Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

What can we do with  a secret? We have three options. First is to search it. The second is to keep it. And the third is to distribute it. There is a fourth also, but it will come later…

Let us focus our attention on keeping the secrets. How to do this? We keep silent. But let us remind ourselves the verse: “This knowledge is the king of knowledge; the secret of all secrets; this is the most pure knowledge; eternal; can be practiced with happiness; and this is the perfection of religion, because by realizing it, it gives direct perception of the self.”[1]

„Bhagavad-gita” is called “Gita-upanishad”. And “Upanishad” means “secret teaching” – to be preserved, to be limited. Still, this secret knowledge, this secret, is discussed between God and His devotee. So, if you have direct conversation with God Himself, then the secrets will be revealed to you. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare – this is the way to directly converse with God. Yet, in order to preserve the strength, in order to preserve the depth and in order to protect the outsiders, this secret should not be revealed to everyone. Why? Because they immediately will die if they get this knowledge. Or – they could not appreciate this. Therefore the secrets should be preserved. If you have a plan, if you have a secret, do not open it up to everyone, because then it will lose the power.

How to preserve, how to protect a secret? What is your opinion? There is one opinion that to protect the secret, we keep silent.Krishnasays in the “Gita”: “I am the keeper of secrets.” But this is very general way – to protect something by hiding. Give me another version – how to protect something.

Kripadham: If we show it.

Tirtha Maharaj: Ah! I have a friend who is a preacher. He always tries to inspire people to worship God and to remember Him. Once he told me: “I tell them to do this and they do not do this! They do the opposite: I tell them to remember and they forget! So I decided another way: I will tell them not to remember Krishna. Because if this is forbidden, definitely they will do it.” I did not try, I did not dare to try to follow this advice, this example. But sometimes it works: if you say a secret too openly, people will not even recognize that this is a secret.

If we want to hide a secret, where can we hide it? They say, the hearts are very deep in order not to read them so easily. But if religion is the inner search for the divine quality inside, then this is a secret knowledge, secret teaching. This secret we have to keep and cultivate in the heart. Our connection to God Himself should be cultivated as an inner search and an inner path. Sometimes we go on pilgrimage and we travel hundreds and thousands of kilometers; but actually this path is leading to inside. We start from ourselves, the small false ego, and reach to our selves, our real identity.

Still, to keep a secret, we can encode it also. Some will have the decoder, others will not have. Those who have the decoder will understand the deeper meaning; those who do not have this device, they will understand something else. So, there is this mantra Hare Krishna. Is it coded or not? One opinion says “yes”. Any other opinion? Other opinion says “no!” The complete answer is “yes and no”. Anyway you cannot pay the price for this mantra! Therefore they make it free. But do not think that this is a cheap mantra! If the essence is hidden here, then we should be able to decode the message.

If mantra – the most sacred formula to reach the absolute goal – is open and hidden at the same time, then we should understand that keeping a secret is impossible without distributing it. Why? Because philosophy keeps the secrets, but mercy is ready to break the codes.

So, if we want to keep a secret for ourselves, we have to give it to others. Why? Because making a secret public will give you the power of secret. It is just like another duality. Many people think that without the light there is no darkness; but we can say that without the darkness there is no light, without the black there is no white. We can also say that without the secret there is no chance to break the codes. Or: without keeping the secret, we cannot distribute; because if somebody has not kept this secret for us, then we would not have anything to distribute. But we can also say: by distributing the secret, you will have more supply, you will have more understanding about the secret, more power will come to us. Therefore Mahaprabhu is considered the Merciful Avatar, who has broken the code, who has broken all the seals on the door of the treasure house. So to make the secret public the energy of mercy is necessary. In this way we can cultivate the secret – by keeping and providing.

I think you all remember that beautiful story when Ramanuja Acharya was receiving the secret mantra from his guru. The guru said: “All right! I know that you are very qualified and I am ready to give you this ultimate mantra, by which you can achieve liberation so easily. But there is one condition: you should not distribute this mantra to anyone!” Ramanuja said: “Gurudev, yes! I will do.” Of course many people understood that the great mantra is being given to the acharya now, so people were gathering, coming together. The ceremony began, the guru gave the secret mantra, it was such a divine atmosphere… After this exhausting ceremony Gurudev was taking a little rest. And all of a sudden what he heard?! Big voice from outside, shouting aloud the secret mantra. He was just rushing out from the hut and said: “Ah, rascal! What are you doing?! You are distributing! Do you know what is the result?” “Yes, Gurudev, I know – eternal hell. But what is eternal hell – if they can achieve liberation?! I am ready to go to hell if they can achieve liberation.”

In this story Ramanuja said twice “yes” to Gurudev. Let us follow his example!

Keeping the secret and distributing the secret. Of course, Ramanuja was protected, he did not have to go to eternal hell. So, if you risk for others, if you risk yourself for others, you will be protected.

[1] “Bhagavad-gita” 9.2

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