Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question of Maha Vishnu: There is a story about a certain man, who did not do any spiritual endeavour, but his son was named after one of God’s names and when this person died, he called his son by the name and therefore he achieved spiritual realm. At the same time we are told by our masters that we should chant sixteen rounds a day whole life and it may be not enough to go to spiritual realm, some even say that at least three lives are needed. How to harmonize this? It sounds quite contradictory.

Tirtha Maharaj: The original story goes a little different, because our friend was a paka-bramin, first class bramin in the beginning. But later on due to bad association, he almost lost the merits. Still one merit he could preserve and this was that he named his son after God. At the end due to his fatherly affection he called out the name of his son: “Na-ra-ya-na!” and he had to leave the body. And you know, when you leave the body, you will meet certain friends around. Depending on the tendency of your life you will meet some dark friends or some bright friends. He has committed all the three types of sins – the great, the extra great and the super great. So with these three activities he invited three dark friends, three dark messengers. They came to snatch him to the appropriate place, where the sinners are taken care of. But his last word was “Na-ra-ya-na”, so it was four syllables. And for these four syllables he invited four bright messengers. And four is more than three. So they started a deal about the soul of our friend. The dark messengers said: “Ah, he belongs to us. Just look at his life, he has committed all the sins, lost all the merits, so he should come with us.” But the bright messengers protested: “Why did you come, why did you enter here? You have no business here. This person is pure.” “Pure!? How pure? He lives with a prostitute, robbing the father and mother and doing all nonsense.” “No, he has pronounced the name of the Lord.” Finally they could not decide whether down or up. So they decided: “All right, let us give him another chance. So he did not die on the spot, but he returned to life, so to say. You see, he returned to a normal state of consciousness. Even death you can conquer by the holy names! And all the mistakes you can imagine you can correct or rectify by the names.

Death is quite an intensive moment. Then we shall face reality, no doubt. So why should we wait until the moment of death? If we can regain our normal state of mind now, by chanting now, while living, why should we wait for the last moment? And once you started and you have the higher taste, you cannot give it up. For one lifetime, for three lifetimes, for eternity – it does not matter.

Once somebody asked me a question I could not answer. So with that question I went to a higher authority. I told: “Maharaj, I have a question. Somebody told me, that the holy name has become bitter on his lips.” And he gave a very laconic answer. He said: “It was not the holy name.” So you can judge – if it is little bitter, it is not the holy name yet. If it is a noise, it might be the holy name, but not harmoniously tuned. But if it is the holy name, it will have some miraculous results and effects.

Just like in the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You know, He was emotionally a little sensitive, so to say. And His personal attendant, Govinda, was taking care of Him. He always tried to pacify Him. He always told Him: “Ah, my dear Lord, don’t cry.” Whenever Mahaprabhu was crying, he told Him: “Don’t cry!” It was very effective, Mahaprabhu stopped crying. Because He likes to satisfy His devotees. If you ask: “Don’t cry,” He would not cry. But in Mahaprabhu’s time they also had some social life. Like here, I see that you meet people, you go out for dinner, you exchange with people. So many were visiting Mahaprabhu, like Ramananda Raya, Svarupa Damodara, the Gosvamis, others great devotees. And they were also so sensitive, that they could feel the emotional state of Mahaprabhu. And it was enough for them to quote a few verses from “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, to upset Mahaprabhu. And then He started to cry. The guest devotees reminded Him of the lilas and He immediately lost His temper. And then Govinda was upset: “I try to pacify, and then they come and make Him upset! What is this!? They work against me. Such guests, my God!” So Mahaprabhu tried to satisfy all His devotees. If somebody says: “Cry!” – He is crying. Others say: “Don’t cry!” – He is not crying. Be so tender like Him.

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