Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 01.10.2017 evening, Sofia)

How to achieve our spiritual goals? In order to answer that question, first we have to formulate it. And even before that – we need to have some spiritual goals. If we don’t have any, then there’s no question of achieving them.

So what is a spiritual goal? To become a better person? I think it is. Once a master was discussing with a very determined young brahmachari, his very good disciple. The master said: “Well, while practicing spiritual life we need to become better persons, we need to become good human beings.” And the boy said: “It’s not enough!” I think the master appreciated that commitment and that determination very much. After twenty years they again started to discuss about the importance of spiritual life. It’s a very good sign: the same disciple, the same master – still discussing. Then the master said: “Well, I think while practicing this spiritual life we need to become nice human beings.” And the boy said: “Yes, that’s enough.”

Who progresses more in this story? It’s the disciple. The master didn’t change. He is repeating the same message for twenty years: “Become a better human being.” First, when we are very ambitious, we say: “No, it’s not enough for me! Give me everything! Human? It’s not enough; superhuman!” Is it proper? Yes! If when you are twenty you are not burning with spiritual desires – then when?

But maybe later on our understanding of what it means to be a real human being also improves. Because in the Vedanta Sutra it is said that now, as we are in this human form of life, this is the time to inquire about the Supreme – that is the beginning of a real human life. It’s not to have the bodily form, but to have the proper mentality and the proper duty of a human being. Studies. If we study we shall meet our Lord.

We also need to understand what is the real duty of a human being.  From the Shrimad Bhagavatam we can understand that human beings have a very special role, a very special invitation. Because there it is described how the Supreme Lord is present in the whole universe. We can say that this material body is like the shelter of our soul, of ourselves as souls. In the same way the whole universe is like the body of the Supreme. And it is described that the rivers are His veins, the mountains are His bones, the sun and the moon are His eyes, His back is adharma[1], His feet are the lower planetary systems, all the different four-legged animals are around His waist, and something very nice – the birds are His poetic talent! It’s beautiful! His breath is prana. So many references you will find – how to see Him, where to find His presence. And ultimately it is said: and the human beings are His residence.

So this human form of life is like a shelter of God. It’s a home for God. We have to live according to this principle! This is something very high. And if we have that vision, then this material universe is not a hell and our body is not a bag of excrements, but something else. There is a chance to divinize all these assets that we have in this life.

Because the soul is self-effulgent. My dear brothers and sisters, you are self-effulgent! Try to live accordingly. Shine! What covers your original shine is only an illusion, only a very insignificant thing. You are a part of a divine reality. Do you feel a part of a non-divine reality? Sometimes yes, but this is called illusion – when you think that you belong here. No! You belong to Him. This is what we have to realize first: ‘I’m a spirit soul. I belong to Him. And there is a living and loving connection between us.’

So, if we are a part of the divine reality – however insignificant – should we miss this chance of human life forever? Should we live in a stupid way? Or should we ever break down? Impossible! Because we belong there.

(to be continued)

[1] immorality

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