December 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(continues from the previous Friday)

 Question: We used to say the maha-mantra properly, but we get so much used to it that the mind wanders elsewhere.

Swami Tirtha: Correct.

Question: How to cope with this?

Swami Tirtha: Go one chanting. Because this process is called bhakti-yoga, right? Bhakti means “devotion” and when your devotion is very strong – no problem if there is a little lack of yoga, control. But if you don’t have devotion, then you have to be very strong in your control. So, we can say: sadhana and prema-bhakti. Sadhana means controlled process. Prema means unconditional flow of dedication. So, either we have this one, or we should follow that one – something we should practice.

But this is also a very important practical question: how to focus the mind? Because we are so blinded by illusion that we think that by a routine practice we can achieve something serious. No! By routine you will achieve routine. By dedication you will achieve dedication.

But originally you are a spiritual spark. You are part of the Supreme. You share His nature. Therefore you can search for it. Birds of the same feather flock together. If you are of a different nature, you cannot search for it. So, therefore we have a chance, we have a home, we belong somewhere. And by learning the process of how to focus the mind we can reach the goal. Focusing the mind is like a general practice and if we have that quality, then we can use it in chanting our mantras, in our association, in our other services. Because we are controlled, we are focused. Even in your business, in your family you can be very effective if you have this focus.

And you know, so many times we speak about personal philosophy – that God is a person. But sometimes we treat Him so impersonally. Just imagine somebody who says: “Oh, I want to serve you!” yet he gives you a negligent service. How will you feel? You will feel very bad, very neglected. In that sense God, Krishna is also very similar to us. We need personal attention, personal dealings. Sometimes even we are offended by these impersonal or negligent connections. And then we want to offer that to Krishna? To chant His names although we don’t really mean it? Or to say that we think of Him, although we don’t think of Him? It will not bring the fruits. We have to be very, very dedicated.

But fortunately Krishna is such an attractive topic for our mind that it’s not difficult to focus on Him. Because His name is All-attractive, helps us to overcome our limitations. We should try to create the proper environment for our chanting. Sit down in the morning, light a candle, light some incense and – for those who are running to jobs and this and that – at least for half an hour you should dedicate to spiritual practices. Until the incense is burned you can chant your mantras, you can chant first of all your devotional songs, you can say some prayers, few rounds and you can read one shloka from the Gita – then you can go. Because if you don’t do this, what is the difference between us and our neighbor? Nothing! Oh, there is a difference – he is better! Because he didn’t make a vow to serve God. I did, but I don’t do it. What’s that? It’s not nice. Once I said “Yes!”, and then I don’t do it. So try to focus your energies, your mind, your everything. And then you will see your day will be much better.

Of course, it doesn’t concern those who live in the ashrams. For them half an hour is not enough. They should do more. How much more?

Answer: All day long.

Swami Tirtha: All right, and then what about the swamis? How much for them?

Answer: Whole life.

Swami Tirtha: No, that’s not enough. It’s not so easy. Just recently I understood – one devotee told me: “Oh, Gurudev, I see that you are working for us 28 hours per day!” – it was like a lapse of the tongue. Then I understood why I feel so exhausted sometimes. I didn’t know that! So, beware! Let’s start with our half an hour. Because I have to tell you: this Krishna is greedy. First He says: “I am happy with a little flower! Give Me a little water!” But just check out the next verse: “….and give Me everything else![1] So, take it easy, not so quickly. If you always say “Yes” to Him, you will lose everything that you posses materially. But this is the way to gain spiritual wealth.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 9.27

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