you are searching the source of eternal happiness.

These are big words. But it is true. Why? Because if we cultivate this eternal relationship of the best part that we have – our soul – in an eternal, perfect manner, in a loving way with the eternal source, then this is the best place.

Life is complicated. Philosophy is more complicated. Theology is a labyrinth. But the ultimate truth is always very simple: we are not the bodies, but spiritual souls; we belong to God; and there is a living and loving connection between us. Is that complicated? No, it’s not. And when we try to give the best of ourselves that we’ve ever had, then this is the way to approach the supreme and ultimate Source of all existence, all knowledge and all happiness.

This life – as a mystic experience – is worth living. Even a miserable life is better than no life. But if we have this chance, why not make it a happy chance? Therefore we have to cultivate our eternal side in a spiritual manner, to be connected to the eternal source.

God is not a theory. Many people say: “Well, I believe in God. But that He exists…?” No, He does. Beyond our imagination. And when we think that we are very far away from Him, He is ready to come very close to us. And when we feel that ‘Now I have come one step further to Him,’ actually He came hundred steps closer to us. Fortunately, He is this active type. He is not simply passively waiting until we can climb the ladder of spiritual elevation to the utmost. Our God is a responsive one. Krishna is all-attractive. And He uses His attractive power in an unlimited manner. Therefore we only have to expose ourselves to this attractive power. This is the best that we can do – give up resistance. Give up resistance to spiritual bliss. Don’t push away your salvation from you. Don’t miss your chance to make one step closer to God, so that He can make hundred steps closer to you.

Therefore from time to time we have to come together. Thinking of God and our spiritual duty is good. Speaking about it is better. But to sing about the glories of the Supreme – this is best! So that we can join this grand celebration of singing and dancing in spiritual joy. Because our original nature is of bliss. And we have to revive that original state that we have.



Кришна

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 morning, Sofia) 

Swami Tirtha: I heard that you have a study course here? Correct? What is that? What’s the topic?

Premananda: It’s Bhagavad Gita.

Swami Tirtha: O, it’s the Gita! Very nice! Very nice! You will find many secrets in the Gita. May I have some questions? You are scientists of the Bhagavad Gita here. May I inquire from you: which one is the middle verse of the Gita?

Baladev: We are only first grade.

Swami Tirtha: First class devotees, yes, as it was mentioned. Maybe you didn’t touch that, so please check. Then you will see what Krishna has put in the focus of the Gita, in the middle section point. So, make your calculation, find the exact middle section point of the Gita and then you will find very confidential information.

And many-many other secrets are hidden in the Gita. So please go on with studying that. And very soon from the absolute neophyte platform we can come to a knowledgeable platform.

Yadunath: Is the Ninth Chapter in the middle of the Gita? “The Most Confidential Knowledge”?

Swami Tirtha: Oho! You are calculating!

Yadunath: We are. Is it close to?

Swami Tirtha: Well, do we have a mathematician here? Is there a middle point in an even number of chapters? How many chapters are there in the Gita?

Yadunath: Eighteen.

Swami Tirtha: So there is no one middle chapter. They are two! One is the Ninth, the title is “The Most Confidential Knowledge”. And what is the second middle chapter? It’s the Tenth, “The Opulence of the Absolute”. So the focus goes there – the most confidential knowledge and the glories of the Supreme. This is like the seed. And all else are just important layers protecting that seed and explaining that seed in different-different manners.

Yadunath: Can we say that the middle of the Ninth Chapter is verse number 17? “I am the father of this universe, the mother and the support, the object of knowledge, the purifier…”

Swami Tirtha: Well, it’s nice but it’s not. Because it’s not the middle section of the chapter, but the middle section of the 700 verses – this is what we are searching for. But again, if there is an even number of verses, is there one middle section? Probably not, my dear sons and daughters. There must be two verses in the middle section again. So please, go on calculating. Take it as homework.

Usually we never think of that, right? We think: ‘Ah, I have read the Gita.’ And what did you understand from that, my dear? “I have read it two times!” We can go on reading the Gita for lifetimes.

But even from the titles of these middle core chapters we can understand that something very important is there, that is the focus of this divine revelation. One is a hidden secret and the other is an open glory. Such a beautiful structure!

And if I may give some hints, the middle section verses of the Gita are contained in the Ninth Chapter. But you know all the main revealed scriptures have some core verses. You remember, some years before we discussed the chatur-shloki of Bhagavatam. Bhagavatam contains 18 000 verses and in four verses the essence is given. “I had been, I am, and I will be. Whatever you see it’s Me. If you see that something is beyond Me – that’s illusion. And you have to go to the end of your search”[1] – this is the essence of the Bhagavatam. Then the Gita also has chatur-shloki verses. In which chapter it is? Correct, this is in the Tenth Chapter. So the middle section verses are in the Ninth and the chatur-shloki verses are in the Tenth. Please, check it up! You will find very important guidance for this lifetime.

Enough of theory! We have been lost in calculating verses. It is said that all the revealed scriptures, from the beginning to the end, and all shlokas simply glorify the Supreme Lord Vishnu. This is the essence that we have to remember, so that all the revealed scriptures will tell us this message: glorification and worship is the essence. And if we have this information coming to us, hopefully our words, our thoughts and our actions will also become glorifications of the Supreme. 

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.33-36



tatastha 4

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“It is confirmed in Bhagavad Gita that after many, many births, when one becomes actually wise, he surrenders to Vasudeva[1], knowing perfectly well that Krishna, Vasudeva, is the origin and cause of all causes. Although such a wise man is very dear to Krishna, the others are also accepted as very magnanimous, because even though they are distressed or in need of money, they have come to Krishna for satisfaction.”[2]

So even if we have only a small little particle of divine knowledge or devotion, sooner or later it will dominate our whole consciousness, if we don’t make big mistakes.

“Without being elevated to the position of a gyani, or wise man, no one can stick to the principle of worshiping the Supreme. The wise man is he who has thoroughly understood that he is a spirit soul and not simply a body.”

This sounds like very simple information, nevertheless it takes a long time to realize. If we want to find a very general goal of our activities, we can formulate it in the following manner: it is to help people understand that they are not the dying bodies, they are eternal souls. This might be a good program for this campaign – a very general, very universal principle, so that people don’t remain in the material concept of life, but rather they aspire for the spiritual. And according to our capacity, our willingness, our purity we can come to higher and finer layers of this reality. But as this very important verse from the Gita says, bahunam janmanam ante gyanavan mam prapadyate; bahunam janmanam – after many-many lifetimes, many births; gyanavan – those who have knowledge, those who have understanding, they will surrender unto Me, mam prapadyate. Vasudeva sarvam iti – Vasudeva is all. He is everything. Krishna is everything, but not everything is Krishna. It sounds like a Zen koan. So think for this lifetime over this koan. Krishna is everything, but not everything is Krishna. Vasudeva sarvam iti – He is everything; sa mahatma sudurlabha – such a great soul is rare, who understands all these secrets. Bahunam janmanam ante – so if we have a chance, an invitation to understand something about this secret that means many-many lifetimes are behind. And maybe we cannot accomplish fully and totally this understanding, nevertheless we have to try and be sure that finally we shall reach the perfect understanding.

And then it is added: “It can be concluded that a person who is free from the bodily concept of life is an eligible candidate for pure devotional service. It is also confirmed in the Gita[3], that after Brahman realization, when one is freed from material anxieties and can see every living entity on an equal level, he is eligible to enter into devotional service.”

So, this should be our position and this should be our hope – that if we are invited to this devotional service mood of the Supreme, sooner or later we have to get rid of the material entanglement. And the easiest way to achieve that is to find another entanglement. If we are under one influence, how to get rid of that influence? Come under another influence. If you are under the influence of the local gubernator and you are not satisfied with that, then come under a higher influence, a higher protection. If you are not satisfied with the minister, go to the king. This is the way to improve our scope. If we are not satisfied with the influence and domination of illusion, let’s render, let’s surrender ourselves under the protection of the divine. For that we need to be very determined: ‘From now on I’ll try my best, not simply to escape the influence of illusion, because it’s impossible… It is declared in the Gita that “This illusion which consists of the three types of energy of Mine is impossible to overcome”[4]. But it is said that “Those who surrender unto Me they can very easily cross it.” Yes, we want consciously and willingly render ourselves under the protection of the divine energy. 

(to be continued)

 

[1] Bhagavad Gita 7.19

[2] Nectar of devotion, Chapter 3

[3] Bhagavad Gita 18.54

[4] Bhagavad Gita 7.14

 



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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“Lord Krishna explains in the Gita that out of these four types of neophytes – the distressed, those in need of money, the inquisitive and the wise – the one who is wise is very dear to Him. Because a wise man, if he is attached to Krishna, is not seeking an exchange of material benefits. A wise man who becomes attached to Krishna does not want any return from Him, neither in the form of relieving distress, nor in gaining money. This means that from the very beginning his basic principle of attachment to Krishna is, more or less, love.”[1]

So, loving attachment is selfless. Otherwise we call any attachment business. ‘I like you in order that you like me. I serve you in order that you serve me.” It’s very common. But let’s try to be unique! Why should we follow the common path, the general path of people in this business mentality? Why shouldn’t we start a new chapter in the history of life? Let’s try to be selfless. This is a very well-known secret that the more you want to preserve, the more you will lose it; while the more you are ready to share, the more you will receive. Of course you don’t need to believe it blindly. Test it, try it for yourself – whether it works in your life or not.

Shall I tell you a private story about this? One day we had a celebration of Govardhan-puja. It was a day that the devotees could not come together, so we were postponing the celebration for the weekend, but this was the date of the anniversary. All the day I was engaged with different other services – doing this and translating that – so I could not pay too much attention to the celebration itself. But strange enough late in the afternoon I felt that Giriraj wants something from me. I had the inspiration that today I have to donate in the donation box of the temple. You know, it’s very nice when you visit a temple and you bring some donation. But when you live in a temple? I said: ‘All right, if this is what You expect from me, I’m very happy to give. It doesn’t matter whether You keep Your money in the donation box or in my pocket – it’s Your money anyway.’ Anyway, I decided the first banknote that I will find, I will give. You see, this is not a calculation: ‘all right, the smallest I will give’ or ‘the second I will give’. No, you give the first. And what happened? After two days some unexpected guests appeared and they also brought a big donation to Giriraj. So, if you give, you receive. But this is not a financial advice – let’s be clear about it.

Baladev: But why not, Gurudev?

Swami Tirtha: Because we don’t make business out of divine things. We want to be selflessly dedicated, even if He doesn’t return the money that you give twenty times more. Even then we want to give. We have to be non-calculative in our dedication.

Shall I give you a calculative example? One of our friends said: “I was very fortunate last week. I found two hundred-dollar bills on the street. And I decided that I will give one to the temple. But you know, I have a very naughty son, so he stole one of these hundred-dollar bills. And which one he stole? The one that I wanted to give to the temple.” It’s a real story, it’s not an invention. I was amazed to hear that. Incredible! This is our condition, we are like this – a little calculative. We have to be careful about our calculative mind.

In general we can say we never lose with dedication. But there is know-how in this type of services like donations. Once you have given, don’t think of it. It’s not your business anymore. As it is said in the Bible: the left hand shouldn’t know what the right hand is doing. Once you have given, it’s done. Given to God – it’s His business.

Same with any type of service – don’t calculate after that. Once we were engaged with any type of service, it’s for our benefit. We need very strongly this conviction – don’t calculate afterwards. Of course we have to be clever, I mean we have to understand first where the Supreme needs our service, in which way; then do it accordingly. But after that is accomplished, don’t think twice.

Once a disciple wanted to give a donation to Gurudev. And he said: “This donation is for this and this purpose.” Gurudev was furious: “How do you think that you can decide how to use this?”

So there is know-how, of course, of any type of spiritual or pious activities. Because we have to act minimum in the goodness; and donation in the mode of goodness means in a proper place, to a proper person, with a proper mentality, etc. The same with any other types of sacrifice that we make – some efforts, some studies, some help – anything should be done in a proper manner. Because then there is less dust on your mirror, then there is less smoke on your fire, then there are less layers over the spiritual spark.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of devotion, Chapter 3

 



mirror

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 morning, Sofia)

In order to be receptive, fine tuned to receive a higher type of spiritual message, we need a certain pre-purification. Ultimately everything is a question of resonance – whether we are able to perceive this very delicate spiritual presence of the Supreme, whether we can perceive the divine, whether we can generate such a wavelength, so to say, just to be connected to the divine reality. Therefore sound vibration by the resonance of the body-mind structure, and also the fine, delicate resonance of the heart and soul connect us to a very high, very real layer of reality. Don’t forget about this principle. Whatever you say, whatever you think will have a certain effect on your system. And we should not stop with action-reaction, but we need the third step also, which is perfection.

Today we continue our readings from the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu: “These four types of devotees have been described in the Seventh Chapter of the Gita and they all have been accepted as pious. Without being pious nobody can come to a higher platform, to devotional service. It is explained in the Bhagavad Gita that only one who has continuously executed pious activities and whose sinful reactions in life have completely stopped can take to Krishna consciousness. The neophyte devotees are classified into these four groups – the distressed, those in need of money, the inquisitive and the wise – according to the gradations of their pious activities. Without pious activities, if a man is in a distressed condition, he becomes an agnostic, a communist or something like that. Because he does not firmly believe in God he thinks that he can adjust his distressed disposition by totally disbelieving  in Him.”[1]

Agnosticism is just like another diseased condition of the present age. So, according to the level of pious activities we are classified. And don’t forget, in the material world all actions are covered with some mistake. It is said in the Gita that they’re covered like smoke covers the fire, or like baby is covered by mother’s womb, or like dust covers the mirror. Always some shortcomings, some mistakes cover our activities, our consciousness. Therefore a certain process of purification is necessary. We have to remove the dirt from the mirror of the heart. Then you can see properly. The smoke will always cover the flames to some extent, especially when it is wet – then more smoke comes than fire. The fire serves while the smoke only disturbs. So even in some good activities, if there are some negative consequences, we have to discriminate between the two. Some part of your activities might help, but there is a part of your activities that will give more disturbances. Yet the purity of the mirror is hidden under the very thin layer of dust – it’s very close to the original, right? If there is a fire, there is always some smoke, it’s a natural consequence; and from the smoke we can understand there is fire. The most hopeless is the case of the baby in the womb, because there the spark of consciousness is hidden very much. Therefore we have to be careful about our activities – how to act properly, so that less dust, less smoke and less layers of coverings are there.

And if we don’t have firm faith, then we might give up faith totally. Then you become an agnostic. Agnostic is a so to say scientific disbeliever. Or you become a communist. Communist is an even non-scientific disbeliever. They miss the main point – the mystic point in life. Because with any type of material activities you cannot correct the material mistakes. Rather we create more troubles. Of course I don’t say: don’t act, because if you don’t act, there is no reaction. It is said in the Gita[2] that simply by refraining from activity you cannot achieve perfection. A piece of stone is very inactive, yet it is not a spiritual authority. Except if it is coming from some special places, but that’s a different case.

Therefore we have to learn how to act properly, how to think properly, how to speak properly – so that all the different fields of our existence are connected, harmonized with the divine principles. And the language of this harmony is pious life. What can we expect from the divine reality if we lead a very impious life?

(to be continued) 

[1] Nectar of devotion, Chapter 3

[2] Bhagavad Gita 3.4