Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(From lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 7 of September 2005, Ahtopol)
I would like to start an unpleasant topic. A little discussion about the sins. Although we try not to be sin conscious, rather we want to be minimum God conscious, still it is good to be aware what is considered beneficial and what is considered objectionable.
We have learned the general definition of sin: to use the higher energy for a lower purpose. Usually people start to give definitions on A,B,C – this, and this, and this… Sinful activity, for example, is to do something wrong or hurt somebody. But this list is so long, that you cannot really understand what is sinful, it’s very difficult to come to a general definition and understanding of what is sinful. Therefore if we get a general definition, it’s much easier to understand what is right and what is wrong.
Another definition of sin is to turn against God or to go against the divine will. Usually religions give this kind of definition. To turn your back towards God. And we have this definition in our religion also, Bhaktivinod Thakur gives this, but he expands it in such a sense that he adds “willingly or unwillingly”. And although the mistake is a mistake, still committed with bad intention, with purpose, it is heavier than by chance, without proper knowledge, without proper understanding – it’s little less. So this general religious definition of sin – to go against the divine will – we should analyze precisely and we should add: to go against the divine will on intention; and by chance.
Yet another definition about sin is a mistake which is practiced, preserved for a long time. Repeated mistake or permanently cultivated mistake. That is also sin – especially when we understood that this is a mistake! When you don’t know then this is only a stupid mistake again and again and again…
What is prayashchita? Atonement, we can say atonement. You go to the priest and he tells you: “Chant this and that prayer and then finished! …” You agree? No. Although this is one kind of atonement. But if we try to apply this method in our process, then it is called “nama-aparadh”. When you commit some sinful activity and you… chant it off! And even worse – if you have the intention, while doing wrong: “I will rectify this, I will balance it with some little chanting.” That is nama-aparadh proper.
Still to do something, some extra services, some extra practices in order to purify ourselves – this is natural! For example in a washing machine there are different grades of intensity of washing, right? Like economic – half. Half-purification is enough, ha? Or if something is very heavily dirty, then you have to apply on boiling it in the water, and adding extra detergent, and how do you call this whitening substance? You add many, many substances and you work very hard to purify the clothes, to get it white again.
So naturally there are different grades of problems to solve. If somebody has accumulated in the past lives small amount if difficulties, then for him or her the purification is very quick and easy. But if somebody has a big load of burden on the shoulder, it takes a long time to get it off, to put it off.
Because there are two directions, from where you can come to the human platform. You can ascend to the human platform and you can descend to the human platform. If we ascend to the human platform, it means we had done a long trip already in material existence. We can say that the soul is an old aged soul. Although the soul of course is eternal, but it’s a long past, long material past. And you remember the three gates for human existence from the animal kingdom. Cow, monkey and lion. Cow is the satvic gate. Lion is the rajasic gate. And monkey is the tamasic gate. So Charles Darwin was right in one sense – humans come from the monkeys. Especially those, who are in tama guna. But when we have come to the human platform, then we are responsible for the activities. Then the question comes – pious or sinful.

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