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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Past, present and future – these are the changing conditions of the living beings. Still there is something permanent. What is that permanency? If we focus on the existence itself – like beginning, maintenance and end – there is some permanency and what is that permanency? For example, let’s take a body – we are born, we are living, we are dying, but something is permanent. What is that permanency? The soul. And how can we perceive the soul? How can we catch it? We can identify the soul by the symptoms. What symptom we can see? Life is there, but life cannot perceive itself. Life exists, but cannot understand itself. There must be something extra and this is consciousness. Consciousness can search for itself. There must be somebody, who is searching, who is trying to understand. And if there is this consciousness, consciousness can see, can observe its origin – this is existence. In one sense we can say that existence is the past of consciousness. If existence is the past of consciousness, then what is the future of consciousness? The existence is past in the sense that it is origin. The origin of consciousness is existence. What is the future, what is the goal of consciousness? To realize the soul. And then what happens? We go back to God. In what state, in what condition? Morose you enter Goloka Vrindavana? In a sad way, with a sour face? All right, we don’t know how we shall enter the spiritual sky. But then check this out. Because “Bhagavad-gita” says that this process is practiced with happiness. Susukham kartum avyaya – this process can be practiced with bliss. And it will bring us closer to the original bliss of the soul. So we can say that the future, or the goal, of consciousness is bliss, anandam. Sat is the existence – this is our past, this is our source. Our identity, chit, the consciousness is searching its origin, its being, its goal. And the goal of consciousness is bliss, happiness, anandam.
This also shows and approves the different gradations, the different steps in spiritual development. Because first we identify ourselves as consciousness – I think, therefore I am. How did Descartes say: “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am.” This was so to say a materialistic positivist’s declaration: “Cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I am.” After few hundred years based on that philosophy, how did they change this slogan? “Dubito ergo sum – I doubt, therefore I am.” This is the material direction. You will identify yourself by doubting things. Just imagine what kind of identification is this: I doubt, therefore I am. This is my nature; I doubt, this is what I am, I am doubt. I am a big question mark. So I don’t put vaishnava tilaka like this, but as a question mark, like that. This is my identity. This is my sampradaya – Question mark.
Anyway, consciousness is our identity, this is what we can perceive. Therefore this search is also a conscious search, this is an intellectual search in the beginning. If we look back, trying to find our source, trying to find our past, we have to use an intellectual search, a reasonable search. This is the way to understand existence. And what is the way to understand anandam? Should we apply the same rational method? Ah, it is a poetic question. The same method will not work, because anandam is irrational. Then what method can we apply? What method can we apply for researching the future and the goal of consciousness? I would say, we should search our goal with faith. If we apply faith as the method of research, we shall find it. We shall find this spiritual happiness.
With the intellectual method we can have a little understanding about existence, not about this. So we should be intelligent enough to understand that this is not the way. And to get that – faith, deep faith is the way to understand what is happiness, what is bliss. And if we chant with deep faith the names of God, definitely our consciousness will be changed. This is the magic carpet effect. You sit on the carpet and when you start to chant the mantra, you are just flying. It immediately brings you to a different level of consciousness.
This is fulfillment of existence – ananda. We can say that the top achievement of existence is consciousness; and the top experience of consciousness is bliss. Always try to keep the company of the devotees, dedicate yourself to your service, try to follow the instructions of your spiritual masters, glorify the Lord and you will see what is the result.


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