Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Effective is very a bad word, but for effective performance in spiritual life – effective in such a sense that fruitful – for fruitful performance in spiritual life you must have some factors. And one factor is rasa. Second is bhaava. And the third is maha-bhaava. Rasa is taste, higher taste or the happiness of the spiritual life. Bhaava is ecstasy and maha-bhava is high type of ecstasy. So actually in the spiritual life there are only two types of feelings, moods: ecstasy and higher ecstasy. Only these two. Among the hundred and eight rules concerning the initiated disciple, one is very important: it is forbidden for him or her to be sad or morose. Therefore there is only ecstasy and high type of ecstasy.

But rasa in the ultimate sense is manifested in the company of Krishna and Radha. And there the circular dance is the highest symbol of perfection. This is called the rasa-dance – such a dance which is full of divine, spiritual happiness. When Krishna is dancing with each and every gopi. One Krishna, one gopi, one Krishna, one gopi. And everybody feels that “He is only with me”. From this we can understand that even on the highest platform you can be a little bit selfish, self-centered. He is with me! And this connection gives such a kind of full attention and happiness and satisfaction that you forget about everything else. You forget that there are some more gopis, you forget that there are some more Krishnas, you see only your beloved.

So this is the renunciation in rasa – when the ecstasy of Krishna is so powerful, that it makes us forget everything else. Just like material love. People are ready to focus their attention very much when they are in love. Forgetting about everything, forgetting reality, realities of life; they live in a dream world. And the girls think: “Ah, he is my prince!” And he thinks: “Ah, she is minimum a demigoddess!” Sometimes you love so much that you forget about yourself also, which is very rare. But if you apply these material feelings in spiritual sense, then we can understand what the highest rasa is. If you completely forget about yourself.

And how to do this? This was shown by Mahaprabhu. All the nectar that is there in Goloka Vrindavana is manifested in Mahaprabhu’s mission. Golokera prema-dhana harinama sankirtana[1] – the wealth of divine love in Goloka Vrindavana is manifested in the harinam sankirtan of Mahaprabhu. Therefore when we join Mahaprabhu’s mission, then we set this goal – rasa. But without full self-control rasa will be imitation. So beware, it is not cheap.


[1] Line of Narottama dasa Thakura’s song

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