May 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question: You mentioned that by chanting the Holy Names slowly the heart is purified, how slowly it is happening?

Swami Tirtha: Depends on the practitioner. But again another proof that you come from the banks of the Ganges is that you have the same expression, the same word – „бавно”[1]. Little distortion happened throughout the centuries that now it means slowly. But there previously it had another meaning and it meant “full of emotions” – bhavno full of emotions you have to chant the Holy Names! So, from “emotions” in Kali Yuga we came to “slow”.

Anyway, how slow or how fast the process is – I think the process is very quick if we practice it properly. If you don’t do it correctly, then very weak results will be there. Nevertheless, the process itself is very powerful. And you can see if somebody applies the process, or not. When somebody follows he is a very nice person, immediately improving the character and the habits. If the person gives up the practice, he will fall down back to the same level that he started from. So, from this you can see that the process, the following of the process is very powerful, it helps you. Your very quick perfection to be achieved in two years is actually not your achievement; this is the result of your practice. So, until you follow the practice you will enjoy the results. Whenever you give up the practice you will lose the results, I mean on the manifest platform. Do you follow, do you understand what I mean? Therefore it is recommended to “follow this process permanently and also very selflessly. Because then it will fully satisfy the heart and soul.”[2] So, I think the process of perfection is very powerful and very quick.

Kripadham: You said in a non-egoistic way, what does it mean? What does it mean to follow the process in a selfless way?

Swami Tirtha: Usually people want to achieve results or success very quickly and most of the people want to enjoy the fruits. Our version is that we want to cultivate the process and leave the results up to Krishna. So, in good times or bad times, in respect or disrespect we just follow the process. Even if we are successful, so to say, or non-successful, we should cultivate the process nicely and leave the fruits up to Krishna.

We started meeting here the devotees before ten years. Ten years – is it a long time, or a short time? I think it’s a long time. In ten years your kids grow up. The beginning, the first steps are practically unseen, so insignificant. But don’t forget, even the longest trip starts with the first steps. And then after ten years we all sit here, glorify the Lord by chanting His Names and meeting each other. So, if you see that, if you observe the process that you follow nicely, that you try to cultivate according to principles, then later on you should also follow that cultivation. Try to understand what I mean. For many years of work you have achieved something – that you are sitting here. Sometimes you might feel that this is not a very big achievement, but it is great. Because what would happen if you don’t cultivate for those long years? One thing is for sure – you wouldn’t be sitting here. So, this is a fruit of your efforts for the last many years. Don’t stop! Go on practicing and after the next ten years we shall again come together and share what we had seen, what we have noticed during this period. Don’t be lured by the obvious results, the secret is hidden deeper.

Question: I would like to go back to the quote from the Bhagavad Gita – why it is said that one in one hundred thousand can return back home, back to Godhead? What does it mean – that only one is serious enough? Because I know that finally that depends on the mercy of Krishna if he’ll return or not.

Swami Tirtha: Many are invited, but few are selected.

Comment: Then what does it depend on?

Swami Tirtha: Try to enter deeper the rasa and then you will understand. Maybe now you are in the trap of intellectual understanding. Don’t try to understand the words of God or to analyze. It’s enough to respect, worship.

Comment: Didn’t He give them so that finally somebody can understand His point?

Swami Tirtha: Many can understand. But how shall we understand? This is the question – how to understand? Looks like I am very far away from understanding these words. This question is very similar to one question to Srila Gurudeva. Usually devotees want to improve their chanting, their spiritual practice of the prayer of the Holy Name, so somebody asked: “How can I improve my chanting?” Good question, isn’t it? And what was Gurudev’s answer? He said: “To improve your chanting you should serve those who chant properly. Because through your service mood their power and their blessings will come to you and then you will be able to chant properly.” So, if you want “to understand” the words of God, then better you serve those who understand the words of God properly. Then due to your service mood this knowledge or this understanding will come to you.

Do you agree? Everybody agrees? Everybody? Are you so neophytes?! No criticism, no doubts, no questions? Well, the proper understanding will come to you due to your service, or due to some other reason?

Prema: Due to Their mercy.

Swami Tirtha: Obviously. Our service, our service mood is only to show the willingness that we are ready to do it. But the results will come from Krishna, from the superiors. This is the proper mood that we should acquire and this is rare to achieve. From thousands one can really understand.

[1] „”slowly” in Bulgarian sounds similar to the Sanskrt “bhavena” which means “with emotion”

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6

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