Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


How to preserve our happiness? I think we can all agree that practically all living entities are searching for happiness. Right, everybody wants to be happy. Just in brackets – this is not our ultimate impulse; there are some higher ambitions also. But happiness is a very general desire for all human beings. If we are neophytes in the science of happiness, then we shall try to find happiness externally – for example, in possessing things. I don’t want to make any propaganda for this Serdika Mall, but they try to provide everything for your possessive mentality. And there is a promise: “If you buy this, you will be happy.” This starts to become like psychological disease, especially for ladies. When they are stressed or little frustrated, they go shopping. Poor husbands, somebody has to pay the bills.

But anyway, if we search for our happiness externally, you will possess, but happiness will not come. Once they made a research: in an average western house we have 10 000 objects. Just go home and check it out. Just like a shopping centre! Are you happy? No, we know that happiness comes from a different source.

May I tell you a very emotional, personal story? Once I visited India. It was a holy place. You know on a holy place many pilgrims are there and also many beggars. And if you spend some time in India, you will be immuned to some of the sufferings of the other human beings. Because there are so many disabled people and diseased persons around… It’s difficult to see and to feel and to have compassion all the time. But at that moment what I have seen it was shocking for me. There was a man practically crawling on his chest. The legs were half broken and distorted and whatever left from his legs was just around his neck… Practically he was living in 30 cm. height from the ground. He could not raise, he was crawling. That was very unusual, very bitter – practically he was in the foot dust of others. So I was thinking what to do. Shall I take this person and bring him back to Europe? Remove him from his natural environment, provide so to say a better life? But I had to say: no. Most probably I cannot provide a better place than his homeland. So I had no other solution than to give a little donation to this person. Some money. And when I bowed down to him – because he was on the ground – he was looking up and from that utterly distorted body a beautiful face was looking up! With eyes shining with bliss! I was shocked and I understood that better I think deeply what is bliss and what is suffering.

You see, this is the secret. We have 10 000 objects in our homes and we complain. He is living 30 cm. above the ground, possessing nothing, and is fully happy! He’s got a secret. And this secret, this mystery we have to learn.

So until we think that happiness comes from possessing things, it’s a big mistake. Possessing friends – that’s different. Friends and human beings can bring great happiness to our life. But of course they can bring the greatest suffering also. So, we should search for our happiness in a different way, find the eternal connection. And this is the mystic path of yoga. If we come closer and closer to our original identity, we shall perceive our eternity, our consciousness and our bliss.

Eternity means life. It means existence. But existence without consciousness has got any meaning? Existence without consciousness is like a cucumber. So we need a conscious existence. And if our existence is conscious, then we should use our consciousness to search our eternal happiness.

So, happiness does not come from possessing things. Maybe happiness comes from fighting for my ambitions? Or achieving my goals, forcing my opinion on others? Right, it makes you feel very powerful. But may I have two volunteers for a little demonstration? It’s not painful. Yes, please! And one more? Come! Take this end of the ribbon and you should take that end. This is like a barometer, an indicator of happiness. Now let’s try: if both of you are very much determined to achieve your goals against the other opinion, pull the ribbon. What will be the result, what do you feel?

Volunteer: Tension.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. Big tension! So give a little, you also give a little. What do you feel now?

Volunteer: Peace.

Tirtha Maharaj: Relaxed, right? So, if we are very determined on our opinion, we shall feel tension. If you are ready to give a little – relaxation. So, if this ribbon is a symbol of the mouth, what is this? “I am very determined!” If you are ready to give, it’s a smile. Therefore this is the indicator of family happiness. If everybody is very intent on their opinion against the others, then our mouths will be shut and very thin. When you are ready to give up a little then everybody will be happy. So, how to preserve our happiness? Well, I would not say “give up”, but be flexible, be relaxed. Thank you very much for demonstration.

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