Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


This book is called “Bhagavad Gita” which means “the song of the Divine”. This is a part of the revealed scriptures of India and practically it is just like an encyclopedia of spiritual science, discussing all the different aspects of the spiritual progress – from karma to knowledge, from meditation to renunciation and from eternity of the soul to transmigration. But there is an ultimate message of this book and this is the permanent connection between the human being and the Divine Lord through love.

Actually this book is a conversation between the Supreme Lord who came as Shri Krishna and His friend and servant Arjuna. He was a fighter. And, you know, about peace you cannot write an interesting story, but if there is a very critical situation in life, then you can express some great message. So, we are just in front of a great battle between the good and the bad forces. And at that moment Arjuna, who is a fighter of the divine cause, wanted to get some more enlightenment. Therefore he turned to his friend Krishna who was God incarnated on the planet Earth: “Tell me what is best? How to act perfectly?” This is a long conversation through 700 verses, and now we shall plunge into the middle of this conversation. Because the Ninth Chapter is practically just the middle section and the title of this chapter is: “The most confidential knowledge”. So it says:

“The Supreme personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence. This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.”[1]

So, this is a question of knowledge, spiritual science. And, as this is a spiritual science, it is not simply a theory, but it is something practical. According to this science we can learn how to live properly, how to use the resources of our live for the best purpose, and how to achieve our final goal.

Certain qualities are mentioned in these verses; first of all: “Because you are never envious of Me, I will tell you the secret”. Who is so stupid to be envious of God? I think directly nobody will say: “Yes, I envy His position.” But in a hidden way we want to be like small gods, to be the boss and to have the final word. Because we have a capacity of copying an example, of following an example. But there is a big difference between copying or imitating and following. So, envy is a very negative feeling therefore we should avoid envy in our life. If somebody is not envious of any superior, then it is very easy to impart the knowledge, to transfer the science. And if you realize this knowledge, you will be relieved of all the pangs of material life.

When we discuss these topics with different people I usually ask their opinion about life: “How do you feel, is life more like happiness, or more like suffering? “And usually people give an answer according to their age category. Around twenty they said: “Oh, life is happiness.” After fifty they said: “Well, life includes some little suffering also”. But here is such a knowledge that can answer all the troubles of material existence. What are these problems?

In the revealed scriptures four different types of problems are mentioned. One is death – everybody is afraid of death, because we don’t know how it happens. It is for sure, but still it is a little mystery. Then the second suffering is old age, which will also come sooner or later, right? You don’t think in the beginning, but all of a sudden it’s just here. Then the third type of suffering is disease, which is always there – young or old, it doesn’t matter. And the fourth type of suffering is birth. So, birth, disease, old age and death – these are the four types of suffering. And practically we cannot avoid these troubles. Still, here it is said: “This knowledge will relieve you of all the troubles of the material existence”. What does it mean? You will not grow old? No, you will grow old, even if you learn this knowledge. Does it mean that never ever your teeth will ache? No, it does not mean. But there is a chance to avoid death and birth. Because it’s only the relative, the body that will perish, but our soul should perceive eternity.

[1] Bhagavat Gita, 9.1-2

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