Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

ябълки и круши

One of the secrets of the vaishnava creed is that the name and the Named are nondifferent. Western philosophy in the twentieth century has arrived to the same topic of investigation. What is the connection between the words and the thoughts? What is the connection between the words and the objects? How certain objects are named and how the meaning is transferred? If it is possible at all to give a name to something? So in philosophical investigation we have understood that it is very difficult to call the name of anything. There are different explanations how to give a name – this is like a common agreement. For example when we say “an apple” we agree that this object we call “an apple”. And although I have a separate understanding of apple and you have private understanding of apple, still we agree that the same object we call “an apple”. And it helps communication very much. You go to the market, you ask for apples and you will be supplied with apples. Just imagine, you have the conception of an apple and the lady selling the apples, she has got a conception of a pear. So, you ask for apples and you will be supplied with pears. Big scandal!

Words help us to communicate. But unfortunately there is one little problem here in this material sphere – that when you say “apple” still you don’t feel the taste. You cannot fill up your belly with the name. So this is a half mystery, because we have the name, but we have to connect the name with the object. And you cannot just bite into the name “apple”. You might think, you might meditate over this, but it will not happen, because this is the material sphere, where the object and the name are different. This is a divided world, separated into dualities, where the external form and the internal meaning are different.

As I told you, this problem in philosophy – what is the difference between the object and the name – appeared recently. But in eastern philosophy this is a topic of discussion for hundreds and thousands of years. And they have introduced certain theories explaining the meaning of the words. Some theories try to explain this problem like this – that it is the power of the words to carry the meaning. Others say that this is the power of the sentence that will convey the message – not the elements, but the bigger construction. But then again, if you dive deep into the mystery, for example, of Sanskrit language, you will find that even the slimmest particles, the syllables, do have some meaning also. So we can say that this is a multi-layered, incredible, mystic structure. Have you ever thought of that: how interesting is that we can express our thoughts, we can name some objects and the other person will understand at least a portion of what you wanted to say? It is simply incredible that we have a chance to express ourselves and we have a chance to understand the other person! It is just simply beyond imagination, this is magic!

Of course, in most of the cases we misunderstand each other. I say “apple”, you understand “ah, pear!” This is when my field of communication and your field of communication do not contact. A little understanding comes when there is overlapping of these two fields. The more intimate the connection is, the more proper the understanding is, then bigger and bigger parts of these two fields are connected. Is there a complete overlapping of these two fields? What do you think? Try to express your thoughts.

Krishna Priya: It is possible.

Somebody: Between disciple and guru.

Paramananda: When you express the other person’s thoughts.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah, we are very magical this morning! That means we have to read the thoughts first, scan the brain and then we can express the thoughts. Other opinions?

Somebody else: I cannot imagine that complete overlapping exists.

Yashoda: Radhe-Shyam.

Tirtha Maharaj: I think we are very much in a company of idealists. Because you say: “Yes! It exists! Between guru and disciple! We can read the minds of others, we can express the thoughts of others!” And there is Radhe-Shyam included – ah my God! Very high! But there is one realistic approach: “It does not exist!” And I have to support this. Although what you’ve mentioned – that it is possible in a very special connection, like guru-shishya, it is possible reading the mind – yes, I agree. Nevertheless I say except very special unique cases it does not exist. Why? I have an argument to support this view of mine. Because we are unique human beings, we are unique souls. And that means you are one, you are the only one in the universe, no second. That means you have a private view, individual view. We all have this unique individual position and from that position we see the world. So there is no ultimate overlapping. Because we are like spiritual sparks of consciousness and this is personality! Because we are unique persons, therefore we have unique vision, unique understanding, unique opinion. And of course in affectionate connections, in spiritual connections these fields come together very closely. Sometimes there is so intense connection between human beings that they understand each other without words. Sometimes it happens that I think of one of the devotees and immediately sms is coming on the phone. Or, let’s say, the spiritual master is meditating on some of his disciples and the next day the disciple calls the master and says: “Ah Gurudev, I had a dream with you, maybe you need me?” So very intense connection is there, it is possible. But complete understanding… I doubt.


(to be continued)


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