August 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2013, morning, Sofia)

Discussing the chapter of proper action so far we have heard a very gentle message. We have heard only that proper action is without reaction; if you are a pure soul, you are under divine protection; activity of a dedicated person brings no entanglement and if you practice action or renunciation properly, you will reach the fruit of both. And we discussed how to be peaceful in the city of the material body. But the next verse gives a very serious message:

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.” [1]

This is a very important verse, 5.15, please remember! We can never blame our activities on God – neither good nor bad. The responsibility is not His. And we cannot say that the responsibility is not ours either. Somehow by entering this network of material illusion we are forced to go through different experiences. If we have entered this system of illusion, we are forced to act – most of the time unconsciously. Most of the human beings are not aware of what’s going on. Even if you examine yourself, we work on very basic impulses and instincts. It’s very difficult to control our reactions. If something violent comes to us, usually we react automatically violently. This is a very strange law of nature. For example, if you criticize or note something in others, this is because you are sensitive to that.

Other times you project your problems on others. And you think: ‘Ah, I represent the truth!’ Sorry, you are not aware of what is going on. Those who shout usually they are very weak. We have a proverb in Hungarian: “Those dogs that bark don’t bite”. So, choose your level of awareness. These basic functions and these basic instincts can be traced back to some very few elementary factors. One is how to maintain and protect yourself. Practically the whole nature works under this principle. Living beings try to survive, maintain their lives and try to protect themselves. Therefore all these fights are going on. Because, people included, they want to support and defend themselves. Usually we are accustomed to dominate over something, over anything. If this is a pile of garbage, at least this is my place to dominate. Nobody should enter this pile of garbage.

So, these very basic instincts are there. And we have learned from our scriptures and from our saints that the four basic principles of life are: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. If we perform only this, then what is the difference between a wolf outside and a ‘lamb’ inside? In order to start to be real human beings we have to overcome the basic instincts of material life. So, awareness. What is this awareness? We have to be present. Have you met people when they are really in anger? They lose control totally, you can see in their eyes they are not themselves. They are not aware of what’s going on. And then a certain pattern of activities starts to overpower that person like an avalanche – total loss of control.

This tendency to dominate is there in us. And usually we exercise this through fight. The western European societies try to culture themselves – for the last 50 years they didn’t enter a war with each other. Wow, such a great achievement, ah! But where is their fight now? At the football stadiums; sport is like an alternative for war. Yet the principle is the same: who is the best, who is stronger, who is the world champion. It’s the same – ‘my pile of garbage’.

The other big field where we exercise our basic instinct is sexuality. Who will dominate this female? Right, it is a big fight! The male ones are ready to forget everything, just to get the female. Again you can see – total loss of control if any of these basic biological instincts are harmed or disturbed only a little bit. Lack of awareness of what’s going on. Just like the deer outside, they are ready to fight and clash over the females – who is the alpha-male in the forest, whose genetics will dominate. You are not aware of what’s going on, it’s only the functions of the biological nature. Total absence of control and awareness; some very basic subconscious or deeper code of material entanglement starts to work.

(to be continued)


[1] Bhagavad Gita 5.15

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