Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question: In the lecture you mentioned that it is better to hear than actually to live certain suffering. That it is better to hear and protect yourself. But we cannot be inactive, we have to act, we have to do something, we have to get involved into different relations. And while going through these relations we have different nuances in our feelings. Is not it that through suffering we enrich ourselves with a breadth of different feelings, although they are suffered ones, so that these feelings could remain in us as a kind of spiritual intelligence?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. Still the Vedic method of learning is by hearing. Unfortunately we are not in a Vedic age. So, definitely practical experience usually is more impressive than simply hearing about the same. But there are two ways to obtain some experience over something, to come to some conclusion about something. The first is: you go through it and in this way you experience it; and the other is that you meditate over that. Both can bring the same results. For example you sit at home and you think, you meditate over the limited nature of material world. And your friend is just running around – to perceive it, to experience it. After two years you meet, you will have the same opinion – it is limited. Why waste so much movement?

But I agree, most of the people need the experience. We have to burn our finger. If our spiritual masters says: “Do not do this!” we do not believe: “No, no, I know it better.” Kids are the same. Father will say: “Do not do this, my dear boy!” Kid says: “Yes, but I know it better.” Then he touches the fire and what will be the result? Pain. But that you will remember, right?! This is what you mean – that if we go through some suffering that we shall remember.

But if we move to the next step of our spiritual studies, of our learning process, then we should understand that by suffering we pay off our karma. And also from suffering you can generate some energy. So, in that sense the Christian concept about suffering is correct – from suffering you also can generate some speed, some energy, some understanding. Therefore the greatest symbol of Christianity is Jesus on the cross – very painful, very suffering, dying moment.

And who is our symbol? Either this is Krishnaplaying the flute. Do you see any suffering there? Some tears, some pain, some wounds or something like this? No. Well, maybe some tears are there if Radharani is also there in the picture. Because if They look at each other in eye to eye contact, immediately the eyes start to tell the story. But these tears are very sweet tears. We would be happy to shed such tears. So our main symbol is either Krishnaplaying the flute or Chaitanya Mahaprahu. His hands are also not in a normal position, nor in this condition, crucified, but raised high! Therefore devotees like very much this exercise. Evening exercise – dance in ecstasy! Because it is described by Rupa Goswami – and he is shastra guru – that if you dance with raised hands and you jump high, then all the bad energy is just removed from your body. This is a complete art, complete science, nothing is missing.

Still in our tradition, in our beautiful bhakti movement, suffering is also mentioned. The greatest suffering is the separation of Radha andKrishna. And if we bring down this concept to our own personal level, this is our separation fromKrishna. Sometimes you feel alone. Sometimes you feel neglected. Sometimes you suffer. Because unfortunately we have left this beautiful embrace. So what we need is a reintegration. We have to find our way back home, back to Godhead.

How to walk this path? With a sad face? It is said that with a sour face nobody can enter heaven. Better run like this: “Jay Radheee!”


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