Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.06.2017 evening, Sofia)

Actually we can say that sambandha is yoga. Because yoga means to be connected. So if the foundation of any spiritual practice is sambandha or yoga, then what is the next step? What is abhidheya?

Answer: Serving.

Swami Tirtha: Good. And what type of school of yoga we belong to? It’s called bhakti, right. So the next step – what to do – is bhakti. Practice bhakti, practice devotional service. Based on yoga you practice bhakti; what you will reach? Prema, divine love. It’s very simple: yoga, bhakti, prema – this is our program for this lifetime. And hopefully this is the program for all our friends who practice yoga. They are in the first step – yoga. Yoga is there to establish the connection with God, with divinity. Then second: if you want to do something about your relationship with the Supreme – practice bhakti, join the devotional service, practice all the different elements of this bhakti process. What are the nine main practices of bhakti? Shravanam, kirtanam, vishnu-smaranam, archanam, vandanam, pada-sevanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam. These are the nine principles: listen to the stories of God, glorify Him and remember Him – these are your individual activities, we can say that shravanam-kirtanam this is like the personal foundation; and what we can do is archanam, vandanam and pada-sevanam – the worship, the prayers and the different practical services; and what we can develop – we can develop service mood, friendly mood and finally we can fully dedicate ourselves – dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam. You see, it works three by three – three are united under one main idea, main focus.

So, practice bhakti and finally you will reach prema, divine love. And love of Godhead is a higher stage than atmarama. Atmarama – the bliss that we can perceive from our own spiritual identity – is a very high stage, but even higher is the bliss that we can perceive from the interaction between Krishna and Radha. Are you happy about yourself?

Answer: Yes!

Swami Tirtha: Good! This is atmarama – ‘I’m happy!’ But we can be happier if we meditate upon the Divine Couple.

Yet what is this attractive power here that invites us to dance? That helps us to move, to make the next step – although life is so complicated? Where does this attractive power come from?

Answer: From Gurudev?

Swami Tirtha: No! Don’t be so romantic, it comes from God. So, let’s discuss this topic: why Krishna? ‘God’ is like a very general name. General and generic also. Not specified. Like ‘human being’ – this is our generic name, not specified. All are included. So, all the aspects of this supreme divine reality are included in the name ‘God’. And more specifically we say ‘Krishna’. But why Krishna? Why not Rama? Why not Buddha? Why not Jesus? Why not Allah? Or you can bring all the other names of God. Why? Why Krishna? ‘Because you belong to the Krishnaite, ha? No, there is some more reason. But what – this is what we have to understand.

Krishna is a very popular God in India. Usually humans are lovers, right, because this is what makes our life so exciting, ha? Human beings are lovers; and in all the young couples loving each other people want to see Krishna and Radha – as a reflection, this makes them to remember the Divine Couple. Krishna is such a nice hero – handsome, young, powerful, healthy, wealthy, wise, everything. He is a real ideal! So everything is there in Him – what else!? And He is so human. He is not showing any frightening divine aspect; He comes like us. No thunderbolts and burning bushes… no, He comes like a cowherd, very charming.

(to be continued)

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