Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question of Yadunath: Are there any objective linguistic proofs that God is a person? Like when He says “Aham”. Because if I try to step out of the bhakti circle I am quite weak and I really do not have a strong answer. How could I explain to them?

Tirtha Maharaj: Proof that God is a person? How can we prove the existence of the sun? Open your eyes, go out in the sun and immediately you will see.

To quote a sloka from “Bhagavad-gita” for those, who have no conception that God is a person is useless. It will have no effect. But once I heard a devotee preaching so sweetly, telling: “There is somebody to take care of you. There is a Supreme Lord, He is embracing you and leading your path. Can’t you feel that?” I think this might be a better explanation. To give a few drops of faith, of hope, of rasa.

I think linguistic proofs are very weak to prove anything. Because if you try to prove something by reason, by arguments, tomorrow comes somebody with stronger arguments and then you lose everything you have got. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis – always fluctuating, always moving. But when you are emotionally convinced, then you can lose your conviction only if you get some more dose of affection.

But actually to prove anything is very difficult. How can you prove the existence of God? There is no way. There are some proofs for the existence of God, but they work only if you accept them. I am not joking, this is true! Only if you accept that this logic is the topic. This creation is type of explanation, there is teleological explanation that God exists, but these different proofs work only if you accept that they are valid. So there is this ontological proof that God exists, there is this cosmological proof that God exists and there is this physical teleological proof – too much complicated – but they work only if you accept them. Yet in the same way you cannot prove that God doesn’t exist either! It is also impossible to prove.

Proving is very basic, very elementary level. Even about the truth they say: It is not necessary to understand the truth – serve it. Can you explain what truth is? Can you prove what truth is? No. We cannot understand, but we can serve. Life – can you explain what life is? You should not think about the mystery of life, you should live your life. Can you explain who God is? Therefore Srila Prabhupad says: “Simply try to love Krishna.”

Concerning your question, in one sense everything – all your conclusions, all your siddhanta, all your grammar – depends on the school where you belong. From the “Bhagavad-gita” you can come to the conclusion that God is impersonal – ah, not God, because that is too specific – but the Ultimate is impersonal. And you can come to the conclusion that God is our Krishna! My Krishna! Why? Because from the milk ocean they churned both poison and nectar. Same ocean – opposite fruits. First was the poison that could kill all the world, hala-hala. And the last one was amrita – the nectar of immortality. From the same source you can bring poison and you can bring nectar. Depends on the school – how you churn the ocean. How you try to understand “Bhagavad-gita” – you can come to nectar and you can come to poison. Therefore the school is very important. Beyond a certain limit there is no other explanation – only the line. And here on the Balkan Peninsula we think that it is a very easy question – how to identify the line, the school. But I tell you, this is very highly complicated question. Because the different shakhas, the different schools, traditional lines of the Vedic explanations have opposing opinions on certain verses. So in one sense we can say: even the school does not really help you. What helps us? Someone who can explain something about the school and the line and the opposing elements. Therefore shakha, line, guru, parampara – they all work for the same transmission: to help you find the path back home, back to Godhead.

Try to prove that God is a person by some emotional surplus.

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