Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

Now we read the Eleventh Chapter from the Fifth Canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Jada Bharata Instructs King Rahugaṇa.

“Jada Bharata said: “My dear King, although you are not at all experienced, you are trying to speak like a very experienced man. Consequently you cannot be considered an experienced person. An experienced person does not speak the way you are speaking about the relationship between a master and a servant or about material pains and pleasures. These are simply external activities. Any advanced, experienced man, considering the Absolute Truth, does not talk this way.

My dear King, talks of the relationship between the master and the servant, the king and the subject and so forth are simply talks about material activities. People interested in material activities which are expounded in the Vedas are intent on performing material sacrifices and placing faith in their material activities. For such people, spiritual advancement is definitely not manifested.

A dream becomes automatically known to a person as false and immaterial, and similarly one eventually realizes that material happiness in this life or the next, on this planet or a higher planet, is insignificant. When one realizes this, the Vedas, although an excellent source, are insufficient to bring about direct knowledge of the truth.”[1]

Very strong words. So far we tried to establish our faith in the Vedas. And here we hear that the Vedas are insufficient for direct experience of the Truth. Then what to do? Well, you can read the books of the Bulgarian Vaishnava Society because that’s a kind of explanation to the Vedas – how to translate the ancient, or better to say the eternal knowledge into an applicable form today. But as it is described here, the Vedas give people a kind of material religiousness. Or we can say, a kind of calculative spiritual process: ‘If you do this, you can achieve that. If you do that kind of sacrifice, that kind of benefit will come to you’ – in that sense it’s like a transaction. But here Jada Bharata wants to say something more, something beyond all these calculations.

When do we realize that a dream was a dream?

Baladev: When we are awake.

Swami Tirtha: Right. If you are awake, you know: ‘Oh, that was only a dream! That was not real.’ Although when you are inside your dream, it seams very real. But when you come to a different level of consciousness, you will say: ‘Oh, that was only a bad dream.’

But ‘dream’ has another meaning also. ‘My dream is to become a good devotee.’ Right, it’s also our dream. But here we cannot say: ‘When I awoke, I understood that it was very insignificant.’ So, ‘dream’ in one sense is like an illusion, or a very special state of mind. Or we can say something that we want to achieve – like an ideal. And how can we live without ideals? It’s impossible! We all need ideals that will nourish the heart and soul.

In that second sense we all need to have dreams. Because they also say ‘Dreams come true’. So, if our dream is to become a really spiritual person – it will come true. If we apply the method properly, sooner or later the spiritual power will pervade us. Just like if you put the iron into the fire, it will acquire the qualities of the fire. It will be reddish, it will be hot. In the same way, if we expose ourselves to the divine reality, some of its qualities should touch us.

And also Jada Bharata here mentioned that “You speak very inconsistently, you pose as an experienced person, but it looks like you are not.” Actually that means we all need realization. It’s not enough simply to repeat some words of some high knowledge, but let’s go there. This is called realization – when it starts to become yours. It’s a part of your reality, or you become a part of that reality – that’s even better.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.1-3

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