Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 29.09.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Control of the mind – this is a very popular topic of all the different pseudo-spiritual trainings. But how to control our mind? What do you think?

Answer: I don’t know!

Swami Tirtha: It’s easy to say. But if somebody comes to you and asks: “Can you help me to control my mind?”, would you say: “I don’t know how”?! It’s not enough, that’s not helpful. What will you say? How to control the mind? What is your advice?

Question: My mind?

Swami Tirtha: No, my mind! I want to control my mind; what is your advice?

Answer: To meditate.

Swami Tirtha: You see, that’s good advice. Nice. All the Vedic scriptures have two types of advice: always remember God and never forget Him. Easy! Good advice is always very simple. Ultimate truth is not complicated. And through this meditation we can come in contact with the source of everything. So that’s a very perfect way of controlling the mind – in case we are not victims of some kind of spiritual illusion.

But here in the Yoga Sutras it is said: “To avoid the wild thoughts and cruel ideas, we can control the mind through developing better ideas.” So, instead of a bad practice, try to develop and cultivate some good practice. Give food to the mind. Because if you would say to people: “Don’t think of anything!”, it will never happen. First of all, if a person is a moderate one, he will ask: “Can you explain to me what is nothing?” Then you will have a hard time. Or other times, if he is not so polite, he will simply say: “It’s impossible!” So, negative advice is not enough. We need a positive cultivation.

Do you remember the steps given by Rupa Goswami according to the spiritual progress, starting from faith?

Krishna Priya: Sadhu-sanga, anartha-nivritti

Swami Tirtha: Very nice! Adau shraddha, tatah sadhu-sanga, tha bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivritti[1]. So the first step is faith, to develop faith, to exercise our faith, to show our faith. It is said: if you don’t understand something, try to believe it; if you cannot believe, try to respect it. So you see, understanding has so many different aspects, so many fine delicate methods of approach. And then the advice also goes on: if you cannot do that either, then try to glorify it. So, from understanding we come to glorification – as a method to approach the truth. Beautiful!

But we need to focus on this control of the mind, right – how to control my mind? Don’t give nothing to your mind, because it will not be satisfied; give something! Something better, a better engagement than the previous one. I have learned this from one very elevated great devotee. Once Tripurari Maharaj, a very dear brother of my Gurudev, explained that anartha-nivritti, or the relief from bad qualities, is very much possible through the positive cultivation of artha-pravritti – not only to reject something that is useless, but cultivate something that is useful.

So if we give to a person the advice to meditate – let him meditate over something. Have a positive type of meditation, a positive type of cultivation. In order to avoid the bad ideas, we need to develop good ideas. It’s very simple! This is the way to cultivate the mind, to train it in such a way that it will develop and react in this manner – giving only good, positive feedback.

(to be continued)

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya, 23.14-15

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