Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 02.10.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Question of Vedavid: We heard in the beginning that “chastity is faithfulness to the cause for which we have come”. But then we also heard that many people just don’t know why they come, it’s just nice.
Swami Tirtha: Yes! We are attracted to beauty, isn’t it? But if after this initial attraction we apply this shishya-abhiman, this mentality of a disciple, we let ourselves be instructed and we go through this systematic education, then maybe we shall understand something. We come from forgetfulness. First we have to come to knowledge and understanding. And then later on we can go to the next level of forgetfulness again. But without learning before, what you will forget? So we need some data – to forget about. Because what is the ideal of rupanuga-sampradaya?
Vedavid: Gyana-shunya-bhakti[1].
Swami Tirtha: All right, but in a very general sense – gopi-bhava[2] . Gopis themselves admit: “We are not philosophers. We are not educated city ladies. We are simple village girls. So don’t try to satisfy us with some theoretical recommendations: “Meditate over Me”! It’s not for us. We are not satisfied with Your meditation; we want You!” So, if this is our ambition, then let’s forget all else.
But of course we have to be educated on what to forget and what not to forget. Krishna says: “From Me come knowledge, forgetfulness and remembrance.”[3]  First we can acquire the spiritual knowledge, forget about material entanglement. So even in the very beginning both are very useful – some divine spiritual knowledge and some divine forgetfulness. Then memory: recall whatever you have learned, whatever you have experienced. Maybe you can go deeper in whatever spiritual experience you have collected before. But then again we have to apply the same principles – forget. Forgetfulness on the higher platform is very much necessary again. Because we have to forget about aishvarya – the grandeur of God – and we need to associate heart-to-heart, in a very intimate manner. That includes this spiritual, divine forgetfulness. As Krishna is ready to forget about His divine position. So, forgetfulness on a higher platform is very much necessary.
But if we start from this disturbed and agitated state of mind, from this jungle of ideas and misconceptions, of course we need to be educated and we need to learn something. So knowledge might be important in the beginning. But ultimately this is the attraction, it’s not the knowledge.
Question of Yogeshvara: What is this that can attract you? That can capture you?
Swami Tirtha: Me? Dedication. Yes. Before I liked knowledge also. Still it’s got some prestige, in my understanding. Also truth; this I consider something that is worth fighting for – truth, divine truth. But as you asked what is it that captures me – this is dedication. Because this is something that I want to learn. And I see very good examples in your case. I feel that you serve your spiritual masters much better than I could serve my master. Therefore I try to follow your example. This is my weak point – dedication.
And finally, let me share something that I have learned from one devotee recently. There was a discussion: what would be the symptom that this certain group of devotees will be recognized through? What is our general symptom? And then somebody said: “The quality and the taste of the service – that is what unites us.” It’s a very delicate thing; please, try to acquire this. The quality of service will unite us. This is the sign that we must carry on our forehead.

1. Devotion not mixed with knowledge
2. The mood of the gopis
3. Bhagavad Gita 15.15


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