Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2014, evening, Sofia)

Question of Mahadev: Maharaj, as all the souls are individuals and in the same time they are part of the cosmic Soul, in our connection with the spiritual master do we lose our individuality by serving him completely and forgetting our personal everything or we add more quality to our selves? And also how could we get this perspective that we add more quality instead of feeling that we lose something?

Swami Tirtha: Very good question, thank you! I share the second version – that we don’t lose but rather add something. But we should strictly differentiate between the two features of the soul and a human being. One is the personality and the other is the individuality. Personality is limited by material factors like karma, gunas, samsara, so many things. Depends on the family, on the training, on the experience, so many factors – it’s limited. It changes from time to time. But the individuality never changes. Your being a chit-kana or a spark of consciousness – it never changes. Whatever changes this is the conception that we have about ourselves.

Usually people have three different identities: one that they show to others; the second – what they think themselves to be; and the third – what they really are. In most of the cases these three are very far away from each other. But in case of devotional purification these come together. You don’t want to show a face to others, your self-analysis is strong and precise enough – to understand your self, not your false identity. We shall lose all these misconceptions in this process. So if we lose something – it is this personality basket, so to say – conceptions, feelings, misconceptions, etc. – all the things that are impermanent. But this loss will help us to come closer to our real selves, to our real identity, individuality. Because if there is no individuality, if there is no in that sense personal concept, vigraha, then there is no chance for service.

So please try to remember this difference between your personality and your individuality. Personality changes, individuality or identity never changes.

And the next question was how we can develop this gaining mentality. Our well-wishers have great faith in us. We don’t see our future. They don’t only see our future, but they are working for that future. And their power is stronger than our resistance. So we might think that we lose, but actually finally we shall gain everything.

Shrila Shridhara Maharaj described it in a following way: first when I’m introduced in the practice of devotion, I might think that I should risk everything and it is unsure if I will gain anything. All risk – no gain. Would you join such a game? It’s risky! All risk – no gain. But meanwhile you will get the instruction: no risk – no gain. If you don’t risk, you will not achieve anything. And at the end, after accomplishment you will see – no risk and all gain. Because what I have lost is insignificant, what I have gained – invaluable.




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