Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Friday)

Swami Tirtha: And what about the aparadhas, the mistakes in chanting? What is your vision?

Kripadham: It’s not good. Because there is no result.

Swami Tirtha: Because there is no result – correct! You can go on chanting the holy names for thousands of years, but if you are not attentive, you will not reach the fruit of chanting. What is the fruit of chanting?

Hayagriva: Love of God.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. Simple love or ecstatic love? We have to be very careful: in order to reach our goal we have to try to do everything properly. And how to avoid the offences? Sometimes I meet people, usually Christians, who are very much afraid of the devil, so much so that they develop a devil consciousness. Everywhere they see the devil: “Oh, this is the trick of the devil! Oh, this is the smile of this Satan!” and they forget about their beloved God – Lord Jesus. So, better we develop instead of a devil consciousness – God consciousness. So, if we apply the same in the devotional circles, many devotees develop a maya consciousness. “Oh. This is maya, this is illusion, this is aparadha! Prabhu, what you do is an aparadha! What I do is the absolute truth, but what you do is an aparadha!” So, instead of developing a maya consciousness, let’s develop a divine, a Krishna consciousness! Focus your mind, focus your feelings on God, on positive. Not on the dark side.

The best way to avoid aparadhas in chanting is to focus on chanting. Because if we are connected to the source, to the positive, automatically the negative will diminish. It is very simple. This is the way to avoid offences. Of course it’s very good to know the list of the offences, but if we are engaged in positive services, naturally, automatically you avoid grand mistakes.

The second on the list of Srila Rupa Goswami is to avoid the company of non-believers: asat-sanga-tyaga, ei vaishnava-achara[1] . So, to give up the company of asat, or non-permanent, non-divine company – this is one sign of the vaishnava. Asat is illusion, sat is real. Asatoma sat gamaya – from the unreal lead me to the real. This transition should be there, from the unreal we should come to the real. From the unreal association we should come to the real. We should be careful: it is not written that a vaishnava should give up the company of people. Because if somebody would understand this principle in this way before coming to you and giving you the message, you wouldn’t sit here. But what does it mean to give up the association of non-believers? It doesn’t mean that all right, on Monday we made a mistake because we accomplished our jobs, but tomorrow – now we know – we should give up false connections. So, I go to my job and I tell to my boss: “Sorry, you are asat-sanga, I am a vaishnava, so “asat-sanga-tyaga, ei vaishnava-achara”. No, association means that you share the ideals – in a positive and in a negative sense also. So, if you associate with stupid people and you share their ideals, this is asat-sanga. But if you associate with saints and you share their ideals, this is sat-sanga. Yet if you associate physically with the saints and still don’t share their ideals, this is again asat-sanga for you. The formality is not enough: “I am sitting here in the temple for twenty years, but doing nothing” – it’s not enough. Do something about it! Share the ideals! Be an active servant. And what is the meaning, the real meaning of sat-sanga?

Kripadham: Discussions about the truth.

Swami Tirtha: Closer, closer, yes! Word by word meaning of sat-sang is “meet the truth”. To face the truth. Therefore a real sat-sang is demanding. Do you really want to face the truth or you want a cheap, easy and tender version? So, sat-sang means “meet the truth”. And as Krishna is the ultimate truth, sat-sang ultimately means “meet the loving aspect of the truth”. So, don’t avoid people, avoid the bad habits of people. Help them to come to a higher platform of spiritual realization.

(to be continued)

1. “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya Lila 22.87

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