Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Friday) 


Whether in Jagannath Puri or in Vrindavan, the question is separation. And separation is touching your heart. When you meet, it also touches the heart yet to a lesser degree. But when you have to say “goodbye”, then it’s painful. Here we can see that although devotees are emotional beings, they try to invent many ways to postpone saying goodbye. They are connected to Mahapabhu so much that five to seven days they stayed more. How long you can stay – maximum five to seven days, right. It’s not that we postpone one week, but we have only one week to stay. You see Kali Yuga is speeding up. What is better – to meet or to separate?

Answer: However crazy it may sound when you are separated from someone, you are always with him. And somehow you manage to arrange your life around the memory of this person. And when you are together, you have the feeling of the coming end. And although it’s very intense and beautiful…

Tirtha Maharaj: …it’s fearful, let’s say. All is very correct. Because what will happen after meeting? Separation, and what’s going to happen after separation? Meeting. So, what is better? It’s the separation, right. Because we can expect meeting again; while if you meet again, then you will have this subtle fear: “We shall be separated.” This is called purva-raga, first attachment, attachment ahead or before. When Radha and Krishna meet, although They are fully in ecstasy by this meeting, still at the core of Their heart They have this tension: “What if we have to separate again?” Purva-ragaraga means attachment and purva means before or ahead of something, first. So, even if you meet, there is a very subtle conception of separation, it’s just lingering around. It’s not fully manifested, it’s just lingering around, and that is fearful. But when you are separated, when the separation is obvious, then you have a hope for meeting again. Which is not something that you know, hidden in the back of your brain, but it’s very obviously possessing your whole identity. So, in unity there is a very vague conception of separation, and in separation there is a very obvious hope for meeting again. You see how the different feelings and emotions are connected and they try to counterbalance.

Therefore Mahaprabhu concluded that the most intensive feeling is separation. And you know it is possible, for example on the human platform, that you suffer so much with this guy or that lady that you are ready to give up his or her company. “I had enough of this!” But when he or she is gone, then you cry again: “Oh, I miss him so much!”

So, what is life? When we are together we’re crying, when we are separated – crying again, right. That was demonstrated by Mahaprabhu here. When He has to say goodbye to the devotees, they are crying, when they decided to stay for one more week – they are crying. So, what is this? Is this the crying sampradaya?

But what is your feeling? Do you feel meeting with Krishna? Where are your tears, my dears? Where is your purva-raga, apprehension of being separated again? And if you are separated, where are your tears? Even if we are connected, or separated – no tears. Why? Because we are so intelligent.

Question of Manjari: We say that in the material world we have time, we have past, future and present, but in the spiritual sky it is only the present. But then when we talk of separation and meeting, we always speak of the future expectation of the new meeting, or the upcoming separation. This is a little confusing for me. Since it is only the present moment, why we live with the future expectation all the time?

Tirtha Maharaj: We can hardly understand how the spiritual sky works, still we have some guidelines. And the revelation works according to our level, explains the things on our level, uses such wording that you could understand.

But in one sense does separation exist at all? What is separation? That is a lack of union, right? So, it’s very difficult to give a positive definition of separation. It’s only a lack of something. We give a definition of separation by union. That means separation is a very special type of union. Practically, separation doesn’t really exist. This is a trick of yoga-maya – to connect you more. You might argue: Oh, but what is union? We cannot give a positive definition of union. Union is something that we can define only with the opposite – when there is no separation. So, practically union doesn’t exist. This is only a special type of separation.

So, what can I say? There are certain things that we don’t understand.

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