September 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 31.07.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

We have to be able to identify who is who. Arjuna asked Krishna: “How to recognize a saintly person?” Krishna said: “One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence”.[1]

One of our main capacities as human beings is our intelligence. And our intelligence is a reflection of our consciousness. Consciousness is higher than intelligence and intelligence is higher than mind. Mind is higher than the senses, and the senses are higher than the sense objects. So, this is the line – first is the object and ultimately, finally we shall reach the level of consciousness. And all these different levels of our existence – like the thoughts, the senses, the mind and the intelligence – should be purified in order to achieve this fixed state of consciousness.

This is a discussion between God Supreme and His friend, student, parishad – eternal companion. This student is called Arjuna. What is the meaning of the word Arjuna? ‘White’. And who is the speaker? This is Krishna. What is the meaning of Krishna? ‘Black’. So, this is a discussion between black and white. The white, Arjuna, is the eternal man – he is us. He is full of doubts, of questions. He is ready to submit himself as a disciple, just like us. We also want to enquire: “What is the best way? How to perfect my life? Before I was in misery, I want to reach security. From the darkness I want to find my way to the light.” And as this is an open discussion, Arjuna can easily open up all his doubts and questions. Sometimes he opposes God. He says: “What You describe here is impossible. It’s easier to stop the wind than to control my mind.” So, he speaks in favor of us, because he knows how difficult it is to control and to focus. Arjuna knows very well it’s very difficult to reach that level of sthita pragya, or fixed consciousness. Nevertheless Krishna accepts all these limitations and gives further advice.

There are technical ways to control your mind and there are natural ways. A technical way to control our mind is like trying to focus the attention, trying to follow some rules and regulations concerning the mind control. What do you think, does it work? To a certain extent it works, but it’s quite difficult, I agree. Because if I only have to exclude everything that is unnecessary, it’s a long list and a difficult thing. Yogis in the old times were trying to practice this – hiding in the jungle, living alone, meditating for some hundreds and thousand of years. But in this age it’s difficult. For example, last week we tried something similar. We went to the Rila Mountain for three days. Hardly I survived. Then I understood I cannot meditate there for thousands of years. So, that kind of technical, or ascetic perfection is close to impossible these days. What is the use of external self control if your mind is yearning for coverage for your smart phone? So, don’t cheat yourself. Technical perfection in this age is close to impossible. Mechanical ways to control the mind are practically useless. The mind is stronger.

But if we have a natural way to control our mind, that goes easy. Natural things are always easy. Water always flows downwards. This is natural, right? It goes easy, to go down is easy. Natural things always go easy. But the natural control of the mind is something different. The water is running to a destination. In the same way our thoughts should run to the proper destination. And if we can think of God, as He is all-attractive, naturally all your thoughts will be engaged with Him. This is the natural way of the control of the mind. If you are strong enough, you can overpower the elements of nature. You can stop the time for example – which is not easy. But if we have this affectionate attention to the Supreme, then it’s easier to target all the thoughts and all our consciousness on Him and this is a way to come closer to the perfected stage. To achieve this fixed state of consciousness.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 2.61


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