Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.05.2017 morning, Rila)

We are very fortunate to come together. As to practice spiritual life alone is good, to practice in a couple is better, but to practice in a large and united group is the best. Why? Because everything depends on the spirit. We are not looking for external perfection, but we are looking for some internal refined and polished devotional feeling. And until the spirit is present, everything is fine. Everything shows prosperous signs, everything is alive. As soon as the spirit is gone, maybe some of the external formalities are still there, but you will definitely feel that something – and maybe the most essential part – is missing. Just like a village. Until people are there in a village, it’s alive. All the gardens are nicely cultivated, etc. As soon as the people are gone, maybe the buildings will stay for some time, but the life is extinguished. And try to remember that feeling when you see a ruined or a half-ruined building – it’s a very sad feeling. Because then you feel that life is gone, it’s dead.

It’s the same with the spirit of devotion. It’s a refined, very subtle presence. Therefore we have to cultivate that very subtle willingness. Not the external formalities only by themselves. Because you might have a grand temple, a big building with empty spaces – then what’s the use? Better to have a small ashram full of people. When your greatest trouble is “Where to put the next people who are trying to enter?” It’s a much better problem than to have a big hall and you don’t know how to fill it up.

It’s the same with your heart. So, from the external try to come to the internal. We might decorate our heart and mind with achievements and ambitions, but if it is empty, it’s dead. Please, try to have a living heart! It’s not your abilities, it’s not your powers; it’s something else injected in the heart –the divine spark, the divine chance. The presence of the Supreme.

Primarily who should inhibit a temple? It’s God, right? We all know that we have to construct the temple of the heart, or the heart temple. Who should be there, who should be the main owner of that place? The Supreme Lord. So, try to decorate it nicely.

Rupa Goswami describes how to prepare the sacrificial ground if you want to celebrate the appearance day of Lord Krishna. All the details are given: what kind of decoration should be there, what kind of plants, what kind of flowers, how to make the pavilion, etc. And it’s easier to construct an external pavilion in the garden than to decorate your heart. But actually the heart of a human being is a very special place. Without feet you can live. Without arms you can live. Some people live even without head. It’s possible. But you cannot live without your heart. This is a very essential part here. The greatest happiness and the greatest distress you perceive here. The heart is compared to a lotus flower with different petals, dedicated to different good and bad qualities. So, we have to purify this lotus heart in order to become a lotus throne. Because then the Divine Couple can come and take that throne. And They are very sensitive. They like only the best places – five star heart hotels.

Therefore we need to prepare this place to receive the injective presence of divinity. It is possible. We only need two steps: to learn about it – how to make it, how to accomplish. And the other is to practice. ‘Yes, I have heard about devotion. I know all the steps of аdau sraddha tatah sadhu sangha[1]. I know everything.’ Let’s put it into practice! Start with your faith and accomplish with ecstasy. So, this is the small little path that we have to cover in this lifetime. So beyond the theory we need some experience.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.4.15-16

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