Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 02.05.2018, Rila)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Now we can go to our next topic – theology. With philosophy we tried to figure it out: what it is, how it is…? Theology should tell us: who is this? So, the main question of theology is whether this superior reality is personal or impersonal. Because theoretically we can agree even with a disbeliever that ‘there is something behind’. But can you specify it? Then it starts to be more interesting.

One main opinion says that you cannot specify the divine. Because this is beyond all your conceptions, beyond your understanding, etc. etc. Not this, not that, you cannot understand it, you cannot see it, you cannot name it, you cannot catch it, you cannot talk to it, you cannot approach it, you cannot do anything about it. So, we can conclude that divine truth is impersonal.

All right, we can agree on this point. Truth is truth. But as we discussed before, this is only the second grade of experience. The first is that there is something beyond – this is the first step. The second is that this is the truth, like consciousness – so there is some superior consciousness there. But this is not the ultimate word in spirituality, because bliss, anandam, is beyond. Ecstasy is beyond the truth. Therefore we can say that all right, if truth is impersonal, then love is necessarily personal. Without personality what kind of love is there? It’s a mere theory! Once somebody told me: “When I reach enlightenment, I will become love.’ And I said: “And then? What’s next? What you are going to do?” This very strong philosophy was valid only until a beautiful young lady appeared. Then our young friend immediately understood that the story is a little different.

For love – even on the human platform, what to speak of the divine, spiritual platform – you need partners. This superior truth, this superior level of existence – how can you name it? There’s no way, because this is beyond experience, beyond our human imagination, all right. But how can you not name a compassionate loving God?! There is no other way to approach Him, only by – well, I don’t say ‘giving Him a name’, but by finding His identity; the name is an identity. So, the name presupposes divine love and divine love presupposes the name.

This is our philosophy – the holy name. This is our theology – the holy name. You can say: this is our vedanta. Vedanta – the end, the crown of our knowledge – is that something exists. And our siddhanta is that it’s Him. So, philosophy will tell us that there is something and theology will teach us who that is.

What is important here? That the Supreme is not limited in any way to show Himself, irrespective of the limitations of human beings. And the debate whether you perceive the supreme reality like a constant energy flow or you see the personal beauty of that superior reality – it depends on your taste, on your approach.

(to be continued)

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