Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


So far we were discussing the basic material qualities like ignorance, passion and goodness. But to perform bhakti we also need three things. What are these three elements on the higher platform of bhakti-yoga? I’ll tell you, because maybe this is even more complicated than this om tat sat. It is called prema, bhava and mahabhava. All right, maybe this is the post-graduate level. But if we want to take an intermediate level, then chaitanya achintya prema – these are the next three. So, elementary school: tamas, rajas, sattva. Secondary school: om tat sat. High school: chaitanya achintya prema. And post-graduate: this is the prema, bhava, mahabhava.

Sorry for the many strange expressions, but I think you can understand that there are many levels of spiritual progress, many levels how to practice religion. Like mathematics: one by one equals one – right, this is very simple and elementary thing. Still for the kids it takes a long time to memorize this table. The professors in the university or in scientific institutions also discuss mathematics – on a little different platform.

In the same way religion or love of Godhead is also a science, there are some elementary phases like these three gunas that influence us – this darkness, energy and light – and there are some higher grades of this science. Progress means you come to higher and higher states. The picture becomes more elaborate, more precise – so much so that at the end, if you follow this process nicely, the things again become very simple. In the beginning everything is so simple: chant Hare Krishna and go back home, back to Godhead. On the middle phase it starts to be a little more complicated. But at the end again it becomes very simple.

So, if we are fortunate, from the beginning we can jump to the end. But if you are not so fortunate, you will stick in the middle – overcomplicate everything. Trying to find the truth – in books, in philosophy, in whatever – this is just like when you want to achieve rain and you start to worship the calendar. Rain will not come! The unqualified try to change the weather with certain methods. But some has the power to change weather.

Once a master was travelling with his disciple by the sea. And the master said: “Ah, how beautiful is the sea, but it would be so nice to see a storm on the sea!” “Gurudev, as you like!” next morning there was a big storm on the sea. But then again the master said: “Yes, it is very nice this storm, but it would be so nice to swim in the sea, so a little warm, peaceful weather would be nice.” “As you like, Gurudev!” The next morning beautiful, peaceful weather came. So if somebody is really dedicated, he or she will gain extraordinary powers. Do you want these extraordinary powers?

Somebody: No.

Yamuna: Yes. With such requirements from the guru – yes.

Tirtha Maharaj: Usually these answers come – “yes” and “no”. According to your taste, as you like. If you want – you can achieve; if you want something higher – you can get that also. But that is true; a surrendered soul will achieve unexpected qualities. And it is not necessary that we should make miracles if we dedicate ourselves to the service of our master or God. But by serving the central interest we shall serve our own individual interest also.

So, after studying the nature of material world, the energies, after learning the elementary practices of any religion, then we can come to some higher practices – chaitanya achintya prema. The meaning of these words is: chaitanya means life, achintya means incomprehensible and prema means love. So, how to put these three words together? That life is an unfathomable mystery? Or – from life in a hidden way you can come to ecstasy? Or – life is incomprehensible and love is the answer. There are so many explanations of these three simple words. Chaitanya – life! We have to dedicate our life to Krishna. It will have some incomprehensible effect on your existence. If we start to learn how to give, that means we have come of age. To learn how to give. Achintya – it will work in a very inscrutable way. Most of us don’t know how the detergent works, right, but you put it into the water, you wash and it becomes clean. In the same way we don’t know exactly how life, how devotional service works, but it works very effectively. And by this purification process we can come to divine love, prema.

Of course, if you want to study the science, then we should have a different reading of these words. Because then chaitanya will mean consciousness, achintya will mean philosophy and prema will identify the goal. So, the incredible goal of consciousness is love. Or for us simply it will mean Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Avatar. His philosophy was achintya and His gift was divine love. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very close to the human beings.

And then, when we have understood deeply and comprehensively all these levels, then we can go to the next – prema, bhava, mahabhava.

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