Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question: In yoga practices it is appropriate to chant om in the beginning and in the end to pacify the mind. And for us is it enough to chant Hare Krishna to pacify the mind or it is needed to chant om also?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, if you chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra nicely that will agitate your mind, so beware with this mantra. When Mahaprabhu started to chant this mantra after the blessings of His Gurudev, He became ecstatic! Chanting and dancing and fainting and crying are not the signs of a peaceful mind. So He returned back to His master: “Hey, what kind of mantra you have given to Me?! I cannot control Myself anymore!” And then we want to control ourselves with chanting Hare Krishna? Come on! If you chant it properly, then you will dance and sing and cry and faint! So forget about this peace. Peace is very neutral.

On the material sphere there is no peace, no doubt. It’s a storm. In the intermediate platform there is some peace. And people might think: “Ah, I have achieved full realization, because I am peaceful.” Nothing happens! It’s just empty. Everything is one.

Go one step further! Again you will lose all control. Because in the ocean of divine love there are high waves. It is not peaceful water; high waves of emotional ecstasies.

First of all we have to pacify this material fluctuation. And you are all engaged in so many stupid activities. These are the waves of the material ocean. If you come to a peaceful state of mind, you think: “Finally! I have achieved something.” But then you meet an ecstatic devotee and he will tell you: “My dear, you did not achieve anything!” So the next step is to lose this peace again.

Then we can say: material life is waves, spiritual life – waves; what is the difference? Why should I make all these efforts – from one wave to another wave?! But their nature is a little different. So it’s worth struggling to come to the divine waves.

But actually we can say that sometimes devotees try to chant the maha-mantra without proper focus. And we have learned and understood from our teachers that this is a very intensive and very intimate calling out for God, meditation. We have to pay much attention with all our heart.

Once our devotee was invited to a friend. He was a practitioner in another line. And they were discussing chanting as a topic. So, the other devotee told: “Do you chant your rounds?” – a general question. Our devotee said: “Yes, of course!” And the other vaishnava tried to impress him that it is very much necessary to do like this, to do like that and meanwhile they were discussing, he was chanting. Plus he was watching football on the TV while chanting and while trying to impress the other that “You are not chanting properly!”

So think for yourself: what is the intensity of your spiritual practice?

You have to focus your mind, your attention on Krishna’s service, and then you can enter better the mood of real service. For some devotees this is not a big problem, they can quickly focus; for others maybe little practice, like even a few breathing exercises or deep breaths help a lot for pacification.

But we are discussing how to chant properly for two thousand years. How many times you have been listening to this topic on lectures?! Millions of times. What did you achieve? We might say: “Ah, the same message is repeated! There’s nothing new. No new topics, no new information, it’s always repeating the same.” Of course the topic is the same! But your entrance into the services should be different, progressive.

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