Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


If we want to put it very simply: we are eternal souls. We are not the perishable body, but we are eternal souls. And this is a very important scientific and theological fact that existence is there. So, we don’t come from nothing, the manifested world does not come from nothing. Because if something comes from nothing, then it will return to nothing. But as we come from something, the whole creation comes from something, most probably it can return to the source. Again to put it very simply: if man is created by God, then we can return to Him. Because we are eternal souls, belonging to that divine realm. This is the first feature of the soul.

What is the second? The second is consciousness. We are all conscious living beings. Sometimes it’s not so obvious with some fellow human beings, but basically we are called homo sapiens, right – knowledgeable beings.

And what is the goal of consciousness? Existence has any meaning only if it is conscious. If we did not have our consciousness, we would not be called human beings but cucumbers, walking on two legs. So, consciousness makes living worth. It gives a meaning to existence. And if we are conscious living beings, what shall we do? We shall search for happiness. Intelligence means that you become happy.

Do you feel these features manifested in your life – eternity, knowledge and happiness? Comsi-comsa[1], yes and no. We hope that it is like this, but we are always limited. Our eternity is limited by birth and death; our knowledge is limited either by young age or by old age. And the definition of happiness given by Sigmund Freud, the great psychologist, is as follows: he said that when you don’t suffer too much – this is happiness. You know, it’s very close to the truth, but nevertheless I was not satisfied by this definition of happiness: when you don’t suffer. I wanted something positive. Give me a positive definition of happiness! As we are living beings, existing here on this planet Earth and we have our consciousness, we should search for happiness. Practically every living being, every living entity is doing that. The plants are reaching out for sunshine, the birds are trying to find some foodstuffs for themselves, everybody is searching for happiness. Especially in springtime human beings are motivated by search for a partner for a romantic love affair, but soon winter will come.

So our happiness always comes and goes. We have to be intelligent enough to search for some happiness that will not leave us. And the know-how of eternal happiness is very easy. So far we were searching outside and we thought that by possessing certain things we shall be satisfied. Did it happen to you? I think the collecting period started, but the result is not fulfilling yet. So, the solution is, instead of trying to search for happiness outside, try to search your happiness inside – this is an internal path. And if we elevate our consciousness to higher and higher levels, even the same conditions we can perceive from a different point of view.

Shall I tell you a story about it? The same reality – different visions. In the ancient times three great personalities met – Lord Buddha, Kung Fu Tze and Lao Tze. They came together and they started to examine a jar with vinegar. We all know the taste of vinegar. First was Kung Fu Tze. You know, he was a very realistic philosopher. So he put his finger in the jar, licked his finger and said: “This is sour”. All right, the next person was Lord Buddha. And you know, some people consider Buddha a little pessimistic – he says that life is suffering. So, he was also tasting the vinegar and he said: “This is not sour, this is bitter!” The third was Lao Tze. And you know he is a very peaceful guy. He is not really realistic because he is so peaceful that is beyond reality. And definitely he is not a pessimist, because somehow his wisdom gives him some satisfaction. So, he also tasted the vinegar and he said: “No, this is not sour and this is not bitter. This is sweet!”

So, here is our life – a jar of vinegar. What is your opinion about your life? Sour, bitter or sweet? If we are realistic, we shall say: “Ah, come on, this is sour a little bit here and there.” If we are pessimistic, we shall say: “No, it’s very bitter!” But if we are optimists, we shall say: “It’s sweet.”

So, yoga will help us to find the sweet taste even in bitter or sour. Therefore we can say that this is a mystic process that will help you to improve your vision. Only this we should understand very deeply in our hearts – that we are eternal, knowledgeable and blissful souls. The only problem is that these original qualities of us are little covered by the body, little covered by ignorance, little covered by illusion. So, if we remove the illusion – this identification that we are the bodies – then we can come to the spiritual platform.


[1]  “Comme ci comme ca” (French) – means “Like this or like that”

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