Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

Question of Prem Gopal: If we accept that suffering is leading to compassion, when we help some suffering beings, do we take their karma and aren’t we making ourselves seem more compassionate than God?

Swami Tirtha: Well, ultimately I think it depends on the mood of our commitment. Because if we simply act on the material platform, no doubt we shall accomplish the karma of others and ourselves also. So, we simply become instruments of the karma. By non-conscious or less conscious activities we simply feed this karmic action-reaction platform. But if we dedicate ourselves to God, when we want to become instruments of divine mercy, then it will change. If we become instruments of divine mercy, then whatever we do, we serve the benefit of others. I think this is not interference into the karmic plane, but bringing a higher power to the lower stages.

We were walking in Vrindavana once and there was a snail or some very slow animal crossing the road. I took the animal to the other side of the road, not to be smashed by something. And then somebody from the group came to me and said: “Ah, Maharaja! How can you interfere in the karma of this living entity! Maybe his karma is just to be there on the road!” What can you say when someone is challenging you like this? I said: “All right, but maybe his karma was that I remove him to the other side.” How can we know what the karma of another living being is? We don’t even know our karma.

Nevertheless, if we try to act compassionately, I think you commit fewer mistakes than if you act very stubborn. But I agree and what you mentioned is very important: if we want to exercise more mercy than God Himself, that’s a big misunderstanding. So we should respect the whole system, because everything is under control. But if we can become instruments of divine mercy, we readily accept that role.

Question of Shyama Tulasi: I want to ask: how is our spiritual name related to our real identity?

Swami Tirtha: I don’t know. Because it is not decided by a human. If it were decided by me, I could say something about it. As it is not, I am simply observing and admiring the process. But it works. So please, you also observe and admire the process.

But basically we can say that names are either a summary of our capacities or a program for our life. I don’t know for example in the case of Manoram Prabhu whether this bliss of the mind and consciousness is a summary of his path covered so far or this is a program for the future. But in any case, this is a good name. So, let’s try to realize the spiritual essence of our names. It’s a guideline for us.

And also this is very useful, because if you remember the devotees and if you chant their names, let’s say if you have a very good friend devotee and at the end of your life if you will say: “Oh, Gopi Bhava, can you bring some water to me!” Or better, we say: “A little water, Gopi Bhava!” and then you die. Then what is your next destination? Gopi-bhava. So, it’s useful. Therefore we need to have good devotees always around. And therefore we try to cultivate this very gentle, very friendly, very intimate mood with the devotees. Because we never know which our last moment is.


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