August 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

How and where to find our reality? The saintly teachers say:” Don’t pay too much attention to the external world! Try to meditate more!” ‘Meditation? It’s too passive! What is the result of this mediation? Chanting mantras? Or singing songs in a hot temple room? The only result that I perceive so strongly is the sweat! Blood, sweat and tears.’ Or maybe first you feel only the sweat. But if the bhajan is real, then tears will also come. That is our reality. When it is not only the physical heat, but some different type of energy.

Life is energy. If something is alive, it moves, it grows, it takes and gives energy. Where there is movement, where there are the symptoms of life, there we can catch reality.

So, to find our reality we have to apply the proper method. And just try to embrace the vision of Shrila Shridhara Maharaja – that the background is consciousness. Whatever seems so real to us, it’s only a little trembling in this air of consciousness. When you have a candle and the candle is burning, you see through the light of the candle everything dancing behind. Of course you can try to explain it by physics and optic science. But forget it, it’s not real! Everything is dancing there – there is a dance, there is poetry behind.

To find reality – apply the proper method. Even a simple candle light can prove the unreality of material things. But we use lights in the sacred offerings to our deities. You know all these different elements that we offer to God – like the smell and the water, the fire, the cloths, the flowers, etc. It’s so beautiful! It’s a way to express our gratitude, our deepest meditation and service mood to Him: ‘All this beauty comes from You and You deserve it.’

And I have to add – all these offerings are not dust in the air, they are real. Because they are withdrawn from the material, profane realm and connected to the Supreme. This is a big transformation. Actually this is sacrifice. The definition of sacrifice is that something is taken out of its daily context and by this process of offering is connected or given, offered to God, to divinity – it’s not for us, it’s for Him. So, even a simple material candlelight can teach you about reality. If I see the picture behind the candlelight is dancing, it gives a hint that something is unreal and there is something that should be real.

But what happens if you offer the ghee lamp to Krishna? Actually in the old times when in the temples they had no electric lights, they used the ghee lamp or the camphor lamp in order to show the deities. When people gathered in the sanctum, it was dark, hidden, you could not see the deities, therefore the priests were using wicks and pieces of camphor – it gives much light and this was the way how they showed the altar to the people around. So, this light was used in order that people could see God. But then a big dogmatic problem came. How can we offer something if we use it? Sacrifice should be given to God, not for our sake of being able to see. How can we enjoy or take benefit of His offering? Do you understand the problem? Therefore they decided: ‘All right, we can offer two camphor lamps – one for Him as a sacrifice and another one for us to be able to see.’ So, if there is a question, there is an answer. In this way you don’t enjoy the offering, but from one you can take benefit, and you can give the other directly for His service.

(to be continued)


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