Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question of Premananda: You spoke that when we look at our life we can see the divine plan. But in a modern life, in a city, we often live like in a whirlpool and one does not know exactly where he is, where he has been, where he’s going to be, whether there is day or night… So my questions are: first how to gain understanding in which direction to go and second: even if we get idea in which direction to go, how to gain strength to go in that direction? Because the whirlpool is also going on and it is very powerfully sucking you back.

Swami Tirtha: Well, this is called the labyrinth. We don’t know where the entrance is and where is the way out. You described very nicely the situation. But even if one stupid mouse can find the way out, we should be also able to find the way out. How they train the mouse? First they train the mouse to find the center of the labyrinth by putting cheese there. This is very attracting to the mouse. By the smell he will find the way. Therefore control of the nose is so important. Because it can lead you to the center or it can lead you to the depth of the labyrinth.

So, if we have a goal, then we shall find the way to reach that goal. Once on a lecture a spiritual teacher told: “If you have material desires – very good, try to enjoy them!” And you know, we were a little perplexed. All the time we have heard that material desires will bring you more into the labyrinth. But then he added: “Because soon these desires will burn up and then you will come to your senses.”

But your question is very important, because if we accept a certain set of environment, then we can follow its rules. If we put the same human being into a different environment, he will face some troubles. The labyrinth is called in Sanskrit maya, “illusion”. Or if you want to put: this is the matrix. And this illusion works over us for innumerable lifetimes. But originally we are spirit sparks. So this illusion can cover your original consciousness only partly. Therefore if we want to find something permanent in an impermanent world, then this is our goal; and if we have the goal, then we can go for it.

And the second part of your question was where the force or the power comes from. Again this is very important. The advice of yoga is: if you want to achieve something, try to practice independence from the thing, a kind of renunciation. It’s very unusual, because we are trained that we shall obtain our goals if we desire it very much. But think: how and when did it happen that you achieved something? And you will see that if you had this independence from your desire, it came much easier. Because God is merciful. If He knows that something that you desire so much is not good for you, He will not give. But when you are strong enough, then He will trust you and give you more trouble.

So power, force comes from renunciation. You all must have read about tapasya, tapas? Tapas comes from the root tap, and tap means “to heat”. Burning means you generate energy. So, if you practice renunciation, tapas, for some spiritual goal, it will generate more energy for you.

And also if we find the saints in our life, they will guide us. They are like the torchlights, showing us the direction. If you are drowning in the ocean and you see a lighthouse, then you will know the direction. The saintly personalities are like this. They bring the light even in the darkness. Fortunately enough, if there is only one little flame in a dark room, the darkness is practically finished. And it does not matter how much darkness you want to import in this room – it will not help, it cannot put out the light.

So, please, don’t forget to search for perfection. First try to set the goal, then try to find the way to achieve your goal. And don’t forget about these five principles: life is not so easy, but help is close, you are not the center of the universe, divine arrangement exists and divine love is the way.

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