Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“I am the syllable om in the Vedic mantras.”[1] Actually divine life is full of mantras; because in the ancient times people were not speaking in prose, they were speaking in verses. This golden age was so poetic that if they needed words, they would express themselves in poetry. And as in the previous times there existed only two types of living entities – the hansas and the paramahansas, that means the pure heart and the supremely pure heart – they were not talking gramya-katha, ordinary speech; they were always telling some mantras. Because the purpose of a mantra is to glorify the Supreme. And the mantras are full of om.

Sometimes people think that om is an impersonal representation of the Absolute. But here Krishna says: “I am the om.” And according to our understanding om is composed by three sounds – like A-U-M. A stands for Krishna; U stands for Radha; and M stands for jiva. So om is also representing for us the divine love where Radha, Krishna and jiva all meet together.

The Vedic mantras are very strong, very effective. If you do not know the rishi, through whom the mantra comes; if you do not know the devata, to whom the mantra is told; if you do not know your identity; and if you do not know your connection to the divine, then it will have no effect – rather it will give disturbance. Therefore the Vedic mantras are limited. But not the Holy Name mantras; Holy Name mantras are open and free. Therefore Mahaprabhu says: “Always chant, glorify the Holy Names! Kirtanya sada hari.

If you chant the Vedic mantras improperly, then they can disturb you, they can make you crazy. But chanting the Holy Names has converted many stupid guys into divine characters. Vedic mantras are limited by proper time and circumstances in chanting. But Holy Name you can say and chant anywhere and anytime. Shrila Prabhupada says that the Holy Name is just like the full moon for the traveler. The full moon always follows the traveler through the night, never leaves him. So the Holy Name can be the full moon in your life also. Then if you are under the influence of this divine moon, the mystical influence of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the sun of Krishna will rise on the horizon of your heart. Divine moon as Krishna Chaitanya and divine sun as Krishna Himself – they work for your benefit.

[1] “Bhagavad-gita”7.8

Leave a Reply