Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 03.01.2018 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“Once a great realized sage was lamenting that the Supreme Lord Krishna was living in Dvaraka, but that he was unable to take advantage of seeing Him. After thinking this, the sage immediately became stunned. He was thinking that he was simply wasting his time. In other words, the sage lamented because the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present, but he still could not take advantage of this because of his meditation.
“When Lord Krishna, along with His elder brother Balarama and sister Subhadra, came to Kurukshetra in a chariot on the occasion of a solar eclipse, many mystic yogis also came. When these mystic yogis saw Lord Krishna and Balarama, they exclaimed that now that they had seen the excellent bodily effulgence of the Lord, they had almost forgotten the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman realization. In this connection one of the mystics approached Krishna and said, “My dear Lord, You are always full with transcendental bliss, excelling all other spiritual positions. And so, simply by seeing You from a distant place, I have come to the conclusion that there is no need of my being situated in the transcendental bliss of impersonal Brahman.
“Bilvamangala Thakura, in his book Krishna-karnamrita, says, “Let the impersonalists be engaged in the process of transcendental realization by worshiping the impersonal Brahman. Although I was also initiated into that path of Brahman realization, I have now become misled by a naughty boy – one who is very cunning, who is very much attached to the gopis and who has made me His maidservant. So I have now forgotten the process of Brahman realization.
Bilvamangala Thakura was first spiritually initiated for impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth, but later on, by his association with Krishna in Vrindavana, he became an experienced devotee. The same thing happened to Shukadeva Gosvami, who also reformed himself by the grace of the Lord and took to the path of devotional service, giving up the way of impersonal realization.” [1]

Here these different concepts of Godhead are practically discussed. Whether we perceive His general presence, divine vibration, energy platform; or we see a personal face, a personal form. Sometimes we lose our vision due to this divine effulgence. We don’t see the face of the Supreme behind this effulgence. But as without the sun there is no sunshine, in the same way without the face behind there is no emanation. Without the person behind there is no emanation of any energies. Therefore it is a very nice prayer: “Oh, my Lord, powerful like the fire, please, remove this effulgence that covers You, that hides You from me, from my sight and show me Your original presence.”
And usually for those who are in this passive mood in relationship with the Supreme, it is mentioned that: “According to some authorities, this condition cannot be accepted as one of the transcendental humors, or rasas, but Shrila Rupa Gosvami says that even if one does not accept it as a transcendental humor, one must still accept it as the beginning position of devotional service. However, if one is not further raised to the platform of actual service to the Lord, he is not considered to be on the platform of transcendental mellow. In this connection, in the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna personally instructs Uddhava like this: “The state of being established in My personal form is called shanta-rasa, and without being situated in this position, no one can advance to actual pure devotional service.” In other words, no one can be situated in the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead without being situated at least in shanta-rasa.” So, first at least we should be established in the shanta-rasa in order to progress further.

(to be continued)

1. The Nectar of Devotion, Ch. 35

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