Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



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

We shall continue our readings concerning the neutral love of God.

“The impulse of a saintly person is to be engaged in the study of the Vedas, especially the Upanishadic portions; to live always in a place where there is no disturbance from the common people; to think always of the eternal form of Krishna; to be ready to consider and understand the Absolute Truth; to be always prominent in exhibiting knowledge; to see the Supreme Lord in His universal form; to associate always with learned devotees; and to discuss the conclusion of the Vedas with similarly elevated persons. All of these qualifications of a saintly person serve to raise him to the status of shanta-rasa.”[1]

So, here we receive a full-scale program to qualify for this elementary stage of devotional service. I think you all agreed that you will become saintly persons. Because this is the way to elevate ourselves to this neutral stage of devotional service. And here is the program for that elevation.

First it is said: “You have a natural inclination to study and discuss the Vedas.” Why should we study the revealed scriptures? Because through them we are connected to the Supreme truth. They will always guide us and lead us to a superior direction. The Vedas don’t discuss anything secondary. They always fix our attention on a superior goal.

Then: “To live always in a place where there is no disturbance from the common people.” It’s not so easy to do. But we should achieve that state of undisturbed consciousness. Sometimes you can see pictures of people doing their meditations in busy cities and on high streets, etc. And in the beginning it was very difficult for me to accept these pictures. Because I said: ‘Oh, wait a minute, is this the place of your meditation?!’ But later on I understood: yes, even in the most disturbed conditions we should maintain a balanced and peaceful state of mind. Because balance is the basis of higher achievements. If you think: ‘Oh, I can do my meditation only in peaceful conditions. Don’t disturb me now because I am in my meditation,’ when death knocks on your door you will say: ‘No, no, don’t disturb my meditation, because I want to maintain my peace of mind.’ This is a crisis period! You cannot say: ‘Where is my peace?’ because there is no peace. Urgently and desperately we have to maintain that fixed state of mind.

“To think always of the eternal form of Krishna” – this is another impulse that we should have. And fortunately Krishna’s form is so attractive that it captures our attention.

“To be ready to consider and understand the Absolute Truth” – this is the topic of discussion that we have right now; and “To be always prominent in exhibiting knowledge” . Sometimes we try to show our knowledge in order to gain more attention. Because knowledge is considered something prestigious. Knowledge is power. Those who have more knowledge, usually they have more power. But in spiritual sense we should never make this mistake – to show off with the intention to impress somebody, or to show our greatness due to our great knowledge.

Once our Gurudev told one of his disciples: “Go to such and such city and give a public lecture.” Then this devotee said: “But Gurudev, you know I don’t like to go on a stage, give speeches and take this role.” Then Gurudev said in a very grave mood: “I didn’t tell you to go and make a show, but I told you to give a lecture.” Do you see the difference? When we want to show our knowledge, our expertise in the shastras, that’s a mistake, that’s failure – the service mood is missing. Even reading the shastras or reading prayers is a form of sacrifice in the original sense. So, it’s called svadhyaya-yagya. That means – to repeat, to recollect, to worship the mantras, the prayers, the shastras by repeating them is a form of service. Yet we need to study, because if we don’t study, then there is nothing to remember.

(to be continued)

[1] The Nectar of Devotion, Ch. 35

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