Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

veiled truth

“Anudvega-karaḿ vākyaḿ satyaḿ priya-hitaḿ ca yat svādhyāyābhyasanaḿ caiva vāń-mayaḿ tapa ucyate – Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”[1]

The previous verse was about the body or the activities; now this verse is about the words, how to control our speech. Tell the truth. Is that easy?

Giridhari: Not always.

Somebody: Yes.

Tirtha Maharaj: Usually these are the answers: “yes” or “no”. Yes, it is easy, no, it is not easy. I think the correct answer is somewhere in between. We have to stick to the truth, but sometimes we can be merciful.

Somebody: To be diplomatic.

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, Chanakya Pandit says: “Never trust a diplomat.” So, if we act like a diplomat, then we shall reap distrust. But diplomatic in that sense that be merciful to others, not to reveal the truth all the time. Because if, for example, our spiritual master reveals the truth about our position, always telling us the truth, then what happens?

Yamuna: He will discourage us.

Manjari: I would not have the strength to bear it, to survive.

Tirtha Maharaj: Really? It is good to know. But why? Is that so smashing? I don’t think so, because guru is not describing your present mistakes, but he is describing your future prospects. And if our guru reveals our future role in devotional life, we would be mesmerized and smashed by the high prospects.

Mysticism means that we should put a very thin, very fine veil around and in front of the truth. Just to keep everybody peaceful. If all of a sudden all the truths would be revealed, that would upset most of the participants.

But anyway, let’s stick to the topic now. So: speak the truth, and in a pleasing way. That is difficult. To tell the truth – this is not so difficult, just to smash the other person with “the truth”. “I punch you in the nose with my truth!” But to do it nice, to tell the truth in such a way that the other person is happy to hear it – that is the real art. And beneficial! So even with your words serve the benefit of others, without agitating them. Keep people satisfied. And quote or chant the mantras, the Vedas. This is the control of the speech.

Question of Yamuna: If you know the truth and if you know that someone is craving for the truth, but you don’t tell it to that person, are you responsible for this?

Tirtha Maharaj: I think you want to trick me, Yamuna. Because if I say “yes”, then you will shout at me: “Then give me all the truth!” So better I don’t answer this question.

Yamuna: It still falls under withholding the truth.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.15

Leave a Reply