Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from lecture of B.K.Titha Maharaj, 26.02.2007, Sofia)
The three phases of time are past, present and future. And although we speak of these three phases, they do not really exist. Do you have a past? No. Past is gone, therefore it is nonexistent. Future is unmanifested, therefore it is non-existing. It is only the present moment; but when I say “present moment”, it is gone already. We can conclude: nothing exists. So there is no time. Is there time? Achintya bhedabheda tattva – yes and no simultaneously. Time in absolute sense does not exist, still we perceive that time is here and passing. Many people say that time is passing, while time is laughing and watches how humans are passing.
We should understand that time is an energy of the Supreme Lord and this is manifested on the material platform as a terminating energy. Time is such a factor that provides the sequence of things happening. The present day is the future of the past and the past of the future. If you understand the present moment, you understand the past and the future. If you have complete knowledge of the present moment, then you can understand what is gone and what is to come. We have to use our time in a proper manner. And if we use this present moment for the glorification of the Lord, then we know the past and we know the future. Therefore this should be our permanent engagement.
There are different levels of understanding what is time. Still there should be some permanency. Permanent engagement in Krishna’s service means full dedication. Full dedication, combined with full freedom; because full engagement is achieved in different institutions in the world. For example if you join the army, they will give you full engagement. Or if you are in prison, you are also engaged – fully. Or if you are on the other side of the iron bars – the prison house of maya, called “freedom” – then you are also fully engaged. We are engaged all the time. But simple engagement and devotional engagement are different. Because engagements provided by these institutions are by force. You get an order and you have to do it. Illusion is very tricky, because it gives orders in such a way, that you feel free. You think that “I can do! I am free to choose like this or like that.” But actually we are driven by the forces of nature and we are under the spell of illusion. Therefore simply being engaged by force or by this magic is not enough. We have to be engaged by our free will. We have to say “yes” to Krishna. If the service is achieved by force, then our meditation will be how to give up this engagement. But if we say and we agree: “Yes! I want to do! I want to be here, I want to help, tell me what to do?” then if we are reasonable men, we shall do it. Full freedom with full engagement: this is the best combination in devotional service. In the past, present and future – permanent engagement in Krishna’s thoughts, activities, words. Whenever you are in trouble or you are in happiness, you can call out: “Jay Radhe Shyam!” The situation will change. Suffering will go. And happiness will also go? No. Happiness will be enhanced.
By chanting the holy names of God, all that is inauspicious is driven away. Many people want to change their fate. You know that your past is written on your left hand and your future is written on your right hand. But if you want to change your past and your future, there is one suggestion. Just clap when there is a kirtan. Because then the lines on your palms will change and all that is inauspicious will be driven away.
Permanent engagement in God’s service – this is the goal of Bhakti Yoga. Engagement not simply by force, but by free dedication. “I’m here, engage me in Your service.” Hare Krishna mahamantra is just like an invitation. When you are waiting, receiving a guest you make a nice poster, decorate your entrance and you say “Welcome!” Then your guest comes and you don’t give even a cup of water to him. How the guest will feel? He will say: “Well, it’s a very nice invitation, but very bad handling. Better I go. They don’t really want me here.” In the same way, you decorate your heart with the poster: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”, but when Krishna enters your heart, you don’t give any little service to Him?! Like as He says in the “Gita”:  “Just a little water, a little fruit, a little leaf and I am satisfied.” If we invite God to engage us in service, we should be ready to join the service. It is not enough only to say, we have to be ready. If we give our free will, if we give our willingness to Krishna: “Yes, I want to join, take care of me,” then He will take care. And don’t forget, this selfless dedication is a blissful one. This proof you can read not only in the books, but this proof you can read on the faces of the devotees.
Once somebody asked a teacher: “How it happened that the sweet nectar of the holy name has turned bitter on my lips?” Then the teacher said: “Well, that was not the holy name.” If something can be changed, or if I get an experience and then I lose it – then it was not a real experience. Starting, changing, finishing – this is material nature according to our understanding. But spiritual things are permanent, eternal, ever-growing. And from time to time we have to think it over again – what we have seen, what we have achieved, how much we have understood, how much we have surrendered. Because by ten percent surrender you will not get ninety percent results, right? Krishna is a better businessman. But fortunately you have an authorized dealer and this is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You pay only ten percent and you get hundred and eight percent benefit. Because He is the distributor of mercy. So please, bring some ten percent of your dedication to the temple and put it at His lotus feet. You will be remunerated many, many times more.

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