Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 03.01.2018 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

 “Some great sages have attained this neutral position by practicing austerity, penance and meditation to control the senses. Such sages are generally called mystic yogis, and in most cases they are inclined to appreciate the spiritual pleasure of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. They are practically unaware of the transcendental pleasure derived from personal contact with the Supreme Godhead.”[1]

So, even this kind of enlightenment is charming. But…

“Actually the transcendental pleasure derived in association with the Supreme Person is far greater than the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman realization, because of the direct meeting with the eternal form of the Lord.”

Here we can understand that both ways of approach are good. There is nothing wrong in spiritual sense. One is good and the other is better. As there are no bad devotees, right? Only good devotees are there. And some are better.

These questions are also discussed by Arjuna and Krishna in the Gita: which path is better, so to say. “What is Your opinion about it?” – asks Arjuna. And then Krishna says: “Everybody will come to Me ultimately.”[2] Because sarva karana karanam, ‘I am the cause of all causes. So, ultimately everything will return to Me.’

“When some great saintly persons who had undergone penances and austerities saw the four-handed transcendental form of Vishnu, they remarked, “This four-handed form of the Lord, manifested in a bluish color, is the reservoir of all pleasure and the center of our living force. Actually, when we see this eternal form of Vishnu, we, along with many other paramahamsas, become immediately captivated by the beauty of the Lord.”[3]

Two very important factors are mentioned here. That this form of the Lord is the source of pleasure and the source of life; “reservoir of all pleasure and the center of our living force”. And you know we have only these two possessions – our life and our love. Prana and prema – this is all what we have. And this is related to this personal concept. Do you feel the difference between existence and life? Existence is theoretical, it’s empty. While life is an exchange. In life the things start to happen. When something happens to us, we feel: ‘Yes, this is my life!’ If nothing happened there: ‘It’s boring, it’s death.’ So, simply apply the same principle in the spiritual sense. Existence is theoretical, it’s dry. While life, spiritual life, is full of charm, full of exchange.

Many times people ask: “All right, what happens in perfection?” Because we think that this is just the opposite of whatever we perceive here. Here we perceive activity and life; and there you think: ‘It’s just empty, nothing happens there. Oh, maybe this is our perfection’. But I tell you, real life starts over there. Whatever we think is life here, it’s a mistake. Real life starts over there.

So, this is our positive conception about perfection. It’s not a theoretical conception, but it’s a living experience, living exchange. Our prana and our prema are connected there, manifested there. And what does it mean on the practical platform? That our life is our ishta-devata. Or “The devotees are living in my heart”. Or “My life is dedicated to the ashram.” It’s beautiful. Because ‘my prana is there’. So if you say “My life and my blood are for the ashram, but I don’t do any service there”, it’s sounds weird. If your heart is there, do something! It’s not only empty words.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of Devotion, 35

[2] Bhagavad Gita 12.3-4

[3] Nectar of Devotion, 35

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